Almost Over the Hill Hikers
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    #46796 - 03/27/06 10:28 AM Legacy Hikes -- The "Great Ones" you've done . . .
    Keith Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/04/02
    Posts: 1664
    Loc: Michigan's Upper Peninsula
    Part of being "over the hill" is handing down experiences, wisdom and lore. What are the hikes that you have done that you want to recommend to others? It could be either an obscure route that you consider "world class" or a more widely-known route that you want to verify "Yeah, this is a great one".

    My nominations (in no particular order) :

    Grand Canyon rim-to-rim.

    Lakeshore Trail -- Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

    Casque Isles Trail -- Terrace Bay-Rossport ON. (Middle of north shore of Lake Superior)
    _________________________
    Human Resources Memo: Floggings will continue until morale improves.

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    #46797 - 03/28/06 01:00 AM Re: Legacy Hikes -- The "Great Ones" you've done . . . [Re: Keith]
    OregonMouse Offline
    member

    Registered: 02/03/06
    Posts: 6370
    Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
    A loop through the Medicine Bow, Neversummer, Rabbit Ears and Park Ranges of northern Colorado--all the way through the mountains around North Park (the valley in which Walden is situated). Admittedly this was on horseback, but my parents and I did variations on this route this every summer while I was growing up. I've been back to hike parts of it and it is just as spectacular as I remembered! Some of the sections, such as the western part of the Rabbit Ears range) are probably a bit easier now (we had to do a lot of cross-country and spent 3 days finding the route the first time) because it's part of the Continental Divide Trail. On the other hand, the trail through the northern section of the Medicine Bows (from Mountain Home, WY to Ute Pass, where the scenery starts) was already discontinued in the 1950's, so by now is probably a distant memory.

    The other true "Great One" was a 9-day trip through the Glacier Peak wilderness of Washington starting from the Upper Chiwawa River: Spider Meadow, Lyman Lake, Cloudy Pass, Suiattle Pass, Image Lake, Canyon Lake, Buck Creek Pass and back to the Chiwawa 2 miles from the starting point (this was with a small group so we had 2 cars to shuttle).

    Lots of great day hikes, too numerous to mention.

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    #46798 - 03/28/06 11:32 AM Re: Legacy Hikes -- The "Great Ones" you've done . . . [Re: Keith]
    aimless Offline
    Moderator

    Registered: 02/05/03
    Posts: 2835
    Loc: Portland, OR
    One hike I am eternally glad I took was a two-week solo in the deep backcountry of Banff Park in Canada. This was in 1977. It took me into wilder places than I have ever been in the lower 48 states.

    It forced me to learn how to deal with situations such as the trail disappearing for half a mile at a time (you read the map contours, your compass and the terrain - very carefully).

    It took me to a spot where the ptarmigans and pikas ignored my presence as if I were nothing more threatening than a big old clumsy herbivore. I think I could have caught those birds in my bare hands, if I'd been hungry. I sat after supper and watched the pikas gathering grasses and socializing a couple dozen feet away. It was a bit like Shangri-La, except colder and cloudier.

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    #46799 - 05/22/06 10:10 PM Re: Legacy Hikes -- The "Great Ones" you've done . . . [Re: Keith]
    Paul Offline
    member

    Registered: 09/30/02
    Posts: 778
    Loc: California
    I second the Grand Canyon rim-to-rim. Many years ago I did it in one day (north to south) and I will never forget it.

    The Muir Trail is a classic, and for years I resisted it, but when I did it I was mighty glas to have done it. It is just long enough to feel like a long trip, but is within the range of a normal person's vacation time. And I doubt there is a more scenic on-trail route anywhere. A mid-August start worked very well for me, weather-wise.

    Any week-long cross-country trip in the Sierra is wonderful. For those who are non-Californians, I highly recommend doing one week at least in the Sierra, just so you know what it's like. Going off-trail is so much easier in the Sierra than anywhere else I've ever been that is almost a completely different concept.

