September backpacks bring out the best

September backpacks bring out the best

The Lilla and John Leach Memorial Loop

A truly wild experience

22 August 2015 | Ashland, OR — Join the Siskiyou Mountain Club for a monumental backpack this September 24 – 29 on the Lilla and John Leach Memorial Loop.

We’ll start from the Babyfoot Lake Trailhead with a long hike into the Chetco River, where we’ll lay over for one night. From there we’ll ascend to Vulcan Lake and then ride the rocky, rugged ridge trail from there to Cold Springs. From Cold Springs back to Babyfoot Lake is 5 – 6 miles. The longest day will be 12 miles.

Participants should be in good physical shape and enjoy the type of adventure that makes your spine tingle. Backpacking experience isn’t absolutely necessary, but it helps, and a flexible, fun attitude is a must. Please no guns, dogs or cell phones.

The SMC shuttle van leaves Ashland, OR at 7am on September 24 with rendezvous options in Medford, Grants Pass and Selma. We’ll be back to Selma, OR by 5pm on September 29. Email or call 541-708-2056 for details and to sign up.

Crews have been at work for six seasons to restore the entire 42 mile loop, and this is the first year it’s been open for hikers since the 2002 Biscuit Fire started casting a shadow of damage on the Kalmiopsis Wilderness’s 153 mile trail system.

The loop features two pristine mountain lakes, the only access to the Upper Chetco River and the “magic canyon,” rare botanical areas, endemic tree stands, and the most robust wilderness backpack in southwest Oregon. And it will come at the price of a challenging elevation profile.

Email or call 541-708-2056 for details and to sign-up.