Backpack - Entiat River Loop

Entiat River Loop

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will arrange car-pooling via email
Although open to all club members over age 18, this trip is also part of the B3 backpacking Building Blocks series and eligible for B3 course graduation credit. In addition, this backpack will have a practical instructional/learning focus and offer experience in proper gear use and camp set-up and on-the-trail techniques.

Pre-trip assistance with gear selection, food planning, and gear sharing will be included in leader emails prior to the trip.

The core of the trip is a 35 mile loop in the Glacier Peak Wilderness with side trips that could extend total mileage to over 50 miles. The first side trip options are out of Entiat Meadows, and you will have the option to either go on one of these or stay in your tent (warning: bugs might keep you there however). Another side trip option will be to hike up Ice Creek to Ice Lakes. There are also some trail alternative choices we’ll make along the way as a group.
Over a 6 day period we’ll climb an estimated 12,000 feet, so on average 2000 feet of climbing per day, with the most elevation gain in a single day at perhaps 3400 feet. Per day mileage will be in the 10 – 12 mile range, with the first and last days offering about 5+ miles of hiking and 4 – 5 hours of driving.
The Entiat River Loop is requires an initial brief hike on trail shared by motorbikes, but quickly leaves those behind to get into a “deep mountain basin, surrounded by 9000-foot peaks, and carpeted with wildflowers”. It features beautiful Entiat Meadows and impressive Ice Lakes, along with a lot of enriching forest, ridges with views, and glacial canyons. This is also generally sunnier than more western hikes, more sparsely populated with other hikers, and richer in wildlife.
After a few dues-paying miles of hiking on “trail” that is accessible to motorbikes, this area offers a variety of types of beauty along with a lot of flexibility in terms of route choices and side trips; it’s possible that as a group we’ll opt to do the full 6-days as scheduled, or depending on conditions and how we’re feeling about things we could opt to omit one or more side-trips and/or modify pace to come out a little earlier than planned (please do NOT count on this, however --- register for this trip only if you’ll be entirely happy taking the full six days for this trip).
I’ve never hiked here, so this will perhaps be a new adventure for all of us. From descriptions it’s reputed to be a beautiful area where the sun shines a bit more reliably than trails farther west, with a wonderful variety of beauty to see and experiences to have along the way. Set in late July, it could also be very buggy. Or not, depending on how fast things melt out, but do be prepared for bugs both on trail and in camp.
It’s possible that we’ll choose a route variant where route-finding, navigation skills are needed more than on a typical backpack. In any event, you will definitely be expected to have your own color topo map. If you have access to a color printer, I suggest that in general you get in the habit of printing your own maps, following instructions here .
Leader permission is definitely required for this trip; call or email me so we can talk about how well you’re likely to be suited to --- and happy on --- this trip. I don’t expect folks to be in super-human shape and despite the description I don’t regard the pace and overall trip to be “very strenuous”, but perhaps you will (?). You should be in decent physical condition, and will be happier and more successful if your pack weight isn’t too-o great.
We’ll communicate via email and/or phone before the trip to coordinate carpooling; I hope that we can end up leaving no cars parked at park & ride or similar lots, but this all depends on where the collection of group members will be coming from.

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials
Trip Reports