    And here's a Legacy Hike that I hope to do someday - a partly off-trail, partly on trip down the spine of the Sierra covering the entire roadless stretch - starting from Highway 120 in Yosemite and ending around Kennedy meadows in the south. At an enjoyable pace, the route I have imagined would take probably a month or so, and you'd never see a road the whole time if you arrange for resupply to be brought in to you (packers or helpful friends or guide services).

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    #46800 - 06/07/06 03:12 PM Re: Legacy Hikes -- The "Great Ones" you've done . . . [Re: Keith]
    Trailrunner Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/05/02
    Posts: 1835
    Loc: Los Angeles
    One more vote for the Grand Canyon. I did rim-rim-rim last March. My brother told me that place has an almost mystical quality and now I believe him. It was an incredible experience. When I reached the top of the south rim at the end of the hike, all I wanted to do was turn around and go back in.

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    #46801 - 06/10/06 08:19 AM Re: Legacy Hikes -- The "Great Ones" you've done . . . [Re: Keith]
    Haiwee Offline
    member

    Registered: 08/21/03
    Posts: 330
    Loc: Southern California
    One of my favorite hikes was in the Emmigrant Wilderness north ot Yosemite, about twenty years ago. We spent ten days hiking from Ginelli's Cabin in to the Buck Lakes and back. The scenery is every bit as beautiful as Yosemite but without the crowds. We went just after Labor Day and went seven full days without seeing another human, giving us a feeling of solitude we had never felt, either before or after. And the fishing was awesome.
    _________________________
    My blog on politics, the environment and the outdoors: Haiwee.blogspot.com

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    #46802 - 06/12/07 11:06 PM Re: Legacy Hikes -- The "Great Ones" you've done . . . [Re: Trailrunner]
    just_another_Joe Offline
    member

    Registered: 11/30/06
    Posts: 117
    So a guy named William recently finished the Arizona Trail (800 miles) but the last few miles are high and overlooking the red rock country of southern Utah. The folks at the stateline trailhead said he just kept going north. That is a dream for me. Finish a hike, then keep going because the scenery is that good.

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    #46803 - 06/13/07 03:16 PM High Uintas Wilderness [Re: Keith]
    Volodya Offline
    newbie

    Registered: 02/03/07
    Posts: 3
    Loc: Illinois
    23 years ago I hiked 110 miles on the Highline Trail of the High Unita Wilderness of Utah from Browne Lake to Mirror Lake. This took 11 days and my wife and I did not know if it was possible to do. We were experienced in the area, having done 60 miles on a three day weekend in the Uintas and some other trips. We met people who all said it was not possible but we worked to get enough food packed to do it in 12 days.

    It was by far the best backpacking trip I had taken. To carry everything that far was interesting and to wake up in the middle of an Elk herd was outstanding. We came out with a candy bar and one hot chocolate, ran to a burger stand and ate. We threw it right back up. It was incredible.

    In 14 days I am leaving to do it again. I am now 54 and have been practicing with my now 13 year old son. He is handling the weight well and I am doing far better than I thought. We are taking 14 days worth of food carefully measured and all tested along with some of the best equipment I have ever owned. Modern equipment is lighter than the 1980s stuff we used (and I used things in the 1960s that were positively torture...). Looking back at the photos I wonder why we carried all those heavier items.

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    #46804 - 06/14/07 07:09 AM Re: High Uintas Wilderness [Re: Volodya]
    crackers Offline
    member

    Registered: 04/06/06
    Posts: 290
    Loc: New York / Istanbul
    I'm not over the hill, so forgive me, but the High Uintas is one of the most amazing places in the world I've ever been.

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    #46805 - 06/19/07 10:18 AM Re: High Uintas Wilderness [Re: crackers]
    gmagnes Offline
    Moderator

    Registered: 01/04/02
    Posts: 562
    Loc: Upstate New York
    I have to respond to the last two posters about the Uintas Mtns. I live and do most of my wilderness stuff in the northeast (Upstate NY for the past 20 years), but my one western trip was in the early 70's--an 8 day backpacking trip to the Uintas. We did a big loop, and if I recall correctly, went over the second highest peak in the range (does 11,500 ft. or so sound right?). I don't recall it's name at this point or the names of the spots we hit on the route. Probably wore jeans and cotton t shirts with work boots. I don't even want to guess at how much we must have been carrying for an 8 day trip in pre-lt weight days.

