Monday, July 20, 2009

American Beauty

This past Friday I did one of my toughest hikes in recent times- a 19 mile trek across American Ridge followed by a 4.5 mile run down highway 410 to retrieve my truck! It was a long and hard day-but quite spectacular. American Ridge in the William O Douglas Wilderness is one of the loneliest spots in the South Cascades. The ridge trail is rugged-non-existent in spots and climbs and drops repeatedly and steeply- if you want to do a backpacking trip and be all by yourself-this is a trip for you. Now, when I say all-by-yourself-I mean no other humans- I met over 30 elk on this trip-most of them in the Big Basin which is a great place to spend the evening and one of the more gentle spots along this rough and rugged ridge. Full details of this trip will be in my Backpacking Book. And you'll want those details too because the Green Trails map is wrong- the distance is actually longer than what is shown and Harvey Manning doesn't mention the 1,200 foot drop and climb between one high basin and the other!

(photo- Bumping Lake and Nelson Ridge from American Ridge)

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