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Labor Day Run/Camp Adventure - Aug 31-Sept 2, 2013


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#1 Torrey

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 06:47 AM

Spring is in the air, but I have already been thinking ahead to the end of summer.  We had a great group of folks join us last Labor Day for the Mt Hood adventure, but that adventure has been done several times.  A few years ago we did a Steens Mountain loop that was fun (although it was mostly on the gravel loop road).  But there are so many places to explore in the beautiful Northwest... where should we head this year?

 

A few options I've been thinking about:

 

1. Olympic National Park.  There are a lot of trails through this area, but it looks like it might be difficult to find some that go point to point for a reasonable distance to be able to camp in different spots from point A to B to C.  In my cursory initial research, it looked like we might need to do slightly longer days to run from one campground to another (20+ miles a day, and that is through some potentially wet and hilly terrain).  I've never really explored much of this park, but if people are interested, I am certainly willing to try to come up with some options that could be a mixture of longer or shorter (which might mean out-back) days.

 

2. Three Sisters: I have run this loop in a day.  It's about 47 miles total, and there are really only 2 good access points on the north and south sides.  That means we would need to do the run in 2 days (so two 20+ mile days).  That is a lot of miles, but ther are only 2 relatively small climbs on the entire loop, with most of it being fairly flat and soft surface trail.  I was thinking this could be a Sat and Sun run, with one mandatory day of sampling, and 2 optional nights (for those who actually want to have fun ;)  For those who want to camp at the trailhead on Friday night, they could drive down and meet up at the starting point.  Those who don't want to head down Friday would need to either book a room in Sisters or get up early and drive down from Portland.  Everyone would camp on the south side, and then when we get back to the start point on Sunday afternoon, people could either camp or head home.  For me, the opportunity to all hang out together is the reason to do these trips...

 

3. Wallowas.  There are a whole lot of trail options that go into the Eagle Cap Wilderness.  I haven't spent any time planning out potential routes, but this has been on my radar screen as a potential destination for Labor Day.  It's a bit of a drive to get over there (~6 hours), which is a factor for figuring out timing.  If people don't take another day off on the front or back end of the holiday weekend, you will spend 2 half days driving there/back and not get a lot of running in between.  But if we did Fri-Mon, we could set up camp on Friday and do an out-back run, then do a couple point-point or long loops on Sat and Sun, then do a morning run on Monday before driving back to Portland.
 

4. Rogue River.  Another one I have been thinking about for a while.  The trail that follows the lower river is 30 miles long.  There are several different options for doing this, but they would require some planning in the near future if we opted to use some of the wilderness lodges along the river as overnight locations.  There aren't a lot of options for car accessible points down to the trail, but it is possible to set this trip up where a raft carries supplies down to the spot we'll be staying.  Or if we use the lodges, everyone can travel light and just plan to eat/sleep in the lodges.  Or another fun alternative I had thought could be fun is to run the trail from the lower end to the upper end in a couple days and then hire a raft to float back down.

 

And then there are obviosuly a whole lot of other options that could be considered around the Pacific Crest Trail.  It's just a matter of thinking of reasonable distances the group can cover in a day to get from one car camp accessible point to another.  Are there other ideas people have?

 

Most importantly, who is thinking they might be up for a Labor Day run/camp/explore adventure?



#2 BrianH

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 10:45 AM

I think doing the PCT would be neat.

Maybe start at McKenzie Pass or Just south of Mt Jefferson and head north.

 

I'd have to see if there are 15-20 mile sections with car accessible camping at each end but I'd think we could make it work .


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#3 julz

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 03:58 PM

I may be up for this by then. those all sound good to me, too hard to choose one:)


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#4 Tgirl

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 04:06 PM

I would be interested in theory. Hopefully I can can keep my body in one piece until then.


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#5 markiemo

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 04:07 PM

I'll be out of town and unfortunately will have to miss this one.  But I should point out that rafting the supplies to camp spots on the Rogue is iffy at best.

 

Rafting the Rogue is EXTREMELY popular (world class) not to mention pretty dangerous if you have little rafting experience.  It's also very difficult to get a permit to go on - permits are by lottery.

 

This would be an awesome run but getting supplies to the camps each night by raft is not realistic.

 

If I were going to be a part of this I'd vote for either the PCT or the Three Sisters.



#6 Lou99

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 08:56 PM

Every one of these are new trails for me, so I don't have a strong opinion. I am definitely interested and stoked for the experience. Calendar is blocked. Barring injury, count me in!!


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#7 Torrey

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 06:32 AM

I think doing a chunk of the PCT sounds like a great option.  There are plenty of segments I haven't explored and would love to visit.  I'll try to find some time to check out a map and look for a segment with accessible camping spots, but it does seem like somewhere around McKenzie Pass and Jefferson would be workable.  I know there are limited access permits in Jefferson Park, but if we could find a segment to get us from some point around Jeff up to Breitenbush, that might work.  Definitely one of the prettiest spots in the state.



#8 Torrey

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 06:48 AM

I'll be out of town and unfortunately will have to miss this one.  But I should point out that rafting the supplies to camp spots on the Rogue is iffy at best.

 

Rafting the Rogue is EXTREMELY popular (world class) not to mention pretty dangerous if you have little rafting experience.  It's also very difficult to get a permit to go on - permits are by lottery.

