Waptus River


Backpack - Waptus River

2 Night Backpack **WITH DOGS** to Waptus Lake, Pete Lake and the PCT

  • Moderate/Strenuous
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 25.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 5,000 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 4,380 ft
  • Pace: 1.25-2ish

8AM Waptus River Trailhead


  1. I'll be asking you some questions about your experience, conditioning and teamwork skills, BE PREPARED TO PROVIDE THE "SECRET PASSWORDS".
  2.  I bring my dog backpacking, he's a little rambunctious so if you are afraid of energetic dogs, this might not be the trip for you. He will be kept on leash or tied up at all times, and we will probably hike in the back. Once he meets everyone he tends to chill out. He is super friendly and loves everyone though. Ideally this is a hike for folks that *like* dogs.
  3. Dogs require permission and I will be limiting the total dogs to two including mine considering the group size and limited space. UPDATE: we have reached our dog limit, I won't be able to allow any additional dogs :(
  4. It's important for folks to be ok with dogs. Dogs typically don't have good trail etiquette - they get in the way, bump into and possibly jump on people, stop to sniff frequently but are fun and are enthusiastic!
  5. This trip is geared towards people that are conditioned to backpack this amount of mileage and gain, but prefer hiking rather slow. I'm a rather slow hiker, especially on steep hills. We will take lots of breaks, and may take extended breaks due to the amount of gain and mileage. We may op to put the slowest person first so we can stay together.
  6. Since this trip is on 4th of July, we may not be very lucky with camps. Anyone that signs up for this trip needs to know we may end up hiking further than intended, we may not get to camp at the lake, we may end up camping at less desirable camps on the PCT. This trip will require a lot of flexibility and patience.
  7. This trip will work best with a shuttle. I'd like to leave one car at the Waptus River trailhead and the other at the Copper Lake end of the Pete Lake trailhead, please be prepared to drive so we can shuttle.
  8. I'll be car camping Wednesday night if anyone wants to join me.
  9. I won't be keeping track of who gets permission in what order so sign up will still be first-come first-serve when registration opens.

Day 1 to Waptus Lake: ~9 miles, ~1700' of gain

Day 2 over Waptus Pass to Pete Lake and Lemah Meadows on the PCT: ~9.5 miles, ~2500' of gain (there is a 1 mile section with a VERY steep ~1000'/mile gain)

Day 3 to TH: ~6.25miles, ~700' of gain

The secret passwords are "Strawberry Shortcake"

** NOTE ** This trip is *NOT* recommended if:
- you prefer to read in your tent the rest of the day once you get in camp (this trip is meant for those that like to be social)
- you like to keep to yourself on a hike and would prefer not to talk to others
- you are awake earlier than 5am and get bored waiting for other folks to wake up
- you don't like, or have problems with, hiking at a slower pace and normally prefer a faster pace
- you don't like or only tolerate dogs


Waptus River

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
  • 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
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