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What are the best 50-150 mile hikes in the country?
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Tim Haynes
(timalan)

Locale: Mid Atlantic
What are the best 50-150 mile hikes in the country? on 11/11/2009 08:38:39 MST Print View

I'm sure most folks here have day jobs that make it hard to escape for a month at a time into the wilderness... however, 7-10 days is very possible for most of us, with the proper planning. To that end, I'm looking for suggestions on some great hikes in the 50-150 mile range, the kind of hikes that could be done in that range of time.

All suggestions/info/links appreciated. This is a chance to brag about your favorite trips and share some of the most beautiful vistas in the country. Please include where the trip is, how long, whether it's a loop hike or not, and what the best times of year are for the hike.

Thanks.

Alan Little
(AlanL) - F

Locale: Bavarian & Austrian Alps
Which country? on 11/11/2009 09:25:16 MST Print View

Did you have a particular country in mind?

I did a quick two day traverse of the Steinernes Meer on the Bavarian-Austrian border in September with my wife and it was fantastic. Or pick pretty much any random stretch of North West Scotland. Or any sufficiently remote bit of southern Utah desert.

That's pretty much my list of "best places ever".

Edited by AlanL on 11/11/2009 09:56:53 MST.

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: What are the best 50-150 mile hikes in the country? on 11/11/2009 10:03:55 MST Print View

I think that the best hikes are the ones that you spend time planning yourself. Pick a mountain range, look at maps and google earth, and choose your route. Each range has endless hikes in that length. It's rare that "famous" or often recommended hikes are as good as choose your own adventure (cross country) rambles.

If you're looking for routine "best" answers, I can provide some of the classic hikes as ideas. But I'm keeping the stellar ideas to myself :)

Edited by Found on 11/11/2009 10:04:53 MST.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: What are the best 50-150 mile hikes in the country? on 11/11/2009 10:09:27 MST Print View

"This is a chance to brag about your favorite trips and share some of the most beautiful vistas in the country."

Now, why in the world would I do that?

Try Backpacking Magazine's list.
Or Outside.

And go there.

Tim Haynes
(timalan)

Locale: Mid Atlantic
Re: best hikes on 11/11/2009 10:38:22 MST Print View

I love planning my own trips, but part of the reason for posting is to get some leads on what all is out there in other parts of the country... and I trust folks here more than folks on Backpacker or Outside magazine to give good ideas that are not always on the beaten path.

It is great to do all the planning, but some leads here could direct the planning to some states/regions I might not have considered on my own. Especially if people help identify best seasons for certain hikes.

I'm trying to start planning now for a couple of weeklong getaways next year, and was hoping this thread would give some ideas for destinations I might not have otherwise considered. I know what's in the Mid-Atlantic area, and parts of the southwest, but I haven't really hiked in other parts of the country.

Helpful suggestions appreciated.

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: What are the best 50-150 mile hikes in the country? on 11/11/2009 10:45:34 MST Print View

The Wonderland Trail around Mount Rainier, about 95 miles. Best time perhaps is mid-summer, when all the flowers are out, but this varies year-to-year.

You can find exhaustive information about this trail on the web. Overnight permits are required, and the earlier you apply, the better.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: best hikes on 11/11/2009 10:48:03 MST Print View

Like Jack, I tend not to share my favourite off-the-beaten-track hikes because I like them due to their remoteness and that I can walk for days and not see anyone else...then again I'm think in the wrong country for this question so my opinion doesn't really matter anyway!

Nothing hacks me off more than when one of the backpacking mags publishes details of my hitherto secret best walks and suddenly it's over run with folks.

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: What are the best 50-150 mile hikes in the country? on 11/11/2009 11:30:10 MST Print View

It's a backcountry super highway, but I could do any section of the JMT 100 times and still go back for more. I like big trees, big views, and big rocks. I get all three plus some of the most mild weather of any alpine destination.

