$1195+tax/Adult, $896+tax/Under 18), non-wilderness
Rental Gear – Very good quality tent, sleeping pad and sleeping bag available $22/night
These trails are open to hikers, bicycles, horses and motorcycles. There is regular motorcycle traffic, but expert riders only due to the difficulty of the trail. This trail is steep and strenuous for everybody, but truly photogenic enough to be worthy of the effort.
This trek starts at the Dark Meadow trailhead and follows that trail for 4 miles which becomes mighty steep during the 1800 ft of elevation gain. After the intersection with Juniper Ridge trail we follow the trail west for a mile to Dark Meadow. Day 2 features a 4 mile hike with 1000 ft of fairly steep elevation gain to a stunning vista that features Mt Adams, Mt Rainier, Mt Hood and Mt St Helens. The second and third nights are usually spent here.
Options for the layover on day 3 include dawn at Sunrise peak (for early risers) or some day hiking in the vicinity of Jumbo Peak. Day 4 features an 7-mile hike back to the trailhead, and 2800 ft of elevation drop. “Strenuous” for sure.
Mountain goat and elk frequent the area, and we sometimes see bear, deer or grouse. There was some exceptional wild strawberry picking in early August 2019. The crop in 2020 was pretty light, but delicious.
Meet up at the trailhead at 9 a.m. for each of the hikes to review safety concerns and LNT principles. Some of the trailheads are difficult to find, and have limited parking.
Lunch is provided on the first day and the last day, as well as meals and snacks in between.
Llamas are not very tolerant of hot weather, so in that event we will be starting early, with breakfast served at either 6 or 7 a.m. Extra coffee will be provided 🙂
- Steep trail in places
- Motorcycles on trail occasionally
- Steep, rocky ground by 2nd camp
We strive to provide exceptional meals in the back country. Fresh meats and fish, steamed vegetables, salad, fresh bread from Dutch ovens, and desserts are planned for the first three dinners. High fire danger will necessitate a simpler menu, as Dutch ovens can’t be used.
Subsequent dinners will be dried and re-hydrated, or selections of commercial dried dinners. Pescatarian, and dairy-free are easily accommodated. Vegan and gluten-free are available individually through commercial dried dinners with fresh additives that we will bring.
All dietary requests must be made at least 2 weeks before the trip.
Lunches will include wraps with fresh meats and cheese for the first three days, as well as a bit of fresh fruit. Day 4 will be wraps with nut butters and dried fruit. Snacks will be a selection of Kind bars or Larabars.
Breakfasts on travel days will include hot coffee, tea, and instant oatmeal selection. A nice breakfast is standard fare on layover days, sometimes with fresh coffee cake if fire danger allows.
What to Bring
We carry 30 lb of gear per person. Any overage is carried by the client.
- Rain gear
- Sleeping bag
- Sleeping pad
- Warm clothes
- Trekking poles
- Insect repellent