    I think we did the trip in August and I still recall climbing through a little bit of snow up that second highest peak. We ate some of the early freeze dried foods, which were absolutely terrible. We also had some good fishermen on the trip, and some of the nights we had fresh trout cooked in foil with liquid margarine if I remember correctly, which was wonderful. It was an incredible experience for me that I still have a special memory for. Thanks for bringing that back a bit.

    Gerry Magnes
    Schenectady, NY

    Gerry Magnes
    Schenectady, NY

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    #46806 - 06/25/07 05:33 PM Tombstone Range [Re: gmagnes]
    wildthing Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/11/02
    Posts: 982
    Loc: Victoria, B.C.
    A Canadian experience that has been likened to some of the finest scenery in North America is the Tombstone Range which is just north of Dawson City, Yukon on the Dempster Highway. We only spent 5 days, but it was before they made it a park, and the trails were made by game and a few horse packers. Saw a magnificant golden grizzley and he went uphill with a snort and we did some amazing quantities of elevation gain with 40lb packs before I went lightweight. My feet complained but I will never forget watching the dippers fly under the waterfall to their nest and the climber that made it in 2 hours faster than us.

    Some say the hikes in Kluane National Park in the western Yukon are even more sublime, and they can be long, difficult, and have few people. That's where I next go when I make my next trek to the Yukon.
    _________________________
    Listen to the trees in the wind

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    #46807 - 06/26/07 05:50 AM Re: Ptarmigan traverse [Re: Keith]
    Pika Offline
    member

    Registered: 12/08/05
    Posts: 1726
    Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
    For me the one I would like to repeat is the Ptarmigan Traverse in the North Cascades. I made the trip in 1969 and again in 1973. The traverse follows the spine of the Cascades from Cascade Pass south to Glacier Peak and goes through some of the most spectacular alpine country in America. You can do a short version of the trip exiting via Bachelor Creek but you miss some excellent climbing that way. It is mostly off-trail and more than just backpacking because of numerous glacier crossings and tempting mountains but is certainly worth the effort of hauling the climbing gear along. I'd do it again in a minute; not sure my body would though!
    _________________________
    May I walk in beauty.

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    #46808 - 07/01/07 04:25 PM Re: Legacy Hikes -- The "Great Ones" you've done . [Re: just_another_Joe]
    grit Offline
    member

    Registered: 01/11/02
    Posts: 207
    Loc: Happy Jack, AZ
    JAJ:

    Do you know if "William" is still hiking? Or if he's posted on the 'net (Trail Journals, eg). I'd like to read about his trek. As a former Arizonan, I always had my eye on doing the AZT, but ended up only doing some section hiking near Tucson.

    Now that I live in Alto, NM, I'm doing a lot of reading on the Continental Divide Trail and would like to give it a shot someday.

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    #46809 - 07/27/07 06:39 PM Re: High Uintas Wilderness [Re: Volodya]
    nimby Offline
    member

    Registered: 08/30/02
    Posts: 216
    Loc: intermountain west
    Yes-this place is great-I was up there in the late '70's and want to go back there again, with lighter gear and a water filter this time!

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    #46810 - 07/31/07 08:42 AM Re: Legacy Hikes -- The "Great Ones" you've done . . . [Re: Keith]
    alanwenker Offline
    member

    Registered: 02/04/03
    Posts: 812
    A couple of my favorites are the Porqupine Mountains in the UP and some off trail stuff I did in Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. I've done little off trail backpacking and the Pictured Rocks trip was really quite amazing as I found you can become totally secluded in a very small geographic area.

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    #46811 - 07/31/07 12:44 PM Re: Legacy Hikes -- The "Great Ones" you've done . . . [Re: Keith]
    photohiker Offline
    member

    Registered: 04/20/02
    Posts: 147
    Loc: NC Pa.
    At age 61 last year I backpacked Alaska's Kesugi Ridge end to end. Great views of Denali when weather is clear. It wasn't.

