San Juan Packrafting Bachelor Party

Let me (Tyler) start by saying this was an insane trip and Matt Bainsmith wins the prize for most adventurous-awesomest person I know.

Mexican Hat, UT

Mexican Hat, UT

For Matt’s Bachelor party he decided he wanted to follow his newfound passion of Packrafting, which for those of you that don’t know, is backpacking with a tiny raft and then hiking half the route and rafting the other half… Sounded crazy to me too. The river of his choice to packraft was the San Juan in the South Eastern corner of Utah by a city called Mexican Hat (yes that is a real city name), this whole trip sounds made up at this point. We (Tyler, Matt, Tad, and Brian) did a hike starting around Goose Neck State Park (bottom right star is the start), down to the San Juan river, then floated the river to grand gulch, then got out and hiked out of grand gulch via Collins Springs (top star marks the end). It was a great trip, and we all had a good time, though it was up there on the difficulty scale.

The Packrafting Route

The Packrafting Route

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Sawtooths Petit Lake Backpacking Trip

I have been failing miserably to update this lately due to an overabundance of adventurizing and funtivities, so I’m playing catch up. I (Tyler) went on a backpacking trip up in the Sawtooth’s in Idaho Sept 5th through Sept 7th with the old gang of High School buddies. Being spread out all over the West Coast, we don’t get to see each other much any more, so it was great to see everyone and a fantastic backpacking trip.

We planned to do an out and back trip in the Sawtooth National Forest, just North of Sun Valley, Idaho because we only had limited time and a few new backpackers. Tom, Shane, Austin, and I hiked to McDonald Lake the first night so that Jack and Alan could find us late that night after they got off work (in the dark, which didn’t go well – more on that later). The second day we all continued up to Farley Lake which was massive and quite the stellar camp spot. Then on the third day we headed back to the car early, the way we came, so that Shane could catch his flight out. It was a 2 mile hike to McDonald Lake, and another 2.5 miles to Farley Lake, so overall, it was a 9 mile out and back with about 1,500 ft of elevation climbing, which made it quite steep at times (as Austin found out).

Toxaway-Pettit Loop Trailmap

Toxaway-Pettit Loop Trailmap

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Amethyst Lake – Uintas

This last weekend, July 26 and 27 2014, Jake, Michelle, and I (Tyler) went on a short overnight trip to Amethyst Lake in the Uintas. We chose the trip because the trail-head is very close to Salt Lake City and was a good distance for a 1 night trip. It was also Michelle’s first time backpacking, so we wanted to take her somewhere where we kind of knew the area and knew the hike wasn’t going to be too hard (I did this trip about 3 years ago and loved it). She had a great time, and will hopefully continue to backpack!

Amethyst Lake MapTrack and Speed

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King’s Peak (The Other King’s Peak)

So we did 2 Kings Peak trips recently. The 2nd happens to be the highest peak in Utah at 13,528 ft. It’s in the Uintas Range, a personal favorite of mine, and we had a great, quick 2 day weekend trip to the top. We did the trip with Matt, Dani, Cole, and Ava and it was a great group to put some long miles in with.

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The river along the hike

We started the trip on Friday, The 4th of July, and hiked about 8 miles deep into the Uintas to find a camp spot for the night. We left Salt Lake City early that morning and drove a quick few hours to the Henry’s Fork Trailhead. The hiking was easy with little elevation change and a lot of water. The weather was interesting and became quite stormy as we neared King’s Peak. We found a pretty awesome campsite off the trail and next to a stream and set up camp for the night. We spent the better half of the afternoon hiding from the intermittent rainstorms, which we hear are quite common in the area, and had a great relaxing afternoon and dinner.

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The Lost Coast

Now, after the first couple of days, I would have titled this post “Beautiful Scenery, and Things That Will Kill You,” but the trip got significantly more safe and comfortable as the days progressed. On June 18 we started our 5 day trek through the Lost Coast in Northern California that’s in the Kings Range National Conservation Area. We did not do the very popular coastal hike from Mattole to Shelter Cove, which is a 25 mile stretch of purely hiking along the water, mostly because we’re cheap and $200 for a shuttle was a little out there. Instead we did a 21 mile loop (ended up being closer to 30) starting at the Saddle Mountain Trailhead. On the map below, we followed the red trail from the Saddle Mtn Trailhead, to the top of Kings Peak, the highest peak in the range at 4,088ft, then to Miller Camp for the first night. We then went down Rattlesnake Ridge to Miller Flat for the next 2 nights, then hiked along the coast to Buck Creek for the 4th night. On the 5th day we hiked along a gruelingly steep trail up Buck Creek and back to the Saddle Mtn Trailhead. The red stars are were we camped. LC Trail Map Continue reading