Oregon PCT conditions in mid Sept. to early Oct.?
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Brendan L
(mechB) - F

Locale: Washington DC
Oregon PCT conditions in mid Sept. to early Oct.? on 06/23/2011 15:38:35 MDT Print View

I am planning on hiking on the PCT at the end of this Summer, starting south of Lassen NP (near my grandma's house), and ending near Portland. The total distance is around 700 miles. My tentative plan is to start around September 15th, and I'm thinking it would take me around 30 days (based on 25 miles/day...I've heard PCT hikers go a little faster through this section).

Can any one clue me in on the conditions during this time frame (Sep 15 - Oct 15) in terms of bugs, weather, etc.? Will there still be some traffic on the PCT during this time or will I be a lone ranger out there? I can adjust the dates slightly if I need to. Thanks for the help!

Kyle Meyer
(kylemeyer) - M

Locale: Portland, OR
Re: Oregon PCT conditions in mid Sept. to early Oct.? on 06/25/2011 10:26:59 MDT Print View

The bugs will be gone entirely in the northern half of the state, and perhaps also south. The weather will already have a chance to be really sour—last year I was planning to go from South Sister to Washington (200 miles) for my honeymoon September 1st, but the forecast from the trailhead was freezing rain for 5+ days.

Snow will probably be returning to Hood in small amounts as well.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Oregon PCT conditions in mid Sept. to early Oct.? on 06/25/2011 12:10:03 MDT Print View

+1 to Kyle

Several years ago someone was hiking around Mount Hood in September, 5 days of heavy rain, the person drowned in the Sandy River.

But, usually September through the middle or end of October is really nice. No bugs. A little cooler but that's a good thing. All the snow is melted. After Labor Day there are a lot fewer people but still some. Late October few backpackers, I don't know why, that's a great time.

Elizabeth Tracy
(mariposa) - M

Locale: Outside
Can you go north-to-south? on 06/25/2011 12:31:53 MDT Print View

Hmmm, it most certainly won't be crowded, but you should plan on some early-winter storms.

Last time I hiked in the Cascades, I exited the Three Sisters area around Sept 10 and there was a massive snowstorm the next two days. Whiteout conditions. It happens.

I'm guessing you'll stay ahead of the winter better, by going north to south.

- Elizabeth

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
OR PCT in fall? on 06/25/2011 14:53:12 MDT Print View

The weather that time of year can be a crap shoot. It may be beautiful. It will probably freeze at night. It may rain or snow. It's unusual for snow to start sticking before late October, but it has happened. Be prepared.

At least this last winter/spring's snow should finally have melted by then! We hope, anyway!

Edited to correct header!

Edited by hikinggranny on 06/25/2011 16:51:42 MDT.