    Also last year, the "Wave" in N Arizona.

    Have a permit to ascend Whitney in late August.

    Been thru Grand Canyon, must go again.

    Nice stuff also in the NE where I live. Mt Katahdin, Marcy.
    Lots of great experiences to come we can hope & plan for...
    "the trip is what we plan for, the adventure is what happens"

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    #46812 - 08/23/07 02:30 PM Re: High Uintas Wilderness [Re: Volodya]
    Earthling Offline
    member

    Registered: 02/22/03
    Posts: 3228
    Loc: USA
    Quote:
    23 years ago I hiked 110 miles on the Highline Trail of the High Unita Wilderness of Utah from Browne Lake to Mirror Lake. This took 11 days and my wife and I did not know if it was possible to do. We were experienced in the area, having done 60 miles on a three day weekend in the Uintas and some other trips. We met people who all said it was not possible but we worked to get enough food packed to do it in 12 days.

    It was by far the best backpacking trip I had taken. To carry everything that far was interesting and to wake up in the middle of an Elk herd was outstanding. We came out with a candy bar and one hot chocolate, ran to a burger stand and ate. We threw it right back up. It was incredible.

    In 14 days I am leaving to do it again. I am now 54 and have been practicing with my now 13 year old son. He is handling the weight well and I am doing far better than I thought. We are taking 14 days worth of food carefully measured and all tested along with some of the best equipment I have ever owned. Modern equipment is lighter than the 1980s stuff we used (and I used things in the 1960s that were positively torture...). Looking back at the photos I wonder why we carried all those heavier items.


    Like to hear how the 'remake' of this trip went when you get a chance <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
    _________________________
    PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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    #46813 - 02/03/08 08:17 PM Re: High Uintas Wilderness - long [Re: Earthling]
    Volodya Offline
    newbie

    Registered: 02/03/07
    Posts: 3
    Loc: Illinois
    I am sorry I did not get back to report on this trip. Indeed it was fantastic and I learned what I could do at 54 vs being in my early 30s. I brought my 13 year old son who did a wonderful job. The forest service was super with their advice and they allowed us to hike despite the Neola fire to the southwest.
    We entered the Uintas at Mirror Lake during the afternoon and hiked in a few miles to pitch camp and relax. Coming from 600 feet above sea level we were not used to the 8000 feet.
    The first day climbing toward Rocky Sea pass we encountered great weather but it was obvious that the weight was a problem. Because he was 13 I brought more food than we needed. We made it to the bottom of the first pass and camped - but several hours later than planned. The weather was perfect but we were being slowed by weight and altitude.
    That evening we reinventoried everything and burned what we did not need. We were not that hungry so we offloaded about 35 lbs of food. That made the load much lighter and yet we still had plenty. I overestimated his intake as well as mine.
    I could not judge what was altitude related and what was dehydration. We were craving electrolytes and we found that chicken soup at lunch was perfect.
    Across the pass and into the valley heading toward Dead Horse pass we did fine. At about 3 pm on day two we met the usual afternoon storm so we camped. We were doing well and were comfortable.
    Day 3 I think I really was tiring as we climbed. We wanted to get across the pass and we found that as we approached the pass we were losing the trail. The cairns were not there. We were early and I could tell that few had been through. We took four hours just to climb the pass because the trail was gone. We were on the pass at about 8 pm and the sun was setting. We could not climb down the other side. With only about 1300 ml of water we were stranded on the pass with a lake below on the other side. We camped on the pass.
    I had to decide whether to take a 13 year old down this pass. Dead Horse was one I had always climbed, never ascended. I decided that night that I would see what the pass looked like in daylight.
    The following morning we looked for the trail below but could not find it. I had to decide to ascend with a 13 year old and risk injury. His braces had broken and were giving him fits. Given the altitude, how I felt and his inexperience, I decided to turn around and assault the trail from the other end. I felt bad but the scree and angle of the slope were too much. It took two days to return to the car in some rain and sleet but we loved it.
    We assaulted King's Peak from Henry's Fork. I began to notice that I was gaining in strenght. I was losing weight and the altitude by day 7 was no longer a problem. He climbed King's Peak with me and I lagged behind somewhat. By day 10 I was used to the altitude and he was lagging behind me. I fell back into that pace I had 20 years ago.
    Lessons Learned: Altitude - give more time before really pressing forward. Learn the difference between altitude and dehydration problems.
    Keep the electrolytes handy. Gatorade, chicken soup, etc. work well. That we did have and it worked great. Drink plenty. We did not have enough water capacity and could have used more containers. We picked those up before going back in for another five days.
    Weight - when bringing in someone do not overcompensate by bringing too much. We did not really feel like eating that much. We craved the popcorn, jerky and anything with salt (little wonder).
    I think that we could have gone on because we did get much stronger and could cover more ground each day. At the end of the two weeks we did eight miles in about 4.5 hours above 9000 feet.
    We leave in July again with several other people this time. The pictures and video were incredible and more are wanting to go.
    Videos are on YouTube under Utah Hiking - Uintas Highline Trail. My son tired most of having videos made of his hikes.

