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Trip Report    

Backpacking Building Blocks Student-Only Backpack - Waptus River

This is a good trip for B3ers. It can be shorter or longer depending on the campsite choice, has minimal vertical ascent and water is not an issue. The trailhead parking was maybe 80% full on 8am Sat, but most of the hikers either went to Waptus Lake or were hiking up the Cooper River/Pollalie Ridge trail. There are multiple multi-tent campsites available. The first is just after the Hour Creek crossing at 3.4 miles. This site could hold a small army. There was only one tent setup when we checked it out. The second is at about 4.4 miles.This could hold maybe 5 tents (don't hold) me to that number. This site was occupied with a single tent. The third site 5 miles out at the base of Cone Mountain is easy to miss. There are some house size boulders at the base next to the trail, two on the left and one one the right. Shortly after that these boulders there is an inconspicuous trail to the right to a very nice campsite just above the river. We were the first there and able to comfortably fit five tents with more than safe spacing. There is a short trail that leads to some smooth bedrock right on the water. These three sites are shown on the green trails map, but not on GAIA. From there it is easy 4 miles up to Waptus Lake. You could feel the air temp dropping and noted that there were some patches of snow as we approached the lake, hence no mosquitoes there. Traveling to our campsite there were two creek crossings of note. We did not have to deploy water shoes, though with the increasing runoff from the warmer temperatures, the second crossing just downstream of our campsite might require water shoes. The mosquitoes were out in force on this trip. We did see a river otter (or beaver?) two women launched their pack rafts from our campsite and we found some morels. Otherwise we had a good trip without any epic adventures. The B3ers enjoyed it. Hope this info is helpful. Pete

  • Road suitable for all vehicles