 

This would be an awesome run but getting supplies to the camps each night by raft is not realistic.

Trust me, I wasn't planning to have any of us navigate a raft ourselves.  There are companies that offer trips like this (such as http://www.orangetor...rail/trail-run/).  The biggest problem with doing a trip like this is that you do have to coordinate with a company that already sets this up, or try to book lodges and raft guides ahead of time to carry your stuff.  One of these days I want to organize something on the Rogue - it will likely be a 3 day run where we cover ~20 miles a day and run from one end to a lodge that is about 20 miles in, overnight there, then run to the end and back the next day, stayinf at the same lodge, and then running back to the start on day 3.  Since most of the lodges serve breakfast and dinner and have a warm place to sleep, you could get by with whatever lightweight additional clothes you carry in your pack on the run.



#9 markiemo

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Posted 06 March 2013 - 12:09 PM

Now THAT sounds very cool!



#10 Amygirl

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 10:56 PM

I should be around too. Providing I don't injure any body parts by then.   I will be in the Eagle Caps most of my time off anyway exploring many more trails and lakes I need to check off.

so here are my choices, but subject to change depending on camping/lodging situation and whatever the group chooses.

 

PCT

Rogue

Sisters 

 

Any of these I'd be interested in exploring.



#11 Torrey

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Posted 13 June 2013 - 10:08 PM

I did a bit of research into PCT point-to-point options, and I think the logistics and distances are going to be too hard to work out.  So I have 2 suggestions I'll throw out for feedback from folks thinking about joining the Labor Day adventure.

 

Option 1: Mount Hood

Yes, we've done it before.  But the Timberline Trail around Hood is still one of the most scenic trails I have ever been on.  And it's nice that we have never had an issue with finding plenty of camping space for group on the 2 nights we spend on the trail.  The daily run distances (12-16 miles/day for 3 days) usually makes this an option that works for most without any special training, even though the loop around Hood has >10,000' of gain/loss on the way around the mountain.

 

Option 2: Three Sisters

On the plus side, it is something new.  But it definitely has some drawbacks as well.  Because of the access points, we would need to cover the ~50 miles in only 2 days of running.  There isn't much elevation gain on the loop, so that definitely makes the miles easier, but it still means back-to-back 25 mile days... I'm thinking we would do something like:

 

Day 1 (Sat):  Lava Lake to Devils Lake. Camp at Devils Lake

Day 2 (Sun):  Run back to Lava Lake.

 

There is a campground at Lava Lake, so for those into camping, we could stay there Fri and/or Sun nights.  So if you are into camping, you could get in 3 days, or you could do as few as 1 night if you just do the overnight between the 2 days of running.

 

Info about the trail around the Three Sisters:

http://www.portlandh...ee_Sisters_Hike

 

Lava Lake campground: http://www.fs.usda.g...ea/?recid=38894

 

Devils Lake campground: http://www.fs.usda.g...=38846&actid=29

 

What do people think?  Option 1, 2 or "other"?



#12 Torrey

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 05:44 AM

Gary mentioned a couple other options that might be worth looking into for 2-day runs:

 

1. Mt. Jefferson starting at Pamelia Trailhead and ends at Olallie Meadows. Camp at Breitenbush Lake which could be mosquito heaven if before cold weather. This is on or near the Pacific Crest Trail and involves an ice flow.

2. The other starts at HooDoo Park and goes to or around 3-Finger Jack. Overnight at Jack Lake & passes Round & Square Lakes. Supposed to be quite scenic.

 

I think both of these hold promise.  I did look into a PCT option that went north from Hwy 20 up to Ollalie Lake, overnighting at Breitenbush, but the distance in between was pretty long. The daily distance on day 1 is easier if we start at Pamelia (this is a super popular camping spot for backpackers and permits are required for an overnighting between Pamelia and Jefferson Park to the north).  The biggest concern I had with the point-to-point option is shuttling people and supplies from one spot to the next and then needing to get everyone back to the start again.  Doing loops is so much easier for dealing with the transportation of supplies - everyone gets back to the start, transfer supplies, and they are on their way home.

 

The 3 Fingered Jack idea has promise.  It looks like the loop is only 20 miles, so not overly challenging for even 2 days.  But there might be other trail options to make it a little longer loop.  http://www.nwhiker.com/3FJack.html

 

The other concern I have is whether we will find a camp spot at Jack Lake (info I can find about it says only 2 tent sites are available there).  And it was in the burn zone from a couple years ago, so not sure what kind of state it is in.  Although the above NW Hiker link has a photo of the lake post burn, and it still looks scenic enough.

http://traveloregon....ound-trailhead/



#13 DianeP

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 10:58 AM

I am definitely interested in a labor day running trip, as long as there is someone else along who may be close to my pace (and probably not the back-to-back 25 mile day option :) )



#14 Torrey

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Posted 24 July 2013 - 09:28 PM

The back-to-back 25 mile run (Three Sisters) is not likely going to be the choice.  I am leaning towards the 2-day Three Fingered Jack route, but need to do a test run to see what the terrain and camping options are like.  Probably won't have time to get over there for a couple weeks, so more to come.  But the Labor Day run/camp adventure is still on.  Stay tuned.



#15 Jeff M

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Posted 26 July 2013 - 10:31 AM

Staying tuned!


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