--Mark

Keith Selbo
(herman666) - F - M

Locale: Northern Virginia
Cranberry loop 50 on 11/11/2009 11:59:16 MST Print View

Hiked it at the end of August of this year. Great campsites, beautiful beaver ponds. Mid-hike resupply available at Wanekena, or Cranberry lake. Trail is soft, and water is available everywhere. Click here to open the trail's web page.

Edited by herman666 on 11/11/2009 12:07:26 MST.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: What are the best 50-150 mile hikes in the country? on 11/11/2009 15:19:04 MST Print View

The PCT from Stevens Pass to Snoqualmie Pass. It is 72 miles of up and down through some very beautiful country. Only down side is that it is point to point. You will see people, but we only encountered 6-8 people when we did it, including Scott Williamson outbound on his PCT yo-yo. We did it in 4 days and a couple of hours, but it can as well be done in anywhere from 2-3 days on, depending on your desire and ability.

Keith Selbo
(herman666) - F - M

Locale: Northern Virginia
Also on 11/11/2009 17:02:51 MST Print View

Also check out the Rae Lakes Loop in King's Canyon Park. I've not hiked it, but it appears to be very popular. (50mi.)

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: What are the best 50-150 mile hikes in the country? on 11/11/2009 17:22:22 MST Print View

Tim,

Jeremy, Cameron, Jay, and I went on the Tahoe Rim Trail this past July.

9 days and 168 miles.

Little longer than you asked for, but it was an amazing trip that had the benefits of being close to civilization and easy resupplies. (We only carried 3 days of food at any given time).

The trail also covers some 50 miles of the PCT and gives you time in the Desolation Wilderness.

Really found it a great way to look at Lake Tahoe with a mix of well maintained trails and beautiful scenery.

http://www.tahoerimtrail.org/

High Sierra Trail from Sequioa National Park to Mt. Whitney was my 1st big trip into lightweight backpacking. 70 miles one way....only difficulty is figuring out return transportation or having someone waiting to give you a lift back.

Yosemite from Glacier Point to Red Peak Pass....returning past Half Dome, back to Glacier Point is also about 50 miles.

If you are interested, in the photo gallery, I have photo essays on these trips to give you an idea of what to expect.

Hope that this helps.

-Tony

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
What are the best 50-150 mile hikes in the country? on 11/11/2009 21:43:22 MST Print View

Any section of the Fremont/Highline Trail in Wyoming's Wind Rivers, IMHO one of the world's most beautiful places. Total from Green River Lakes to Big Sandy Opening is about 80 miles. I would suggest north-to-south because it's better for acclimatizing to the altitude (climbing gradually from 8,000 ft. to 11,000 ft. instead of spending the first night at 10,500 ft.. Several sidetrips are mandatory, which could make the total well over 100 miles. Be prepared for plenty of weather, including snow at any time.

In Oregon, two that are on my to-do list are the Three Sisters Loop (another one with lots of sidetrips, but very popular) and Hells Canyon (lots of possible loops and few people; avoid lower canyon in the heat of summer). In Washington, the Boundary Trail through the Pasayten Wilderness (both ends are a long way from anywhere).

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: What are the best 50-150 mile hikes in the country? on 11/11/2009 21:50:01 MST Print View

Hand's down, the High Sierra Trail in Sequoia National Park. Search it on Wikipedia. Starts in Giant Forest (Crescent Meadows Trailhead) which has largest trees in the world, ends at Mt. Whitney, tallest mountain in contiguous 48 USA states. " From Crescent Meadow to Whitney Portal the trail is 72.2 miles (116.2 km) long and is often hiked in 6 to 7 days or more. There is a natural hot springs in the middle. It is occasionally performed in even less time by experts. Work began on the High Sierra Trail in 1928 and it was the first Sierra trail built solely for recreational purposes."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Sierra_Trail
PS. Best way to do this round trip, is to return from Whitney Portal via Horseshoe Meadows Trailhead after resupplying at Lone Pine, CA, and you can hike due West via Golden Trout Wilderness Area to Kern Canyon Ranger Station via a well maintained trail and then north 9 miles to the High Sierra Trail, then back to Crescent Meadows. That is about 130 miles, via that "lasso" route. Mt. Whitney Shuttle Service can help at Lone Pine, CA. And a shuttle bus works from Visalia, CA to Lodgepole, CA then to Crescent Meadows Trailhead. Round trip is easiest way to deal with transportation. Doing a one way trip, requires you to do an "open jaw" flight to Fresno, CA to start, and from Reno, CA at end, using buses to get to/from trailhead.

