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I am seeking a compatible female section hiking partner for the 2018 season. I live in Missoula, Montana, and ideally we could meet for some day hiking or short backpacking trips before committing to spending that much time with one another.  I'm female, 43, can do a week or two at a time. My preference is hiking around 12 miles a day, especially at the start. I don't care which direction. I'd go alone, but I know how dangerous it is in bear country having come across my share of grizzlies in Glacier and Yellowstone.
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On Olympic National Park's site there is a detailed description of Trail Conditions on the Bogachiel Trail. Some reports state that sections of the trail have not been brushed or logged out this season: https://www.nps.gov/olym/planyourvisit/wilderness-trail-conditions.htm

Quote
Clear of down trees to Bogachiel Camp. 44 down trees from there to 15-mile.

There are two washouts before Park boundary (USFS) between miles 1 and 1.5. Impassable to stock. Use caution on washouts and other areas undercut by river.

A new washout/landslide was reported above Flapjack that is reported to be unstable and hazardous to pass.

40 down trees from Fifteen Mile Camp to Little Divide.

Trail is currently not passable to stock.
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We heard that there was "lots of blow down" on the Bogachiel trail.  Has anyone been through that section in the Olympic National Park who can update us on conditions?
Thanks.
 
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A quick question - for a hiker of pretty good fitness, but one who leans towards enjoyment and exploration versus pounding through miles - how many weeks would you estimate from Stevens Path north to the PNT, then East to Oroville, WA?

Super quick estimate using postholer maps shows that route has roughly 163 miles of PCT plus 106 miles of PNT = approx 270 miles. Not sure how fast you hike, but that's probably not enough miles of trail to fill six weeks of time.
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Dylan, thanks again!

Given what you wrote, I think I'm going to hold that proposed hike as my Number 1, with the AT as a backup in case of a forest fire. I've read some WTA trip reports of those regions at that time, and it all seems very beautiful, and very much what I'm looking for. I'm now going to get some of the trail guide books/resources and start planning in earnest.

A quick question - for a hiker of pretty good fitness, but one who leans towards enjoyment and exploration versus pounding through miles - how many weeks would you estimate from Stevens Path north to the PNT, then East to Oroville, WA?

If the time for that stretch is shorter than my hoped for 6 to 8 weeks, I might try and get transport afterwards to a separate, shorter hike that would be doable in that region in early/mid October.

Much gratitude,
Mike
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Thanks.
We know from the Boundary Waters trips in MN that blown down trees can make trails exhausting. On the other hand a few trees in the is par for the course. So, we'll stick with our plans.
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Trail conditions in Olympic National Park are generally fantastic. They have professional trail crews out every summer.

The Bogachiel river trail is less popular than other nearby trails, so it gets less attention. But "a lot of blowdowns" in June in ONP is the equivalent of "recently maintained trail" in national forests in Idaho.

Usually by September, trail crews have had the opportunity to clear all trails of wintertime blowdowns. By that time, this years' crop of thru-hikers will be able to give you more recent anecdotes. But I wouldn't worry about trail conditions in ONP. They put a lot of money and effort into maintenance.
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We are planning to hike in early September of this year (2017) from Ho Visitor's Center to Cape Alva (and actually beyond to Neah Bay).

We heard from a National Park ranger that: "There's lots of blow down on the Bogachiel River Trail."

That portion of the trail makes up a key section of our hike

Can anyone confirm how much, how severe, and the effect on travel times,  etc?

Thanks so much.
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1) What do you think the major difficulties I might run into during this stretch (weather/snow, areas that are very difficult to navigate, complicated resupplies, lots of road walking)? Anything prohibitive?
2) Generally, what is the terrain of the Pasyaten Wilderness and the trail east of it like? And at that time of year?
3) What would be a reasonable endpoint for this trip (provided I did about 100 miles on PCT first - I'm also open to PCT start points if anyone knows?)
4) The other idea I have is to hike south on the Appalachian Trail starting at the northern terminus in Maine, through the 100 mile wilderness and White Mountains, and back north up the Long Trail in Vermont. I know it's totally subjective, but which of these two trips would you do?

