Agenda Discovery Week Month

Curated for Me

Plan B.(eautiful) -- Wallowas, Crystal Crane Hot Springs, and more.

NW Wilderness
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Endorsed by Curators:
Sep 16 5:45AM - 2:00PM

This is officially Plan B.(eautiful). I was planning 7 days across Glacier National Park but the Sprague Fire is out of control. Instead, here is another exciting adventure... please read the entire post before joining the waitlist.

We will drive to Wallowa National Forest and stay in the Eagle Cap Wilderness for 5 nights. On the 6th night of the trip, we'll stay in a lakeside cabin right off of Lake Wallowa. On the 7th night, we'll stay at Crystal Crane Hot Springs for peaceful rejuvenation. On the 8th night, we'll disperse camp in Mt. Hood National Forest.

Plan B.(eautiful) is not nearly as challenging/dangerous as Plan A. However, we will still hike approximately 40 miles and must carry 6 days of food. Also, come prepared for cold weather. I expect everyone to pack light yet responsibly. Group limit is 6 in the Lake Basin area.

Hiking mileage disclaimer: I carefully referenced topographic maps in my estimation of hiking distances. Actual mileage will vary. Also, I apologize for the vagueness about elevation gain. Be ready to hike hard and rest hard on this adventure.

The Itinerary

5:45am -- meet at Chen's house
6am-1pm -- drive 345 miles (~6 hours + 1 hr break) to Wallowa Lake State Park trailhead
1-6pm -- hike 7.4 miles to Ice Lake

We will "zero" at Ice Lake an extra day. The plan is to summit Matterhorn Mountain, 3.6 miles roundtrip and 1,980 elevation gain. Please know that Matterhorn Mountain looms at nearly 10,000 ft.

Hike 11.2 miles to Unit Lake

Hike 5 miles to Moccasin Lake

Hike 4.5 miles to Frazier Lake

Hike 10.75 miles back to trailhead.
We will stay at a lakeside cabin on Wallowa Lake.

10am-4:30pm -- drive 315 miles (~5.5 hrs + 1 hr break) to Crystal Crane Hot Springs
I've reserved their LAST cabin. They will accept any number of guests as long as we pay $10 per additional person. You have the option of purchasing a tent site if you prefer. Personally, I do not mind sleeping on the floor to save a little money.
4:30-9pm -- rest, soak, have nice conversations

11am-4:30pm -- drive 264 miles (~4.5 hrs + 1 hr break) to Zig Zag Ranger Station on Mt. Hood.
I only chose this location for a driving estimation. We will spend one final night somewhere in Mt. Hood National Forest to break up the long drive and soak up a little more of Plan B.(eautiful) before returning to our pigeon holes. I will bring a map of Mt. Hood and we can discuss as a group where we would like to camp.

A short drive back to Portland.

The Budget

Lakeside cabin -- $87, any number of guests

Crystal Crane Hot Springs cabin -- $68 for first three guests, plus $10 per person. This includes unlimited soaking in the main tubs (private tubs available).

Gasoline -- 964 miles... at 20 miles per gallon average (guessing)... at $3 per gallon average (guessing) = $144.6 total gas charges. Let's round up to $165 to show our drivers some extra love for letting us use their vehicles.

Food -- NOT counted in the estimate below. Please bring your own food.

1 person, 1 car = $320 per person
2 people, 1 car = $160 per person
3 people, 1 car = $106.7 per person
4 people, 1 car = $82 per person
5 people, 2 cars = not likely
6 people, 2 cars = $85.8 per person

The Details

Hiking mileage: 42.5 miles over 6 days in the Eagle Cap Wilderness. It's a piece of (chocolate) cake for many of us in the group.

Hiking Speed: 2-2.5 mph moving speed. I would consider my hiking style "consistent." The most significant time constraint will be on Day 1. Besides that, we will allow space for taking pictures and enjoying the scenery.

Campsite Responsibility: HANGING FOOD IS A FIRM REQUIREMENT. I expect everyone to hang ALL food and odorous items such toiletries, soap, garbage, etc. in airtight food/dry bags at least 10 ft. high and 4 ft. from the nearest tree. Please bring 25 ft. of cordage (p-cord works). Also, take care not to soil clothes with food and keep campsites tidy. We will carry out all trash. No fires due to wildfire danger. No soap (even biodegradable soap is harmful to sensitive alpine lakes). No crapping near water sources. For more info, you can visit
Side note: Next Adventure has a great sale on dry bags.

Pets: Nope

Pass: NW Forest Pass. I have a pass for one of the vehicles. Please bring a pass if you have one.

Blisters: Controlling blisters is an underrated element of backpacking. Remember, the best way to deal with blisters is to prevent them. Don't buy brand new shoes the day before the hike. Also, bring whatever remedies work for you (mole skin, leuko tape, trail toes, vaseline, etc.). I will be the first to thank you for taking a break to deal with a hot spot.

We'll discuss the route at the beginning of the trip. Feel free to download these pdf documents to your phone as a back-up in case of emergency.




What to bring (in no particular order):
*High-calorie and lightweight food for 6 full days (this is a tricky subject and is often the source of an over-filled pack... I would be happy to offer advice prior to departure). Thru-hikers' rule of thumb: 2 pounds of food per day.
*3-season shelter with rain protection
*Sleeping bag (rated to at least 20 degrees)
*Sleeping pad
*Wool or synthetic clothing for layers (no cotton); light-weight sleeping clothes recommended (UL wool is good); light hat/gloves recommended
*Rain jacket (rain pants optional)... personally, I'm a poncho man (thus negating a pack cover)
*Scent-proof food/garbage dry sack with 25 ft. cordage (p-cord works)
*Minimum of 2 liters water storage
*Water filtration (the mini Sawyer filter is simple and light)
*Camp stove, fuel (at least 4 oz), lightweight pot, spoon/spork (helpful hint: I use a corner of a rubber pot scrubber to clean my pot... no soap needed)
*Pocket knife
*Flashlight/headlamp with spare batteries
*Enough toilet paper for 6 days
*Microfiber camp towel (cut to 1x1 ft. is plenty)
*Maps and compass
*First Aid Kid (including all necessary medication; consider altitude-sickness medication if you are susceptible or unsure)
*Sun protection (sunglasses, sunscreen, and hat)
*Waterproof matches and/or lighter
*Comfortable and broken-in hiking shoes
*Optional: Hiking poles
*Optional: Micro-spikes might be useful

What NOT to bring:
*This is a light-weight mission. No camp chairs, no giant cotton towels, no unnecessary electronics, and this list continues. I'm happy to offer an optional "shakedown" of gear to ensure we're all happy and safe. There are "hikers" and there are "campers"... let's be hikers.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: As a Meetup organizer, I am an unpaid volunteer suggesting this hike in a group setting. While I will do everything in my power to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, as an attendee you assume full responsibility for your own health, safety, and well-being, including during travel to and from the meeting place and destination. Most importantly, use your best judgement to determine if you are prepared in regards to your gear, physical capability, and overall health.

In case of an extreme emergency, you consent to medical treatment and/or emergency evacuation at your own expense.

Any questions? Ask anytime! :-D

How to find us:We'll be in touch.

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Endorsed by Curators:
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NW Wilderness Monthly Meeting - September

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