Backpack - Grand Loop

Grand Loop

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11:00 AM at Obstruction Point Trailhead
Number of (full or partial) days on trail: 6 days (Tues and Sun are partial, with an easy hike out and early departure from Obstruction Park TH on Sunday)

For this leader, an early departure from the camp site means up and gone by 7:30 am; sleeping late means ready to go by 9 am.

Given the distance to be covered, the warmer temperatures in August, and the elevation gain on a couple of the days, the trip is schedule for five nights. This also allows a few side trips as the group desires. What’s one more day if you are already out there.

It is possible to do it in three or four days, but why kill ourselves? Instead, let's enjoy the view and solitude!

Reservations for the campsites have been made; cost is $8 per backpacker for the trip. Reimburse the leader please.

Carpool: It will be up to the group to work out carpool arraignments. The met-up spot will be the TH. The leader can take three riders, so one more driver will be needed. Of course some of you may elect to drive yourselves and just meet at the TH. With our departure time from the TH at 11 am, there is plenty of time to get there without rushing.


Day One: The foot journey will begin at Obstruction Park TH. The estimated departure time from the TH is 11 am. The first day of travel is an easy day from the TH to the first camp site at Moose Lake, approximately 5 miles along Grand Pass Trail. The estimated elevation drop is 1600 feet. We can frolic in the lakes before the upcoming elevation gain over the next few days.

Day Two: This is an early rise day. Estimated mileage is 8 miles from our camp site to Cameron Pass area. Possible side trip from Grand Pass to Grand Peak (we will drop our packs to do this very short trip with 300 feet elevation gain). Upper Cameron Basin is our campsite. Estimated elevation gain is 3500 feet. Plan for stargazing at Cameron Pass on Wednesday night.

Day Three: From Upper Cameron Basin over Cameron Pass to the TH connector with Gray Wolf Pass. Bear Camp is our camp site for the evening. Elevation drop is several thousand feet for the day.

Day Four: From Bear Camp we will head to the start of Gray Wolf Trail toward Gray Wolf Pass and on to Camp Ellis for the evening. From Falls Camp, a possible side trip to Cedar Lake is an option. Camp Ellis is our evening destination. This is a longest day of hiking with a pack and a lot elevation gain in a short period (estimated 2800 feet over 3.5 miles). Note: NPS indicates that the privy at Gray Wolf camp site was destroyed by a falling tree, sorry!

Day Five: Falls Camp to Maiden Peak area. Long hike day, but not as much elevation gain. Roaring Winds campsite. We will pass through the Ranger Station at Deer Park. Elevation gain is approximately 2000 feet.

Day Six: Day six is planned as a sleep late with easy hike out and home by mid-afternoon. If group is interested that morning, a short hike to Maiden Peak is possible before we break camp.

Permits Required: National Park or Interagency Pass required if parking at the TH. Camping permits (fee based) required for Moose Lake area on Tuesday and Maiden Peak area on Sunday (Leader has obtained these items). All other permits can be obtained at the TH on Tuesday the 20th of August.

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.

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials
Trip Reports