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Dinzy

PNW in October

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Hey all,

I'm totally brand new to this forum and the Pacific Northwest, so please bear with me....

 

About 6 years ago, I quit my job in New Hamhpsire, bought a puppy and started driving across the country. I ran out of money in Wyoming and ended up living high in the Colorado Rockies (Breckenridge area) since then. A mountaineering trip to China I had been planning fell through, so now I've got a couple weeks available this fall for other adventures and I've been thinking about finishing my cross-country trip.

 

Anybody have any recommendations on where to go, what to do? I'd like to do some backpacking and/or climb some big mountains. I will have my dog, so I won't be able to do any National Parks with him. I would love to climb Rainier, but what would it be like in October-ish? And yes, I realize Rainier is a National Park, so I'd have to board the pooch for a few days if I do climb it.

 

Any sweet backpacking trips with solitude, amzing scenery and lakes to do some fly-fishing?

 

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

Colin

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I have a recommedation: get a job hippy!! : )

 

I think you will have no problem finding what you are looking for. October will be pretty quiet as all the kiddies are back in school. And Rainier NP allows dogs in many areas too FYI. I would say buy a book on PNW backpacking trips, there are endless trips that fit your description. Keep living the dream dude!

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Mt. Rainier National Park has no requirement on fishing license, though the fish are sparse there I am told (and have only tried fishing once)..there are some lakes off limits from fishing as well.

 

the wonderland trail goes around rainier and is spectacular. additionally there are plenty of cool spots (goat rocks wilderness), mt adams (would be a scree climb mostly, not really technical--i've done it in october before). Or alpine lakes wilderness - enchantments.

 

As for climbing Rainier in October....i would saw that is an iffy proposition. partners aside, my understanding is much bare exposed ice and/or a thin layer of new snow atop it if the weather has started to come in. others with more knowledge may support or correct my statement.

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I have a recommedation: get a job hippy!! : )

 

Haha! I actually have a job (civil engineer), but I already told my work that I was going to be taking a couple weeks off in October. So my options are:

 

A.) Tell my company that I'm not going to China and just work for those couple weeks.

B.) Use those couple weeks to go on an adventure!!

 

Like you said... keep living the dream!

 

Thanks for the tips so far! I've seen some photos of the Enchantments area and it looks pretty disgusting... NOT!

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yeah enchantments is the best that time of year. the thru-hike between Stuart lake trail head and snowlake is great (go in that direction!) also check out Ingalls Lake area for great views of Stuart, similar larch tree density and a bit more off the beaten path.

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october will be very sketchy with weather....

 

but...

 

bailey range traverse on olympic penninsula 4-7 days.

ptarmigan traverse north cascade 4-7 days ESPECIALLY if you throw in a detour to Trapper Lake for fishing

pasayten wilderness (do a search here) to amphitheater and cathedral peak etc. this might be best for October

 

 

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The enchantments are certainly worth the trip, but if you plan to overnight up there you need a permit, and the lottery for the permits took place in April. You can stop by the Ranger station in Leavenworth, WA on the day you plan to hike in, as they reserve a certain number of permits for a daily lottery system. Leavenworth is a 2.25 hour drive from Seattle, and you have to arrive just before 7am for the daily lottery. If you don't make the lottery, you can through-hike it in a day by entering at the Colchuck Lake TR and exiting through the Snow Lakes TR.

 

It is a pretty rigorous 20 mile trek to be done in a single day, but people do it often enough. Great fishing for brookies in several of those lakes, especially Lake Vivian and the Snow Lakes.

 

For a 3-4 day backpacking trip in that same region, look up the Napeequa Valley. Just SE of Glacier Peak in the GP wilderness. TR is about 40 minutes North and West of Leavenworth.

 

 

 

 

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No permit necessary for Enchantments after October 15, but that might be pushing the fly-fishing envelope at the upper lakes... evwen by mid September, there'll be less competition for the walk-in permits...

 

If you're looking for solitude on a bigger peak, take a look at Mt. Adams -- lots less traffic than Rainier or Baker...

 

or - back to the fly-fishing - just get hold of a map of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, and play connect-the-lakes

 

and consider devoting a day or two to chasing steelhead or salmon with your flyrod just for giggles. rivers like the Skykomish, Skagit, Wenatchee, and Methow are pretty much your access routes to the high country - might as well check 'em out...

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