Backpack - Benchmark Mountain via West Cady Ridge


Backpack - Benchmark Mountain via West Cady Ridge

Sweat for stunning views then enjoy a gorgeous ridge-walk on this beginner-friendly backpacking trip.

  • Very Strenuous
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 14.4 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 3,700 ft

We will meet on Saturday, July 7, at 7:00AM at the Brickyard Park and Ride, 15530 Juanita Woodinville Way NE, Bothell, WA 98011, off the 405. We will then make any carpool arrangements to drive to the West Cady trailhead.

This trip is pending the re-opening of Forest Service Road 63, which is scheduled for June 2018. Updates for the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest are posted here

This trip is oriented towards new backpackers and building skills but will also offer some challenging hiking. Plus the views from Benchmark Mountain will amaze you! Our travel plan is to depart from the West Cady Ridge trailhead, take in the views from Benchmark Mountain, then set up camp either at a well-established campsite near Benchmark Mountain or closer to the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail -- and then relax. Hike out on Sunday.

Approximately 7-8 miles each day, with Saturday's hike offering the challenging climb up to West Cady Ridge and Sunday's hike descending back to the trailhead. This trail can be pretty dry so carrying extra fluids will probably be necessary. I typically would aim for a pack weight of 30 lbs. or less for a 1 night trip but this trip I'd be thinking that a heavier pack is OK, as long as the extra weight is from water or other fluids. (Of course then your pack will be lighter on the return trip). 

Due to the strenuous nature of the hike, and the likely need to carry some extra water adding to pack weights, I will be screening participants as to fitness level. Our pace however will be relaxed.

To reach the trailhead, driving on dirt and gravel roads is required. These roads are typically not too rough but please take this into account when planning your transportation. A Northwest Forest Pass or equivalent is required to park at the trailhead.

More details as the trip date approaches.


Benchmark Mountain via West Cady Ridge

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter or water treatment
  • Several liters of water
  • Bear canister or extra stuff sack and cord designated for hanging food
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
  • Food and snacks to fuel your adventure
  • Personal toiletries and any medications you need
  • Bag/container to collect your trash to pack it out with you
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