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West coast trip recommendations for someone with bad knees
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Jim H
(jraiderguy) - M

Locale: Puget Sound
West coast trip recommendations for someone with bad knees on 03/01/2013 11:51:01 MST Print View

Hi guys, I have a somewhat specific set of needs for a family trip I'd like to plan for late summer. I grew up backpacking with my parents, but in the last 10 years my mother's knees have started to go. She's had surgery on one and is in good shape right now, but long ascents and descents are hard on her and result in a terrible night's sleep. We have a tradition now of doing one family backpacking trip each year that is low impact so that everyone can come.

Last year, we did Third Beach to Hoh River on the Pacific Coast in Olympic National Park. That trail is roughly 20 miles, and save for two or three headlands that require a very short up-and-over, the trail is basically walking along the beach. My mom enjoyed this trip immensely. It was the first trip in a few years where she wasn't in any pain at all. We took 5 days to do the hike, with one no-hike day for relaxing on the beach, so we were going at a leisurely 5mi-per-day pace.

She's in even better shape this year (her knee and overall), but has requested another hike that won't test her knees. I've been thinking about doing a strip of the Lost Coast in northern California?

Does anyone have any ideas? We'd be willing to go anywhere in WA, OR, CA, and maybe western NV or AZ for the right hike, it doesn't need to be coastal, but those trails are often pretty flat, obviously.


Edited by jraiderguy on 03/01/2013 11:51:57 MST.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
West coast trip recommendations for someone with bad knees on 03/01/2013 12:09:07 MST Print View

Close to home for you: Enchanted Valley!

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
West coast trip, bad knees: Lake Chelan? on 03/01/2013 12:22:20 MST Print View

There's a hike along the eastern side of Lake Chelan in WA (I haven't hiked this and can't remember the name of the hike). I believe this hike follows the lake with relatively little elevation gains or losses. To start the hike, you leave your car in Chelan and ride the Lady of the Lake ferry to a drop-off point along the lake. The trail then heads north to Stehekin, WA. I'm guessing (trying to remember what I read) that this would be 2-4 nights. You could stay a final night in Stehekin, day-hike or relax a little and then ride the ferry back to Chelan.

Edit: Here is a link to the WTA page for the "Chelan Lakeshore Trail"

Edit again! The above WTA link looks like the northern end as a out-and-back dayhike from Stehekin. Here's a article about the longer trail:

Edited by saparisor on 03/01/2013 12:27:39 MST.

Jim H
(jraiderguy) - M

Locale: Puget Sound
Thanks! on 03/01/2013 12:23:07 MST Print View

This (Enchanted Valley) looks like a great option. I actually grew up in CA, so I hadn't heard of this one.

The Chelan option sounds great too, I'll have to dig into that one a little more. A nice option for seeking out warmer weather too.

I'm going to put together some info on these and run them by mom.

Edited by jraiderguy on 03/01/2013 12:25:15 MST.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Thanks! on 03/01/2013 12:50:28 MST Print View

I always hear about bears in Enchanted Valley, but maybe that's just early in season

Rogue River would be good, but kind of hot late in summer

Ozette to Rialto Beach on Olympic coast is another good one

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: West coast trip recommendations for someone with bad knees on 03/01/2013 13:05:02 MST Print View

The Hoh River Trail comes to mind. You could do that and the Cape Alava Trail as they are in the same neighborhood.

There the Creeky Knees hiking guides for Oregon and Washington and Northern California with collections of hikes aimed at your audience.