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Best June/ July Backpacking?
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John Witt
(johnbrown2005) - F

Locale: Portland, OR
Best June/ July Backpacking? on 04/14/2006 00:58:07 MDT Print View

I have some free time in June and July. Where do you think the best July backpacking in Western US is from a weather and bugs standpoint? Southwest seems hot, monsoony, Rockies and Northwest still snowy, then buggy.

Clearly there's a sucking it up factor that's gonna have to come into play here. :-)

David Patterson
(davidp80) - F
Re: Best June/ July Backpacking? on 04/14/2006 02:39:37 MDT Print View

Don't hold me to this one (as I have no personal experience there myself), but I've heard northern California is wonderful for backpacking and would most likely be nice at that time of the year. I imagine even a little farther north into Oregon would probably be suitable for what you're looking for.


Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
june/july backpacking on 04/14/2006 07:55:02 MDT Print View

N. California is a fine place to be in June or July. BUT, this year might prove to be difficult getting into the backcountry until mid July. Record rain and snowfall should make this summer an interesting one.

David Patterson
(davidp80) - F
Re: Best June/ July Backpacking? on 04/14/2006 13:41:05 MDT Print View


Do the record rain and snowfall's you describe apply to most all of the Northwest as well? I'm most curious about how the conditions have been in Washington (Mt. Rainier National Park) this winter. Thanks,


John Witt
(johnbrown2005) - F

Locale: Portland, OR
Trinity's/Marble's-Olympics/Cascades on 04/14/2006 14:07:37 MDT Print View

Ken, are you thinking Trinity's/Marbles? Or Lost Coast?

I second Dave's question, anyone up in Washington that can report on snow in the Olympics and Cascades?

Edited by johnbrown2005 on 04/14/2006 14:23:43 MDT.

Bob Bankhead
(wandering_bob) - MLife

Locale: Oregon, USA
Cascade Snow Levels on 04/14/2006 14:43:20 MDT Print View

See the PCT Postholer

The North Cascades look to be about 100% of April 01 normal, but we've got three daysd of heavy precipitation headed in. Mount Hood is expecting another 2-3 feet this weekend.

Wandering Bob

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
june/july on 04/14/2006 15:54:44 MDT Print View

can't speak for The Cascades, but The Lost Coast should be fine. It rains alot more there in the summer than The Sierra's. I was mainly commenting on the Sierra's for this June and July. All coastal mountains withing California will be fine at that time.

Stephen Cain
(Hoosierdaddy) - F

Locale: Western Washington
Re: Trinity's/Marble's-Olympics/Cascades on 04/16/2006 22:45:03 MDT Print View

Too many Washington snow depth variables to list individually, but generally it's been a banner snow year! Here‘s a couple of sites to get you started:

Edited by Hoosierdaddy on 04/16/2006 22:52:57 MDT.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Trinity's/Marble's-Olympics/Cascades on 04/18/2006 09:59:09 MDT Print View

Here's a good Forest Service link for trail conditions from I-90 north to the Glacier Peak area in Washington:

You might as well go to the road conditions page too:

There are many roads and trails in the Glacier Peak area that have been flood damaged since 2003 and the really juicy looking trails have been cut off with washed out access roads and bridges. It might make an interesting study to see how the reduced access has effected flora and fauna in those areas. I guess the war in Iraq has caused fewer appropriations for road repairs. Those rivers are coming straight off the glaciers and are cold and swift-- not easily forded in August, let alone April. I'm wondering if a 16' extension ladder could get me past the first humps-- hide it in the brush for the return trip :)

Edited by dwambaugh on 04/18/2006 09:59:46 MDT.

John Witt
(johnbrown2005) - F

Locale: Portland, OR
Great links- bugs? on 04/18/2006 11:07:35 MDT Print View

Thanks for the links folks, very useful. For you PNW folks, what do you think the snow pack means for bugs? My memories of Olympics are fairly bug-free, whereas I did a late July trip in the Cascades that had small black biting flies at levels I never want to see again....

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Great links- bugs? on 04/18/2006 12:11:38 MDT Print View

USUALLY black flies are associated with fast running water-- the nymphs need the oxygen. We once camped at Little Qualicum Falls on Vancouver Island, where the river runs down through some beautiful rock formations, and the black flies were taking chunks out of us-- which caused me to read up on them. So if you encounter black flies along the way, don't camp next to a fast moving stream or waterfall.

I've always thought it was the severity of the winter that influenced bug population (or one variable anyway). This winter was mild AND wet, so I would expect some pests.

A breeze is the best help for bugs-- if you are in a nice little protected bowl next to a lake, y'all gonna get CHEWED on!

Edited by dwambaugh on 04/18/2006 12:13:49 MDT.

John Witt
(johnbrown2005) - F

Locale: Portland, OR
flies on 04/18/2006 12:16:08 MDT Print View

Dale, that's a good nugget. Supporting your theory, we were by a fast stream most of the way.

My tolerance for bugs is really minimal...wish I was from Minnesota and had hard skin.

David Patterson
(davidp80) - F
Re: Best June/ July Backpacking? on 04/18/2006 17:26:28 MDT Print View

Great links guys. Thanks a lot,


Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Best June/July Backpacking on 04/18/2006 17:44:06 MDT Print View

From the day hikes I've been doing this winter/spring in the "near" Cascades(out as far as Mailbox/Tenerife along the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River), it looks like trails will be pretty slow going further back in the interior until at least July. For those of you interested in the Glacier Peak area, an excellent local source is the Darrington Ranger Station. They usually know the condition of access roads like the Suiattle River Rd, as well trail conditions in the Glacier Peak Wilderness area.

David Bonn
(david_bonn) - F

Locale: North Cascades
Re: Best June/July Backpacking on 04/18/2006 18:20:01 MDT Print View

For early season hikes in Washington, there are really two strategies: go low or go east. The eastern slopes of the cascades typically melt out a couple of weeks earlier than the western slopes. All other things being equal (and with a couple of notable exceptions) most of the high country on the east side of the Cascades is quite accessible by early July. This year might be a little different, but if May and early June are mild I would expect things to be pretty clear.

My favorite trips on the high east side is either the Summer Blossom/Chelan Summit trip to Stehekin (3 to 7 days and you need a car shuttle and a car that can handle a wicked bad road) or the High Pasayten section of the Boundary Trail (from around Spanish Camp to Horseshoe Basin) -- once again it helps to have a friend for the car shuttle and a nice bad-road vehicle.

Going low can work too. Any of the big river valleys provide nice early-season walks. As well as the aforementioned Suiattle River (the trip to The Great Fill is awesome if you can make it -- the upper miles of the trail are just gone now) you can go to Big and Little Beaver Creek (although probably a boat ride on Ross Lake is required to make the trip feasible in a 3 1/2 day weekend) or East Bank Trail on the opposite shore of Ross Lake -- best when the lake is full pool which usually happens around the third week of June.

larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
Re: Re: Best June/July Backpacking on 04/19/2006 12:42:59 MDT Print View

The north shore of lake chelan,lakeshore trail is available, you'll have to take the ferry to prince creek and return on it from stehekin. A lot of the tucannon/wenaha wilderness in se washington, juniper dunes, hell's're going to see a lot of snow in the cascades,north cascades, olympics, I agree with David go east or go to the middle cascades.good luck.

Audrey Lemek
(MountainMamma) - F
Re: Re: Best June/ July Backpacking? on 06/22/2007 10:24:26 MDT Print View

Mount Rainier was pummeled this past winter. Go to either (washington trails association) or Mount Rainiers site directly. Many roads were washed out, the WTA website has a really cool feature that you can check road conditions. To date still many trails and roads have not been fixed (throughout Washington).

Audrey Lemek
(MountainMamma) - F
Re: Best June/ July Backpacking? on 06/22/2007 10:26:47 MDT Print View

In Washington state --early July you're still going to hit snow, so fewer bugs
I've been through CA. in June- Lots of snow up high, excessive bugs in the valleys.

Jason Brinkman
(jbrinkmanboi) - MLife

Locale: Idaho
Re: Re: Best June/ July Backpacking? on 06/23/2007 01:13:56 MDT Print View

Idaho was especially dry this winter (opposite of the coastal ranges). I've been hiking at over 10k elevation for over a month already. Everything will be open by July here.

Edited by jbrinkmanboi on 06/23/2007 01:14:32 MDT.

Denis Hazlewood
(redleader) - MLife

Locale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
Re: Best June/ July Backpacking? on 06/24/2007 19:22:02 MDT Print View

I just got back from a week on the Lost Coast. Fantastic!

Looking South from Miller Flat, on the Lost Coast
Looking south to Shelter Cove from Miller Flat. Lost Coast June 6, 2007

Setting up camp at Gitchell Creek Lost Coast
Setting up camp at Gitchell Creek on the Lost Coast. June 7, 2007

Edited by redleader on 06/24/2007 19:31:37 MDT.