Backpacking Destinations in Oregon & Washington

View the backpacking destinations in Oregon & Washington listed on this website based on location, difficulty rating, and best season.

Backpacking Destinations in Oregon & Washington

Difficulty Ratings

The difficulty ratings listed here are based on hiking in to a campsite and does not include additional hike destinations on the trip.

  • Easy: Hike in up to 6 miles, and up to 1,000 ft. gain to camp area
  • Moderate: Hike in up to 8 miles with 1,000-2,000 ft. gain to camp area
  • Strenuous: Hike in up to 10 miles with 2,000-3,000 ft. gain to camp area
  • Very Strenuous: Hike in up to 12 miles with 3,000-4,000 ft. gain to camp area

Best Season

The best times listed will vary somewhat from year to year, but in general, what is listed is based on my own experiences in each location and take into account when areas tend to be snow-free, have a lower risk of biting black flies and mosquitoes, or when water access is more plentiful.

LocationDifficultyBest Times
Badger Creek Wilderness: Badger CreekeasyMay, October
Mount Hood: Burnt Lakemoderatelate July-early October
Mount Hood: Cairn Basinstrenuouslate July-early October
Mount Hood: Elk Covemoderatelate July-September
Salmon-Huckleberry Wilderness: Salmon River CanyonmoderateMay-June, September-October
Three Sisters Wilderness: Doris LakeeasyAugust-September
Three Sisters Wilderness: Green Lakesmoderatelate July-September
Mount Jefferson: Jefferson Parkstrenuouslate July- September
Mount Jefferson: Hunts Covestrenuouslate July-September
Central Oregon: McKenzie River TraileasyApril-June
Mount Washington Wilderness: Tenas Lakeseasylate July-September
Eagle Cap Wilderness: Lakes Basinstrenuouslate July-September
Goat Rocks: Packwood LakemoderateMay-June, September
Goat Rocks: PCT & Cispus Basinmoderatelate July-September
Goat Rocks: Snowgrass Flat & Goat Lakemoderatelate July-September
Indian Heaven Wilderness: Junction LakeeasySeptember-early October
Indian Heaven Wilderness: Bear LakeeasySeptember-early October
Indian Heaven Wilderness: Deep LakemoderateSeptember-early October
Lower Lewis RivereasyApril-May
Mount Adams: Killen Creekmoderatelate July-September
Mount Rainier: Berkeley Parkmoderatelate July-September
Mount Rainier: Sheep Lake & Upper Crystal Lakeeasy/moderateJuly - September
Mount St. Helens: Ape CanyonmoderateJune-early July
Mount St. Helens: Coldwater RidgemoderateJune-early July
Trapper Creek WildernesseasyApril-June
Upper Falls Creek
easy/moderateMay-June, Sept.-Oct.
Alpine Lakes Wilderness: Colchuck Lakestrenuouslate July-September
Alpine Lakes Wilderness: Rachel & Rampart Lakesstrenuouslate July-September
Alpine Lakes Wilderness: Pete Lake & Spectacle Lakemoderatelate July-September
North Cascades: Cascade Passmoderatelate July-September
North Cascades: Copper Ridgestrenuouslate July-September
Olympic Mountains: High Dividestrenuouslate July-September
Olympic Mountains: Marmot PassstrenuousJuly-September
Olympic Mountains: Royal Basinstrenuouslate July-September
Olympic Rainforest: Duckabush River TraileasyMay-June
Olympic Rainforest: Enchanted ValleymoderateApril-June, September
Olympic Rainforest: Hoh RivereasyApril-June
Olympic Rainforest: North Fork Skokomish RivermoderateApril-June
Olympic Coast: Shi Shi BeacheasyApril-June
Olympic Coast: Rialto Beach to Chilean MemorialmoderateApril-June
Olympic Coast: Ozette TriangleeasyApril-June
Olympic Rainforest: Dosewallips River TrailmoderateApril-June
Tillamook HeadmoderateApril-June, September-October

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