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Easy first out west trip.
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chris arvin
(kychris) - F

Locale: Red River Gorge Area
Easy first out west trip. on 02/05/2010 11:35:07 MST Print View

I've done a good deal of backpacking in Kentucky and the Great Smoky Mountains and I'm ready to do some traveling out west.

Does anyone have any good suggestions for 5-7 day loop trips? Is there any groups that schedule backpacking trips that I could join? I don't really want to go by myself on my first trip.

I'm looking for something that is somewhat easy to get to from the airport.

I really like forest type hiking so that excludes places that are mostly desert. I really like the Washington and Oregon areas. There's so much though that I don't know where to start.

Thanks for any advice.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Easy first out west trip. on 02/05/2010 11:55:01 MST Print View

I'm not really the person to answer this question as I hike in the east, but I just wanted to suggest that you try and get some trips above the tree line. Maybe it is just me, but if I am going to hike in a forest, I can do that here.

Lori P
(lori999) - F

Locale: Central Valley
Re: Easy first out west trip. on 02/05/2010 12:00:41 MST Print View

I disagree, forests are different all over. Oregon forests will be different than California Sierra forests, and within fifty miles even Sierra forests differ - as you go north on the PCT there are all kinds of changes in flora. The sequoia groves are awesome.

Loop hikes in the Sequoia/Kings Canyon would offer you a good variety tho - you can move through oaks to pines to sequoias to treeless alpine and back in a week, easy. Check out the High Sierra Trail (not the route) - there are shuttle options to get you back to the west side, or you can simply plan to fly out to Visalia, take the shuttle into the park, hike through to Mt Whitney and down to the portal, hop on CREST bus to an east side airport, and fly home. The time on the trail would give you a good opportunity to acclimate as you go, and if you had problems with high altitude sickness you could bail out north to Onion Valley instead of going to Whitney, or simply turn around.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Easy first out west trip. on 02/05/2010 13:09:33 MST Print View

A BPL school would be a good first trip.

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Re: Re: Easy first out west trip. on 02/05/2010 13:32:00 MST Print View

I didn't really mean they are all the same even though the pictures that I have seen from the lower elevations at Glacier look almost exactly like the Smokies, but other than a few small areas like Roan Highlands, Grayson Highlands, etc. we have nothing to compare to the alpine environments that you can experience out west.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
west versus east on 02/05/2010 13:42:59 MST Print View

A few years ago, a hiker from Virginia wanted to do a trip with us in California. Due to the difficulties of the trip, he was warned to train for it before he left Virginia. So, he did. He hiked and trained, and then met us in California. Boy, did he suffer! Once we got him above 10,000 feet, he slowed to a crawl because of the air pressure. Once we got him above 14,000 feet, he almost came unglued. He survived, but I have doubts that he will ever want to return to California.

Frank Deland

Locale: On the AT in VA
Sierras near Mammoth CA on 02/05/2010 13:43:05 MST Print View

Sierras, Yosemite or Tuolumne Meadows, Red Meadows (Mammoth) (Lake Mianaret) Fly to Reno, Bus South (CREST)
Scenery along the JMT is spectacular. Lots of loop hiking options.

Windr River Range, Lander Wy.

Edited by rambler on 02/05/2010 13:50:02 MST.

chris arvin
(kychris) - F

Locale: Red River Gorge Area
Thanks! on 02/05/2010 13:49:29 MST Print View

Thanks for all of the replys.

I had forgotten about the BPL school. That might be a great idea.

KY Chris

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Easy first out west trip/CO on 02/05/2010 13:55:28 MST Print View

You also can't go wrong in Colorado, check out RMNP and the wilderness areas. Its busy but my family loves Indian Peaks Wilderness.

Edited by Cameron on 02/05/2010 13:55:58 MST.

Cory McArtor
(like2bsailing) - F
Where in Kentucky? on 02/06/2010 08:51:04 MST Print View

This is slightly off topic, but where in Kentucky have you gone? I live near Paducah, so I've been looking for places to go around there.

As far as out west, I went to the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness near Buena Vista Colorado and the Pecos Wilderness in New Mexico last summmer. Both of those were awesome.

chris arvin
(kychris) - F

Locale: Red River Gorge Area
Re: Where in Kentucky? on 02/08/2010 05:42:34 MST Print View

I live near Lexington. I've mostly backpacked all over the Red River Gorge. It's a great place but IMO the best stuff is hidden away off trail. You typically have to go with someone else who knows where things are to get to the good stuff.

This website is good for backpacking and hiking Kentucky: