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Top quality backpacking w/in 6hrs of Portland OR?
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John Witt
(johnbrown2005) - F

Locale: Portland, OR
Top quality backpacking w/in 6hrs of Portland OR? on 06/05/2011 20:45:45 MDT Print View

Hey folks,
Trying to figure out whether there's any backpacking of comparable quality to the Sierra's or Rockies within 6hrs drive of Portland? Any thoughts on where to start looking? Don't know the area much... Thanks!

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Different, but great on 06/05/2011 20:52:52 MDT Print View

Volcanic peaks dominate instead of upthrust. Start at Mt. Hood and head south - Mt Jeff and Three Sister wilderness areas are among my favorites.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Top quality backpacking w/in 6hrs of Portland OR? on 06/05/2011 21:04:58 MDT Print View

You can drive to the Canadian border in that much time, so you have your pick of the Washington Cascades, Olympic National Park, Mount Rainier National Park, or North Cascades National Park. will give you all access to most of the Washington trails. has a great trip reports forum so you can tune into the snow issues we're having on a lot of trails.

For day hikes, there is a book called "60 hikes within 60 miles of Portland" that will keep you busy :) 6 hours should get you anywhere in the Oregon Cascades.

Steve S
(idahosteve) - F

Locale: Idaho
Re: Top quality backpacking w/in 6hrs of Portland OR? on 06/05/2011 21:30:09 MDT Print View

6 hrs is a long time! you could easily reach into Eastern Oregon and hit the Wallowas/Eagle Caps.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Re: Re: Top quality backpacking w/in 6hrs of Portland OR? on 06/05/2011 23:22:13 MDT Print View

Good sources of information:

Doug Lorain: "Backpacking Oregon" and "Backpacking Washington"

William Sullivan's guidebooks for Oregon and SW Washington--forum and an excellent Field Guide for the rest of Washington, especially areas near Seattle for Washington trails

Edited by hikinggranny on 06/05/2011 23:25:06 MDT.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Top quality backpacking w/in 6hrs of Portland OR? on 06/05/2011 23:30:50 MDT Print View

Also in WA state:

Alpine Lakes Wilderness and Glacier Peak Wilderness.

+1 on Olympic, Mt. Rainier and North Cascades. There is a reason these are National Parks and why the Wonderland Trail gets such accolades!

seth t
(diggity) - F
oo on 06/06/2011 11:13:35 MDT Print View


Edited by diggity on 04/06/2012 20:49:54 MDT.

John Witt
(johnbrown2005) - F

Locale: Portland, OR
Wallowas/Eagle Cap vs Sierras on 06/07/2011 23:31:23 MDT Print View

thanks for the feedback! For those have you who have been to both, would you go to Eagle Cap Wilderness ahead of Sierra's?

Any intel on snow levels in Eagle Cap in mid-July? Or know where to find it? Thx!

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Top quality backpacking w/in 6hrs of Portland OR? on 06/08/2011 14:35:19 MDT Print View

This year was an extraordinary year for snowpack in all the western US mountains (except Arizona and New Mexico). There will probably be significant snow left on almost all higher-altitude locations in the Pacific NW in mid-July, and the Wallowas will be no exception.

This site is a good way to keep track of how much snow is left per satellite photos:
Click on the region you want and then click the Snow Depth map.

Watch for trip reports on and I've never had much luck getting accurate info from the US Forest Service in Enterprise,OR but it's probably a good idea to call them anyway. Right now, they can't predict mid-July conditions because the melting rate all depends on the weather between now and then.

For a Plan B or Plan C (good idea to have anyway), areas more likely to be pretty well melted out by mid-July are the eastern Pasayten Wilderness in northern WA (Boundary/Pacific NW Trail), the Strawberry Mountain Wilderness south of John Day, OR and Steens Mountain in SE Oregon.