Suggestions for a 10 day backpacking trip in early June

MSkeeters

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Dec 3, 2020
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I'm trying to find a good trail for a long backpacking trip in early June. A lot of the trails that I have found so far say that they would be snowed in during this time of year, so I was wondering if you know of any good trails for a long trip in the United States. I'm okay with some snow on the trail, but not so much that you can't cross it without snowshoes. Thank you so much for your suggestions.
 

RyanP

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Mar 1, 2015
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Early June is generally a very tough time of year to plan a trip for, especially for long trips. The desert tends to be too hot (it's better in April/May), and the mountains still have too much snow as well as tough stream crossings (almost all the great mountain areas in the West are much better between mid-July and mid-Sep). If you break it up into a few shorter trips, then maybe you could spend part of the time doing watery canyons (Escalante/Zion), and part doing lower-elevation mountains that dry out quicker.
 

Janice

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You might want to consider Isle Royale National Park, in the middle of Lake Superior. Early June might be very muddy and still rather cold, and 10 days might be a bit longer than you'd want there, but it could be quite nice. If you're not familiar with Isle Royale and want more info, let me know.
 

LarryBoy

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Yeah, the June connundrum. Without knowing your particular backpacking style and desired daily milage, it's tough to be too specific.. A few thoughts:

  • Oregon/California coasts - Lost Coast or the Oregon Coast Trail. The temperatures should be very moderate and the West Pacific High is starting to build off the North American coasts, so you should have pretty stable weather (esp if you're in the southern half of Oregon or California.
  • High plateaus of S Utah - thinking the Markagunt, Aquarius, or Pausaugunt in specific. Some good backpacking to be done on Boulder Mtn or in the Death Hollow area.
  • Smokies. As long as you stay in the upper elevations (say, the AT between Fontana Dam and Davenport Gap), the temps should be pretty reasonable. There's pretty good climate data online for Mt. LeConte, which is at 6k feet. You might also consider the Roan or Grayson highlands of TN/VA, or even Shenandoah.
  • Mountains of northern NM - Taos area or San Pedro Parks, for example. Due to its southerly location, it melts out quicker than, say, Colorado. I'm less certain about this one, as the only time I've been there in May/June was in a drought year with paltry winter snowfall. If you've got a Caltopo pro subscription, check the satellite footage from 2020 vs 2019 (record-setting big snow year). You may glean other insights from CDT thru-hikers' trail journals in various years, as well as trip reports from Philmont.
  • Various ranges in the basin-and-range province will probably melt out earlier than either the Pacific Cordillera or the Rockies - I'm thinking the Steens mountains in OR for example. Again you'd want to do your homework, but it's worth looking at.
 

scoags

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  • Mountains of northern NM - Taos area or San Pedro Parks, for example. Due to its southerly location, it melts out quicker than, say, Colorado. I'm less certain about this one, as the only time I've been there in May/June was in a drought year with paltry winter snowfall. If you've got a Caltopo pro subscription, check the satellite footage from 2020 vs 2019 (record-setting big snow year). You may glean other insights from CDT thru-hikers' trail journals in various years, as well as trip reports from Philmont
NM is a good bet. There is a trail called the Skyline trail in the Pecos wilderness, which is great if the snow isn't too bad. In any case the wilderness is well connected so you can do a loop even if you get blocked by snow up high by just dropping down.

If you were able and willing to do a shuttle a traverse from the souther part of the Pecos (near the town called Pecos) up to the Northern part by Taos would be fun. Depending on where you started etc. i think the shuttle would be around 3-4 hours.

The snow was basically all gone by June this year through pretty much the whole Pecos, but we will see what happens this winter. I dont recall 2019 being particularly bad up there either.

...it is NM, but it is still June in the Rockies. So you never really know what you're gonna get.
 

wsp_scott

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Southeast Appalachians, doesn't have to be the Smokies, June is usually still pretty nice as far as heat/humidity goes. This summer (June 14ish) I took my kids to Big South Fork (on the KY/TN border) for a couple nights. Daytime highs were mid-70s, overnight lows were mid-50s, this was cooler than usual but only about 1000'.

Google Benton MacKaye Trail for an alternate to the Appalachian Trail in the southeast
 

LarryBoy

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Southeast Appalachians, doesn't have to be the Smokies, June is usually still pretty nice as far as heat/humidity goes. This summer (June 14ish) I took my kids to Big South Fork (on the KY/TN border) for a couple nights. Daytime highs were mid-70s, overnight lows were mid-50s, this was cooler than usual but only about 1000'.

Google Benton MacKaye Trail for an alternate to the Appalachian Trail in the southeast
Dude I would love to do the BMT some day. Perhaps loop it with the AT. The only time I've been in that locale was in late February; I was a complete noob, at it was miserable. Would be nice to do it during late spring/early summer, or during the changing colors in fall.
 

wsp_scott

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Dude I would love to do the BMT some day. Perhaps loop it with the AT. The only time I've been in that locale was in late February; I was a complete noob, at it was miserable. Would be nice to do it during late spring/early summer, or during the changing colors in fall.

An AT/BMT loop would be awesome in April/May. Lots of flowers and not a lot of heat (maybe even snow up top).
 
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