backpack: Siouxon Creek (my husband’s first backpack)
Siouxon Creek is easily my top favorite early season backpacking location. I’ve backpacked there eight times in the past five years, and the last time was just a few months ago.
- distance & elevation gain to campsite: 3 miles, 700 ft. gain (before the wildfire & trailhead closure in 2020)
- day hike options: continue on the Siouxon Creek Trail
- best months: April – June
- location: nearest town: Amboy, WA
- land management: Gifford Pinchot National Forest: Mount Adams Ranger District
- trail conditions: Siouxon Creek Trail
- hike description: Washington Trails Association – Siouxon Creek
- permits: self-issued at the trailhead
- trailhead pass: NW Forest Pass required
- note: this area was heavily impacted by the 2020 Big Hollow Wildfire – see Safety Tips for Burned Areas
I didn’t think I’d be going back so soon, but when a trip with friends was cancelled and my husband said he’d like to go on his first ever backpack, we picked Siouxon Creek as the destination. It’s a great location for beginners due to the ease of the trail and the plethora of campsites along the creek. Add in a few waterfalls and a super green forest, and it’s hard to beat it for a first time trip.
We hiked in three miles and camped near the Wildcat Trail on the first night. There were a lot of people coming through this area all day – fording the creek to hike to Wildcat Falls and Siouxon Peak. The next morning, we waited until another campsite with more privacy was available and we moved camp.
It was much nicer at the new site, but the mice were terrible at both campsites. We kept our backpacking chairs in the tent vestibules while we slept, and they climbed all over them and jumped onto the tent mesh and ran all over it too. They also tried to get into the food that we hung in an Ursack bag (but did not succeed, thankfully) but they did manage to get in a stuff sack with a stove and chewed up our spoons. Grrr… I started calling them mini-rat bastards from hell. The only way to get around them here is to hang your food high but it is very difficult to find a proper branch to do this from, or to bring a bear canister.
There was also a LOT of toilet paper all around our camp that we packed out. Please always pack out your tp, it takes a very long time to decompose.
Sadly, due to the mini-rat-bastards and the amount of trash, I probably won’t be backpacking here for a long time. Both take the joy out of this special place.