Forum Index > Trail Talk > Crowding in the backcountry - summer of 2020
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MtnGoat
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PostMon May 11, 2020 9:26 am 
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dixon wrote:
Hilarious! Saw this trip report earlier for Dirty Harrys Balcony, never seen it this packed on a weekday before with cars under the bridge like this ...  shakehead.gif

https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/trip-reports/trip_report-2020-05-08-9670936958

You have to smile at the author noting the number of rigs there while applying the 'what are all these people doing' to everyone but the author. A comment points this out.

It seems to me that an earlier poster here (Noheaperture) has the best take here...because we can think of a zillion places to go, it's easy to forget that for most people the hand full of popular places are their go to version of wilderness experience.

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Backpacker Joe
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PostMon May 11, 2020 10:52 am 
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Chief Joseph wrote:
Yes. Shroder confirmed that. I was hoping one could access via Bedal creek and avoid crossing the Sauk, but he said it would likely be a difficult scramble over Bedal Peak. So will have to wait till water levels drop.

What about Helena lake? I made it to Windom lake a few years ago and last year tried again, but picked a poor route, got cliffed out and rain was coming, so failed. I want to try again thoigh.

CJ, it seems to me going from Mindom to Helena would be following Windoms outlet to the  point you hike over the hump and drop into Helena.  Ive been to Independence but not much farther.

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

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dixon
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PostMon May 11, 2020 12:40 pm 
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MtnGoat wrote:
You have to smile at the author noting the number of rigs there while applying the 'what are all these people doing' to everyone but the author

I noted that the author states "Arrived at the TH at 7, lot was mostly empty" ... I assume that the point they are trying to make is that if the lot is full then go find somewhere else. I guess this raises the question of whether the 'size' of a TH parking lot is proportional to the 'capacity' of a given trail where capacity is a function of social distancing, leave no trace principles, enjoyment etc. Build a bigger lot however and it's a guarantee that "they will come" (Snow Lake, Denny Cr, Teneriffe etc.) so smaller lots help control the crowds but only if folks don't turn the service road into a parking lot.
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treeswarper
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PostTue May 12, 2020 7:16 am 
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I drove up and went for a bike ride/dog run at my Sekrit Place yesterday.   There was a barricade up where I usually park, so I drove up and parked at a big wide spot along the road.   I was horrified to have two cars go by while I was riding my bike. eek.gif

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Malachai Constant
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PostTue May 12, 2020 8:32 pm 
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Was walking along one of our dog walking trails wearing a mask when folks passed, a woman passed without a mask and said, my mask is in my purse. Wished I would have said that is about as effective as wearing a condom on your ear. Would that have been rude?

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"You do not laugh when you look at the mountains, or when you look at the sea." Lafcadio Hearn
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BigBrunyon
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PostTue May 12, 2020 8:41 pm 
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Need to hire some scary looking guys to stand around loitering at choice trailheads.

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Brian Curtis
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PostTue May 12, 2020 9:20 pm 
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Joey wrote:
Ever hear of the Cloud Peak Wilderness?

Yes! We did an 8-day trip in the Cloud Peak Wilderness. I just scanned those slides the other day.

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longhair27
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PostTue May 12, 2020 11:24 pm 
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Simple look at all the trail and backpacking destination guide books and eliminate ALL the popular ones.

Any trailhead that has easy road access to it, anything that is rated easy to moderate in difficulty avoid.

No National Parks, No State parks, No BLM land.

Choose those hard core, rugged hiking TH's and destinations.  Think remote, long distance mileage, well off the beaten path and wilderness.

Ditto for the person who suggest Dispersed Camping.  That can be as wild as you care to plan and do it.  Plus factor is once out there spiked out nobody is going to drive by and bother you.
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longhair27
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PostTue May 12, 2020 11:53 pm 
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Simple look at all the trail and backpacking destination guide books and eliminate ALL the popular ones.

Any trailhead that has easy road access to it, anything that is rated easy to moderate in difficulty avoid.

No National Parks, No State parks, No BLM land.

Choose those hard core, rugged hiking TH's and destinations.  Think remote, long distance mileage, well off the beaten path and wilderness.

Ditto for the person who suggest Dispersed Camping.  That can be as wild as you care to plan and do it.  Plus factor is once out there spiked out nobody is going to drive by and bother you.
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BigBrunyon
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PostWed May 13, 2020 7:19 am 
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longhair27 wrote:
once out there spiked out nobody is going to drive by and bother you.

You talkin' spikin' the access road?

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MtnGoat
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PostWed May 13, 2020 8:26 am 
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I believe he's simply using a euphemism for having camp set up.

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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treeswarper
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Alleged Sockpuppet!
PostWed May 13, 2020 10:40 am 
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Spiking out is a fire term for taking a crew out with the bare essentials and spending a night or nights camping without such comforts as food from caterers, showers, etc.

Spike camp is such a camp, or there is spiking out on the line, etc.

One such "camp" I got stuck in at night soon became a place where excrement was under every rock, there were not enough sleeping bags or food flown in, etc.  Our crew walked off when no improvements were to be had and the cigarettes and snoose had run out.  I think things have improved a bit since then.  That was somewhere in Orange County, CA.

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Cyclopath
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PostWed May 13, 2020 11:27 am 
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treeswarper wrote:
I was horrified to have two cars go by while I was riding my bike

That's a lot more horrifying on your side because of the higher speed limits and levels of drunkenness.

You should look into Garmin's radar for bikes.  It warns you ahead of time about approaching cars, and maybe more important it grabs the driver's attention, flashing faster the faster they're going, and slows the blink as the car slows down.  It's on sale right now.

https://www.dcrainmaker.com/2020/05/garmin-rtl515-rvr315-cycling-radar-review.html/amp
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80skeys
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PostFri May 22, 2020 8:43 am 
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I certainly hope it's not crowded. I'll be in Gospel Hump, ID, in a couple months. Hoping that's sufficiently off the beaten track to discourage the city folks.

I was talking with the forest ranger out there a couple weeks ago, and she told me that at the start of the epidemic a bunch of people from Wash. and Oregon (Seattle and Portland) had gotten in their campers and driven to Hell's Canyon and had set up indefinite camps for themselves in the campgrounds there. Overcrowding. Which had resulted in the FS starting to put restrictions on it and close some of the areas around there.
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