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 needed 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.

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 for a cleaning fee 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 made before April 1 will be fully refunded. Cancellations after that day will forfeit the deposit as it will be applied to llama feed costs.  If we have to cancel a trip due to our reasons such as illness, injury or equipment failure the deposit will be fully refunded. Cancellations due to events beyond our control such as forest closure due to fire or extreme weather events will not be refunded.

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 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

2023                                                 1                                                    0