Trail: Wallowa River Loop (West Fork to Lake Basin to Glacier Lake)
Dates: 9/1 to 9/3 (3 days, 2 nights)
Milage: 28 miles, round trip
Day 01. West Fork to Lake Basin, camped around Horseshoe Lake (11 miles)
Day 02. Lake Basin to Glacier Lake, camped at Six Mile Meadow (11+ miles)
Day 03. West Fork out to trailhead (6+ miles)
I’ve had some really great backpacking trips this summer and this is most likely my last trip before grad school starts!!!
Ever since we picked $80 worth of peaches last month, I’ve been on a dehydrated food kick (it takes almost 36 hours to dehydrate peaches!!). From my bike camping days of bringing fresh produce and making miso soup and also because there’s all together too much sodium in camp meals for me – I wanted to try making my own. I found ‘thrueat.com’ to be really helpful and I used their spaghetti how-to as a guide. I opted for lean, ground turkey instead of beef. It was super easy to cook and dehydrate, but next time I’ll add breadcrumbs to the ground meat, as it’s suppose to help rehydration (both time and texture). The biggest challenge was getting all the noodles to fit in the pot. I was using a fairly small, lightweight pot and adding the noodles in small handfuls. But, I will note I’ve never seen noodles rehydrate so quick (capellini noodles ftw)! Definitely adding spaghetti into my camp food rotation.
Another food win was Tea Drops pepermint tea. I love tea, I always want to drink it and especially after an all day hike. Tea Drops dissolve in the hot water, so there’s no wet tea back to hike out with! Also, they’re delicious (which is more than I can say for most of the instant coffees I drink in the morning).
I got a hammock via REI outlet at the start of summer. The first time I took it out, I failed to have the suspension straps, oops. But, this time I purchased suspension straps, bringing the total weight of the hammock to just over a lb (6.5 oz + straps at 11oz). Why haven’t I been hammock-ing this whole time?!! Super easy to ‘set up’ and it is pretty amazing to lay down without enduring rocks, weird angles, and general discomfort out in the woods. Also, it’s the perfect way to watch the stars on the rare occasion that I can stay awake to see them. On a friend’s recommendation, got a packable down blanket that is perfect for hanging out in the hammock.
The route is great, as there’s diverse scenery to pass through — from meadows, mountains, basins, and lakes. I would recommend doing the loop in the direction we did, as the second climb to Horseshoe is a bit steep, but short and probably way less fun to descend. There are also quiet a few stream crossings, but nothing wild at this time of year (late summer/fall). We encountered less than a handful of bugs, thank goodness, and they didn’t interfere with our dinner or stargazing. Didn’t even need to use the bug spray. The only drawback is the abundant horse shit peppered along the start of the trail, but as far as that goes — it’s tolerable. Also, there’s no potable water or toilets — so bring a water filter and tp (and practice good etiquette!).
I definitely want to come back. There are so many beautiful lakes to swim in, by which I mean do like two strokes and a quick head dunk and then get out because it’s cold AF. Dogs are allowed on the trail and everyone had their doggies with! We met the chillest 4 year old blue heeler and their owner reassured me that when he was a pup, he destroyed everything, but calmed down and stopped chewing around 1 year. Whew! Next year, Tepals will hopefully be ready to go on an adventure like this and I look forward to maybe doing 4 days, with one day fully dedicated to swimming, fishing, and laying in the sun. If you backpack with your dog or backcountry fish – please tell me everything you know!
I love this handmade swim suit by Lily Smith, out of Olympia, WA.