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summer backpacking
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Gabriel August
(gaugust) - F

Locale: Penn's Woods
summer backpacking on 06/26/2007 20:11:57 MDT Print View

to follow up from a recent thread...what is some excellent summer backpacking...?

i live in pennsylvania, so my summer backpacking is 85-95 degrees, humid, buggy, and muggy. i love it because i live here, but it sucks backpacking-wise.

i would like to here some hometown folks laud their local area for summer backpacking. i know there are drawbacks everwhere. tell me whats awesome.

just trying to get some discussion going...

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: summer backpacking on 06/26/2007 21:10:51 MDT Print View

I just moved back to Eastern PA, and am working on the AT, but I must admit that it's not my favorite part of the trail. Of course, the Delaware Water Gap has some great views. You could also try the West Rim & Black Forest Trails in north central PA. The Mid state Trail has some nice sections. I'm told that the Allewgany Forest hase some nice new trails.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: summer backpacking on 06/27/2007 07:30:22 MDT Print View

I live in Missouri, so you know its buggy, muggy, and hot here too. One good thing about it in the summer is you almost never meet anyone on the trail (at least I don't). That means if you want to take a dip in a stream but forgot your bathing suit, its no big deal. I've done that on a few occasions...
Also, I'm only about 35 minutes from the northern terminus of the Ozark Trail, so long trips are easy possibilities for me (if I can get off of work).
And most all of the walking I do is under tree cover, which helps to cut down on the heat. Not to mention this is the cave state, so you come across nice, cool places to rest quite frequently. After scaring up a deer once I always make sure to make plenty of noise coming up to caves That was a pretty intense experience that left me wondering whether or not I could have fended off a deer with trekking poles.


jim bailey
(florigen) - F - M

Locale: South East
Re: Re: summer backpacking on 06/27/2007 08:06:24 MDT Print View

Backpacking in Northern New Hampshire is fairly comfortable once into July and August, warm days (70's) and cool nights (down to around 35-45) at higher elevations. Bug activity has pretty much died down after spring feeding frenzy. Highly recommend taking a trip up this way.

Gabriel August
(gaugust) - F

Locale: Penn's Woods
summer backpacking on 06/27/2007 19:55:49 MDT Print View

thanks for the replies. anyone else. mountain states or the pacific northwest in the summertime? i'd appreciate any feedback.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: summer backpacking on 06/27/2007 20:01:18 MDT Print View

It's not my backyard but Rainier's Wonderland Trail comes highly regarded

Jason Brinkman
(jbrinkmanboi) - MLife

Locale: Idaho
Re: Re: summer backpacking on 06/27/2007 20:16:57 MDT Print View

Get a little recent beta on the Wonderland Trail before you go. Rumor has it that a storm last year made toothpicks of giant trees, rerouted river courses, and generally demolished sections of the trail. Maybe it's on the mend by now?

Mark Verber
(verber) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: summer backpacking... in the Sierras on 06/27/2007 23:10:21 MDT Print View

Temperature will vary depending on when in the summer and how high you are. Many of my trips start are 8K ft or higher. So the daytime high tends to be 65-75F with relative humidity or say 10-20%. Nights cool off to something like 35-55F.

Rain? None, or short & light sprinkles in the mid-afternoon which it's not even worth pulling the rain gear out for.

Bugs pressure varies. There is a period of time when there are lots of puddles from snow melt and the weather is staying consistently able freezing.... bad bugs. I found the mosquitoes worse than I have experiences anywhere else. I counted more than 100 land on me in less than 15 second when I stopping hiking, but at least we don't have black flies. Other times (especially during indian summer after the first freeze there are no bugs to speak of).

Scenery? Some of the best on the planet.

Crowds? memorial day to labor day some trails are like super highways and you should expect several other people camping pretty close to you... but the further you get into the back country the less people. Except for high traffic trails (JMT for example) I have found that I see 2-6 people each day once I am 5 miles into the back country. After labor day I have gone a day with seeing only one person on sections of the PCT.

Edited by verber on 06/27/2007 23:14:55 MDT.

Richard Scruggs
(JRScruggs) - MLife

Locale: Oregon
Re: summer backpacking on 06/28/2007 01:57:16 MDT Print View

One recommendation: Enchantment Lakes in the Alpine Wilderness of Washington.

Late summer (after snow melts) and early fall (larch trees turning color). Heavy use mitigated by permit system. A spectacular area of polished granite, many small crystal clear lakes joined by cascading creek, lots of nooks and crannies for roaming.

Lots of elevation gain to Lower Enchantments (looks like a High Sierra setting, from pictures I've seen of Sierras), then more elevation to Upper Enchantments (desolate but spectacular, too).

Some other descriptions of Enchantments:

Another great trip is traversing North Cascades National Park -- either east to west, or the reverse -- between Hannegan Pass on the west side and Little Beaver Valley (or Big Beaver Valley) to the east where those valleys drain into Ross Lake.

Can arrange for drop-off or pickup by boat at the mouth of either Big Beaver or Little Beaver river, or both if one is used valley is used as entry and the other valley is used for exit from a loop up to Whatcom Pass and back.

Whatcom Pass provides terric views of hanging glaciers on Mt. Challenger (also great views from most of the 50+ switchbacks on the east side of the pass).

Very unlike the Enchantments, both as to scenery (great variety with deep forested river valleys plus very rugged glacier-covered peaks and high passes), and as to crowds. Quite simply, there are no crowds in this area of North Cascade Nat'l Park (at least not in my trips there, with the first about 30 years ago, and most recently about 3 years ago). Might make the whole trip across the park without seeing another person; and if you cross paths with three or more parties over 4-6 days, it's either rush hour, or you're pretty unlucky.

Some descriptions of the Hannegan Pass/Whatcom Pass trail with various options for loops, side trips, and alternative routings (e.g., Cooper Ridge High Route):


Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Wonderland Trail on 06/28/2007 08:10:01 MDT Print View

Well, let's put it this way: it is mostly doable, but not as a full loop this year. I live near Rainier, and have been up a couple times since the park finally officially reopened this year. They have done a ton of work, but there is tons more of work to do.
Rainier is truly one of my favorite places to hike in summer.
I also love the PCT in Wa state, and the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Give me the Olympics as well.

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: summer backpacking on 06/28/2007 11:10:29 MDT Print View

Summer backpacking? I live in Florida ... forget about it!!!
It's an excellent time for make your own gear projects.

Fortunately, I have a little get-a-way place in the White Mountains of New Hamp. which I get to once in every season of the year, including summer. It is generally glorious there in summer if you let the bugs die down for about a month after it gets warm.

I also try to make one summer trip to the North Carolina mountains in summer. Also, highly recommended.