How difficult are the trips?

Most are Moderate to Very Strenuous.  Only the Lewis River trip (usually in May) is easy. Each trip in the calendar will have a difficulty rating, and we target “what a fit 70-yr-old former backpacker” would say.  Most of our trails are pretty difficult in the mountains.  There is usually a lot of elevation gain or loss.  The areas we go into can require over 2000 feet of elevation gain in a day.  Typical day of hiking is 5 to 7 miles on pretty tough trails.

What is included?

All trips include meals, starting with lunch on the first day to lunch on the last day.  Also included is packing of your personal gear, limit 25 to 30 lb depending on trip.  We bring the water filters, coffee, cooking gear, cups, sporks, plates (except Goat Rocks), and some herbal tea.  We bring a well-supplied first aid kit, and a kit for burying human waste that includes toilet paper and hand wipes.  We bring lightweight camp chairs for everyone, and a kitchen tarp for inclement weather.  Camping gear (tent, pad, sleeping bag) is available for $22/night if you choose.

What is not included? (items below are suggested for comfort)

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Personal water container
  • Rain gear or warm clothing
  • Personal medications
  • Sun screen
  • Insect repellent
  • Flashlight
  • Trekking poles

Why do you use llamas?

Safety and confidence are the two main reasons.  They are unlikely to injure a handler or client.  Other advantages include sure-footedness, calmness on the trail (compared to horses), low-impact on the trails, ease of training (pretty smart cookies, usually), and good health.

How much can they carry?

Typically we’ll put 60 to 65 lb of gear on each llama.  Difficulty & length of travel, heat and conditioning all affect how much they can carry.  They are not well-adapted to hot weather.  Hot days will necessitate early mornings.

Do Llamas spit?

Yes, they all know how to do that. Well-trained llamas do not intentionally  spit at people unless very upset, but cross-fire happens.  You might induce a spit if you approach them too fast, and THEY are the ones who decide what is too fast…

Year                                          Guides Hit                             Clients Hit

2017                                                0                                                 0

2018                                                1                                                  0

2019                                                0                                                  0

2020                                                0                                                  1

2021                                                  1                                                  0

What’s the difference between a llama and an alpaca?

Alpaca Llama
100 – 150 lb 300 – 400 lb
Has a soft coat Carries a switchblade in coat
Listens to voice commands Listens to Death Metal bands
Travels in groups Travels in gangs
Usually even tempered Usually has a temper
Can’t carry a tune Will carry heavy loads over rugged terrain, they are nimble & tough

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