Opal Creek Backpacking: Back to Basics
June 26-July 1, 2016 – FULL
July 3-8, 2016 – FULL
July 31-August 5, 2016 – FULL
August 21-26, 2016
Average daily mileage: 4
Come learn the ABCs of backpacking in the largest uncut watershed in western Oregon. This backcountry adventure will focus on the skills needed to be a comfortable, competent, and happy hiker. We’ll spend a day in Jawbone Flats planning and preparing, then we’ll hit the trail to experience first-hand how to take care of ourselves and each other in the wilderness. Camp cooking and wilderness medicine, leadership and communication skills are all a part of the curriculum, and, of course, swimming in the crystal clear waters of Opal Creek. We welcome hikers of all skill levels to join us for this expedition, especially those who are just becoming interested in backcountry travel.
Click here to register for the August 21-26 session!
July 10-15, 2016 – FULL
Average daily mileage: 5.5
Throw your home on your back and head off on foot in search of the best vistas west of the Cascades. We’ll put miles under our feet after only one day of planning and preparation, so come prepared with broken-in boots and backpacking experience. Hiking under the old-growth canopy, swimming in sub-alpine lakes and taking in mountaintop views will engage all your senses. We will cover lots of ground on a route that will take us to the tallest ridges and mountaintop in the Opal Creek Wilderness: vantage points that offers a glimpse at the magnificent Cascade mountain range. From these heights we’ll have a birds’ eye view of the stages a forest goes through recovering from fire. Along the way we’ll focus on forest succession and the resilience of the landscape through which we’ll travel!
July 17-22, 2016 – FULL
Average daily mileage: 5
For a unique perspective on the Opal Creek Wilderness, join us as we circumnavigate one of the last uncut old-growth watersheds. As we make our way along the valleys and ridges, we will investigate the connections between the lush forests and cool mountain streams, gaining a first-hand understanding of the complex relationships in an old-growth ecosystem. We will study plant and animal life, and talk about the human history, particularly the conservation efforts, in the Opal Creek area. This trip is a chance to see the wilderness area in a way that few ever do, in its entirety.
July 18-22, 2016 – FULL
Jawbone Flats will be our launching pad for this week-long camp. Your child will enjoy the beauty of the ancient forest during the day, and the comforts of our lodge in the evening. The week will be spent unplugged, exploring the diversity of the forest ecosystem and the human history of the area. From mining to stream ecology and plant identification we will get to know the Opal Creek watershed. Activities will include: hunting in the newt pools, riding the natural waterslide, hiking to the remains of the 1930’s mining operation in the heart of the forest, and much more! This week-long camp will be sure to engage all of the senses, and create memories that will last a lifetime.
July 24-29, 2016 – FULL
Average daily mileage: 5
As we travel through deep valleys and over steep ridges we’ll discover the glacial and geologic forces that shaped the west Cascades and its waterways, and test water depth and temperature as we take a dip! Astonishing views of the Cascades, from Mt. Hood to the Three Sisters, will greet us as we traverse ridgelines and descend into valleys. On our last day we will head down the valley to the Santiam River for a day of rafting with guides from eNRG Kayaking and apply our understanding of the Opal Creek watershed to this larger waterway fed by the creeks and streams traversed earlier in the week! We’ll cover lots of ground and lots of water, so bring good boots and good suits!
August 7-12, 2016 – FULL
Average daily mileage: 5
Perfect your backcountry travel skills in this exploration of Opal Creek’s deep valleys, vista-filled ridges, and pristine lakes. Emphasis will be placed on safe and successful backpacking techniques, including packing a backpack for an extended trip, essential gear, and wilderness medicine. We’ll get to know the local flora and fauna up close and personal, and spend time in camp learning knot-tying and navigation skills. On our last day we will head down the valley to the Santiam River for a day of rafting with guides from eNRG Kayaking and apply our understanding of the Opal Creek watershed to this larger waterway fed by the creeks and streams traversed earlier in the week!
August 14-21, 2016
Average daily mileage: 6
Hone your backcountry travel and wilderness leadership skills in this extended 7-day backpacking trip through the Opal Creek and Bull of the Woods Wilderness Areas. Hikers will perfect their backcountry cooking skills; practice basic wilderness first aid and proper foot care; navigate by map and compass; and learn successful food storage techniques. Expanding upon previous camping experiences will build your backcountry travel confidence, and each hiker will work with the trip instructors to share “leader of the day” responsibilities. Hiking over ridges, along river valleys, and into the sub-alpine lake region of the Bull of the Woods Wilderness, we’ll experience a diversity of pristine old-growth forest valleys and expansive views in the heart of the western Cascades.
Click here to register for Bull of the Woods!