1) Weather basically guaranteed to be great until October 1. After that you're on borrowed time, but should be ok. The risk of forest fires is always a concern that time of year. Even if your trail remains open, air quality can suffer.
I think your biggest challenge will be trailhead access on both ends. If heading north on PCT, consider starting at Stevens Pass (US hiway 2) or Rainy Pass (WA hiway 20) because of ease of hitchhiking. Amtrak stops in the fun tourist town of Leavenworth, WA, which is an easy hitch up to Stevens Pass.

2) Pasayten Wilderness is popular with backcountry horsemen who do lots of volunteer trail work. It's a lovely area to hike. Unfortunately, it was hit by some pretty big fires 10 years ago. So large parts of the area are still recovering. Nevertheless, the Pasayten is a hidden jewel of WA state, and one of the best parts of the PNT. Trail condition is generally good on the PNT all the way through the Pasayten until you reach Oroville/Loomis, WA.

3) I did not love the stretch of the PNT immediately to the East of Oroville, WA. I would suggest Oroville as an ending point for your eastbound section hike. From Oroville it is possible (slow, complicated, but possible) to get public transit to Wenatchee, WA where Amtrak and Greyhound provide service.

4) Depends on how comfortable you are hiking alone. AT will have lots of folks. Your suggested PCT/PNT hike will have fewer crowds, especially once you start eastbound on the PNT through the Pasayten. Perhaps delay final decision until closer to your starting date to determine whether forest fires are a problem in Eastern WA this autumn?
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Hi again,

Though it's been a minute since my first post, I haven't forgotten about this idea. In fact, I've narrowed it down to what seems to a more specific - if still rough - idea that I'd hope for some feed back on.

I spoke on the phone with a kind and knowledgeable man (from this website!) about my situation. As a refresher - I will be free to hike from approximately August 25th until about October 7th. I have some experience with back country solo trips (a dozen or so such trips, with the longest being 9 days in Banff) and am hoping to have a fun and enjoyable adventure - meaning I'm not hoping to kill myself with miles, but will likely average 15 or so miles a day (on normal terrain) with a rest day every now and again... This puts me at about a 500 - 600 mile stretch. Though I could drive my own car out from Wisconsin, I'd rather fly to Seattle and take public transport/hitch to start/end. My main desires for this hike are - diversity of terrain, remoteness, avoiding a lot of roads (if possible) and something that's not incredibly complicated/overmyhead in regards to resupply or navigation.   

Given that background, the idea the person on the phone gave me is this: Pick a reasonable starting point on the PCT (likely somewhere in Glacier Peak wilderness) and hike a good chunk of the PCT headed North Bound (maybe Sections K and L, which having read trip reports didn't seem to have too much snow in late August/early September). Continue on North on PCT until where it meets the PNT in Pasayten wilderness, and hike East on the PNT through Pasyaten Wilderness until I reached a suitable stopping point somewhere in Eastern Wash. I have some questions regarding this plan:

1) What do you think the major difficulties I might run into during this stretch (weather/snow, areas that are very difficult to navigate, complicated resupplies, lots of road walking)? Anything prohibitive?
2) Generally, what is the terrain of the Pasyaten Wilderness and the trail east of it like? And at that time of year?
3) What would be a reasonable endpoint for this trip (provided I did about 100 miles on PCT first - I'm also open to PCT start points if anyone knows?)
4) The other idea I have is to hike south on the Appalachian Trail starting at the northern terminus in Maine, through the 100 mile wilderness and White Mountains, and back north up the Long Trail in Vermont. I know it's totally subjective, but which of these two trips would you do?

Thanks for abiding my spotty knowledge and vague questions. Let me know if you need to know anything more, feel free to redirect me to past posts, and thanks! If I end up deciding on this trip I'll get down to the gritty with all the available maps and guidebooks from this site.

Peace,
mcz
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