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    #46814 - 02/04/08 07:57 AM Re: High Uintas Wilderness - long [Re: Volodya]
    finallyME Offline
    member

    Registered: 09/24/07
    Posts: 2710
    Loc: Utah
    Sounds like a great trip. I plan on going over there this summer, even if only for a few weekenders. I went there for my honeymoon, and a few other times, and think it to be a very beautiful place. I am even thinking of buying a cabin near Kamas.
    _________________________
    I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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    #46815 - 03/27/08 09:29 AM Re: Legacy Hikes -- The "Great Ones" you've done . . . [Re: Keith]
    randonneur Offline
    member

    Registered: 05/17/03
    Posts: 20
    Loc: France
    I greatly enjoyed a hike around the Enchantment Lakes in the Northern Cascades (Washington). The first day was an arduous 10-mile hike with about 5,000 feet elevation gain. I found a good place near one of the lakes to pitch my tent. The next day, I hiked up and around the entire basin, marveling at the changes in terrain and climate zone as I gained further elevation. There were also spectacular views over a very steep slope in one direction. I met only two other people that entire day -- two young men who were camping near one of the lakes and concentrating on catching fish for their dinner. The next day, I hiked back down to the trailhead.

    That was a fantastic hike. My day of hiking around the Enchantment Lakes is still a vivid memory today, 36 years later! I understand that the Enchantments have attracted a lot of people since 1972 and that backpackers must now obtain permits in advance, etc. I'm sure they're still worth the effort...

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    #46816 - 03/27/08 10:02 AM Re: Legacy Hikes -- The "Great Ones" you've done . . . [Re: randonneur]
    JAK Offline
    member

    Registered: 03/19/04
    Posts: 2569
    Well it's just a day hike to some but I never get tired of the Fundy Footpath. Also, every hike with my daughter is a Great One for sure. I've been planning on doing some sort of epic kayak trip some day.

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    #46817 - 04/06/08 09:32 AM Re: High Uintas Wilderness - long [Re: Volodya]
    nimby Offline
    member

    Registered: 08/30/02
    Posts: 216
    Loc: intermountain west
    Too bad about those cairns- I was part of a trail maintenance crew that rebuilt a few of those in the late '70's. Camped through the scariest thunderstorm ever at the lake...

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    #111981 - 02/26/09 08:21 PM Re: Legacy Hikes -- The "Great Ones" you've done . . . [Re: Keith]
    ndsol Offline
    member

    Registered: 04/16/02
    Posts: 673
    Loc: Houston, Texas
    More of a climb than a hike, but I did enjoy doing Longs Peak in Colorado last September as an overnighter. Pretty interesting tarping it at 12,760 feet. The weather (although cold and windy) was pretty good and not very many on the trail. I was at the summit alone for some time.

    As for a longer hike, I would recommend the Rockwall in British Columbia. Some pretty amazing views over a five day hike.

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