How difficult are the trips?

  • Most are moderate to very strenuous.  Only the Lewis River trip is easy. Each trip in the calendar has a difficulty rating, and we target “what a fit 70-year-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.  A typical day of hiking is 5 to 7 miles on pretty tough trails

Who usually goes on our trips?

Anyone with the fitness required for the trip they select, for example:

— People who used to backpack, but want to enjoy carrying less weight and enjoy fresh food.

— People who have never backpacked or don’t have gear and want a comfortable and social way to experience the backcountry.

— Families with kids, including multi-generation families, who’d like someone else to take care of all the details so everyone in the family can have a good time. (On the reservation page for each hike you’ll see the suggested minimum age for that hike.)

What is included?

All trips include meals, starting with lunch on the first day to lunch on the last day.  Also included is packing up to 25 or 30 pounds of your personal gear, depending on trip.  We bring the tent, sleeping pad, pillow, water filters, coffee, cooking gear, cups, sporks, plates, 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.  A sleeping bag is available  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

How do I reserve a trip?

We require a $500 deposit to hold your spot on a trip. Click the link on the trip page. When we receive your request, we’ll send you an invoice with the deposit amount. 

What is the refund policy?

Cancellations after 6/1/2023 will have refunds prorated between 75% and 0% within 30 days of the start date of the trip.  For example, a cancellation two weeks before the trip would not receive a refund of the original deposit, but cancellation June 1 for a start date of August 1 would receive 75%. Read our full booking, refund and cancellation policy.

What if a medical evacuation is required?

Search and Rescue volunteer groups are in place for both Lewis and Skamania counties, activating the appropriate agency is the first step.  They have access to ambulance services and helicopter evacuation.  You may consider carrying medical evacuation insurance, which is relatively inexpensive for a single trip.

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 pounds of gear on each llama.  Difficulty and 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

2022                                                 1                                                    1

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