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Backpacking 101 - one night at Dewey Lake

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Endorsed by Curators:
Aug 12 7:00AM - 8:00AM

One person asked me for an easy intro to backpacking, and I think that's an excellent idea! Let's go to Dewey Lake near Chinook Pass.


On Saturday, we hike 3 miles to Dewey Lake and set up camp. We can stay at the lake, or we can do a day hike along the Pacific Crest Trail. On Sunday, we pack up and go home.


I did a scouting trip there last weekend, and the wildflowers are in full blossom. There was a lot of smoke from the Canadian wildfires, but that should be gone by the time we get there.

You do not need to have any backpacking experience for this adventure. If you've gone day hiking, that's sufficient. Our pace will be slow.

I realize that by posting this on Monday, 8/7, that an 8/12 date is short notice. If this is not enough time, I can reschedule it on Saturday, 8/26. Let me know in the comments.


If you don't have all the equipment, I recommend that you either borrow or rent it. I can lend a sleeping bag, and two tents (a one-person and a two person). I have included a link for a recommended equipment list from REI. Please note that you are not obligated to take everything on that list. For instance, I doubt that you will need long underwear. Remember that you are hauling all that stuff on your back.

Notice that we are leaving quite early (7 AM). Dewey Lake is a popular location, so we need to get there in the morning before all the campsites are taken. We will leave the Park & Ride promptly at 7 AM, so please be on time. I will send out my cell number, so let me know if you will be late and we can probably make arrangements.


If you are a passenger, please pay your driver $10 to help with gas.


Things to know:

Parking Pass: NW Forest Pass (NOT the Discover Pass)

WTA description: http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/dewey-lakes

Mileage (round-trip): 6 miles

Elevation gain: 600 feet

Maximum elevation: 5,900 feet

REI recommended equipment list:https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/backpacking-checklist.html


Disclaimer: Trailside is not a professional guide service. Our leaders function, as facilitators only, to enhance your outdoor experience. Reports of trail and weather conditions are based on best available information, are subject to change, and are no guarantee of fitness for any particular purpose or appropriate for a certain fitness level. You may join us on this hike at your own risk. Keep in mind that hiking involves risks and weather changes quickly in the mountains. You are responsible for your own safety and the more prepared you are, the better the chance you will remain safe. Signing up for any Trailside organized event indicates that you have read, understand, and agree to the terms of this disclaimer and hold harmless all Trailside Organizers and Leaders in the event of injury or loss.

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