Edited by marti124 on 11/11/2009 21:55:25 MST.

Elena Lee
(lenchik101) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest (USA)
Glacier Peak on 11/12/2009 16:52:20 MST Print View

Any combination of trails, including PCT, around the Glacier Peak in the Glacier Peak Wilderness (WA). Just get the maps of the area and plan your own hike: combine different trails, make your own loops, make your own to and from exploration points, go off trails, go over passes, climb small peaks - it's the country that would leave you breathless. If you go off the beaten path, you may steal some solitude.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
best hikes. on 11/12/2009 17:17:11 MST Print View

If you want to hike in the High Sierra, I'd recommend staying (mostly) off the JMT, and just making up your own adventure. It's easy to use trails to get in and out, and then just strike off across the granite above timberline. Do some cross country work, some trail-less passes, and hang out at unvisited lakes.

Check out Tom Harrison maps and Secor's book on trails, passes, and peaks.

You can't go wrong above timberline.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: best hikes. on 11/12/2009 17:23:02 MST Print View

"If you want to hike in the High Sierra, I'd recommend staying (mostly) off the JMT, and just making up your own adventure"

++1 to this whole post, with the caveat that you are comfortable with off trail travel and like designing your own routes. As Dave said, you can't go wrong above timberline, and the Sierra offers some of the finest to be found anywhere.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Glacier Peak on 11/12/2009 18:07:33 MST Print View

"Any combination of trails, including PCT, around the Glacier Peak in the Glacier Peak Wilderness (WA)."

Ordinarily, I would jump to second this recommendation, but you need to be aware that many of the trails have not been maintained for several years, bridges are out, and some of the access roads are closed due to storm damage. Be sure to check with the local Forest Service or ranger station. Better yet, check at the Forest Service kiosk in the REI Flagship store in downtown Seattle. They have a log book which shows the current status of all access roads and trail conditions. If you can find something open this is, as Elena said, some of the most beautiful and remote country the Cascades have to offer, second only to the North Cascades NP, IMO.

Frank Deland
(rambler)

Locale: On the AT in VA
High Sierra, JMT on 11/12/2009 18:07:58 MST Print View

The scenery is ever changing and fantastic. (August)
Books of interest that describe numerous ways to plan hikes of the time and distances you ask about:

Sierra South, Backcountry Trips in California's Sierra Nevada, by Kathey Morey and Mike White
John Muir Trail, by Wenck and Morey
Day and Section Hikes of the JMT by Kathleen Dodge
Sierra High Route by Steve Roper
The High Sierra: Peaks Passes Trails by R.J. Secor

People at this web site have described off trail hikes in the Sierras off of the JMT, but just hike the trail and you will see why it is the favorite of so many .along JMT
Climbing to Forester Pass, JMT

Edited by rambler on 11/12/2009 18:13:39 MST.

Laurence Beck
(beckla) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Partial JMT's are great on 11/12/2009 18:20:18 MST Print View

Although all of these off trail hikes may be cool you can always cut out a chunk of the JMT to suit your needs.

Yosemite Valley to Red's Meadows - 60 miles
Red's Meadows to Whitney Portal - about 160 miles
Bishop (South Lake) to Whitney Portal - about 100 miles

The list goes on an on... :)