Trails for everyone, forever

Home News Blog Memorial Day Backpacking Trips

Memorial Day Backpacking Trips

Posted by Andrew Engelson at May 21, 2009 11:15 AM |
Filed under:

Well, I don't know how it happened, but Memorial Day weekend is upon us. The weather forecast looks pretty good, so it's time to dig into those basement shelves.

Guyot Sippy

Better dust off the tent, open the jumbled box of camping gear, and pull out the box of disorganized and tattered topo maps. Start hunting for that missing gaiter and smell the water filter to make sure it doesn't smell too mildewy. You should probably throw out that 5-year-old bag of dehydrated chili mac, and then you'll need to try to remember exactly what the heck this thing is for.

So, you've done all that. And packed it all up. And you've bought your Northwest Forest Pass or America the Beautiful Pass. Now you're ready to head out into the untrammelled wilderness with 59,349 other backpackers this weekend. Okay, maybe it's not really that bad, just don't expect complete solitude unless you're heading here.

Big Cedars

Where can you go backpacking this Memorial Day weekend? Below are my suggestions, with the caveat that you may meet a few other fellow hikers and very nice WTA members along the way.

And remember: the Hood Canal Bridge to the Olympic Peninsula is closed for repairs until mid-June. Plan accordingly.

  • Thunder Creek, North Cascades National Park. Patchy snow and some blowdown on trail to McAllister Camp.
  • Big Beaver Creek, North Cascades National Park. Mostly snow-free and trail has been cleared.
  • Ingalls Creek, Alpine Lakes Wilderness. A great early-season hike through a deep river valley.
  • Elwha River, Olympic National Park. Fantastic hike into the interior of the Olympics. Currently snow free to Camp Wilder.
  • Chelan Lakeshore, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. A classic Memorial Day hike. Finish up with a stay at Stehekin Lodge and a trip back on the Lady of the Lake.
  • Toleak Point, Olympic National Park. A beautiful stretch of coastal wilderness. Get your food canister and permits at the info center in Port Angeles.
  • Lewis River Trail, Gifford Pinchot National Forest. The GP website says there's a washout about 2.5 miles into the trail and a creek bridge is out, but both are passable.

Looking for a chance at solitude? Try Monument Creek Trail (not a current report) or West Fork Methow River Trail in the Methow Ranger District. A few more details here. We don't have current reports from these, but they're generally snow-free for at least the first 4 miles this time of year.

Want more weekend hiking ideas? Browse current trip reports or our hiking guide. And be sure to post a trip report when you return!

Happy start of hiking season!