Trip Report: Intro to Backpacking on Rho Ridge
Last weekend saw the inaugural trip for Next Adventure Outdoor School Backpacking tours - 3 days along Rho Ridge in the Mt. Hood National Forest.
The weather was perfect, providing fantastic views of the Cascade Mountains. Mt. Jefferson was right there in-your-face from Hawk Mountain. The view stretched from Mt. Rainier far to the North, included Mt. Hood, Olallie Butte, the aforementioned Jeff, and south to Three Fingered Jack, Mt. Washington, and the Three Sisters in the Central Cascades.
A few mosquitoes, to be sure, as is to be expected at elevation in July. But the views were outstanding, the mountains and trees were big, and there was ample water and even some snow patches remaining along the trail.
Guides Andrew and I took out two other experienced thru-hikers along the trail, so the class was less an introduction than an ongoing discussion about backpacking. We compared alcohol stoves to canister stoves, tarp shelters to full-bodied tents, and ideas about how to shed those ounces from your pack.
On day 2, we were met at Cachebox Meadows by an NA support team that brought us a picnic lunch, including some cold Northwest brews. We returned to our basecamp at the foot of Hawk Mountain, where Andrew led a discussion around the campfire on the finer points of Leave No Trace ethics.
After another stupendous day of strolling through alpine beargrass meadows, we returned to the Trailhead and the van. Soon we were in Estacada, where the obligatory stop at Fearless Brewing provided more beer and hearty burgers.
Next Adventure Outdoor School has more backpacking trips scheduled this summer:
Plus stay tuned to the Next Adventure Outreach Calendar - which lists other trips and classes at Next Adventure!
Next Adventure is a fully-insured licensed Outfitter and Guide with the State of Oregon. Next Adventure is an equal opportunity Recreation Provider operating under special use permit on the Mt. Hood National Forest and Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, USDA Forest Service.