World's Wimpiest Backpacking Trip

LarryBoy

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I broke my foot a few months ago and am still on the mend. Looking to do my first backpacking trip since the injury this weekend... but I can only go maybe 0.5-1 mile on a good, not-too-rocky trail.

Given that limitation, and the fact that it's Pie and Beer weekend, anyone have any good suggestions for an overnighter in northern Utah? Had considered Ruth Lake but I figure that's just going to be a madhouse.

Thanks all!
 

Rockskipper

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You could drive up to Fish Haven in Idaho and hike down the beach at Bear Lake until you found a good spot to pitch your tent. That way you could hike as far as you felt like. But watch out, they fog for mosquitoes there. Oh, and there's supposed to be a lake monster.

And how in hellsbells did you break your foot?
 

LarryBoy

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You could drive up to Fish Haven in Idaho and hike down the beach at Bear Lake until you found a good spot to pitch your tent. That way you could hike as far as you felt like. But watch out, they fog for mosquitoes there. Oh, and there's supposed to be a lake monster.

And how in hellsbells did you break your foot?
Thanks! Not a bad idea. Mosquitoes are far more terrifying that some silly ole Nessie!

Broke it mostly due to my own idiocy. Was poking around in a tunnel underneath Hwy 276 to Ticaboo. I could see plenty well until I suddenly couldn't, fell in a hole, and shattered a bone in my heel. Even though the bear attack gets all the headlines, this was in reality a far more consequential injury. Hopefully this is my last hospital visit for a good long while!
 

Jackson

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Cliff Lake off the Clyde Lake loop was my go-to for a super short trip, like if I was gonna go for one after work on a Friday or something. Holiday weekend may mean it'll be busier, but I'm having trouble thinking of other places that are that distance that lead to a good destination that won't be super crowded.

You could do something non-traditional like start at one of the north slope trailheads and just set up camp a ways up in the meadows somewhere like Christmas Meadows or the east or west fork of Blacks Fork.

Last idea would be to drive the road south of Crystal Lake TH and park somewhere like 40.6545628, -110.9614638, then walk over to Haystack Lake or one of those lakes up higher to the west. Google Earth makes it look like there's even a path or old road from that spot to Haystack. Where you park will have some campers probably, but I doubt any will be backpacking that route. Haha.

Hopefully you find something good! I'm happy to hear you're already trying to get out backpacking again, even if it is just a short one!
 

scatman

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Hey, you take care of that heel and don't push it before it is ready! Good motherly advice. :)

You're going to have to work at the "Wimpiest Backpacking Trip" moniquer though. I think that I am king of the wimpiest trips.

Wishing you a full recovery.
 

Ugly

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@Jackson is right, you can drive almost all the way to Haystack. Cliff has been busier when I have been by there en route to other places with mostly young families, and if the Crystal Lake TH is packed, then you are looking at almost a mile just to get from the overflow along the overflow trail to get started at the TH.
You can also drive Norway flats to within about a mile of Big Elk, or right next to Little Elk, which has alluring little pond up the bench called Hourglass that I only saw once when it was under ice and snow.

For Bear Lake, I am not against stealth camping, but when I was up there last week we went by a couple places where we used to sneak in on a Friday night and both of them were marked no camping. I am not sure there is any at-large beach camping left, unless it's over on the southeast side. It's either state park, wildlife refuge or private. The little mosquitoes were out in force in St Charles and my ankles took the brunt of it.

I once did a half mile backpack with my son from Guardsman pass along one of the mountain biking trails until we hit a good patch of aspen looking down Big Cottonwood and threw up hammocks. There are good views across the BCC ridge and back toward Summit Co. Pretty sure that was wimpier than anything you end up doing!
Good luck on the recovery, go somewhere nice.
 
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O u c h ! Hopin’ n prayin for a full n speedy recovery…th heel injury story is scarier than th bear cuz that one cud befall any of us! Take er slow n easy . Happy Trails.
 

LarryBoy

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Cliff Lake off the Clyde Lake loop was my go-to for a super short trip, like if I was gonna go for one after work on a Friday or something. Holiday weekend may mean it'll be busier, but I'm having trouble thinking of other places that are that distance that lead to a good destination that won't be super crowded.

You could do something non-traditional like start at one of the north slope trailheads and just set up camp a ways up in the meadows somewhere like Christmas Meadows or the east or west fork of Blacks Fork.

Last idea would be to drive the road south of Crystal Lake TH and park somewhere like 40.6545628, -110.9614638, then walk over to Haystack Lake or one of those lakes up higher to the west. Google Earth makes it look like there's even a path or old road from that spot to Haystack. Where you park will have some campers probably, but I doubt any will be backpacking that route. Haha.

Hopefully you find something good! I'm happy to hear you're already trying to get out backpacking again, even if it is just a short one!
Interesting idea! I've actually never ventured down that road toward Haystack. I also love @Ugly's Big Elk/Little Elk suggestion (LOVE that quiet corner of the range), though the trail might not be G-rated enough for the foot quite yet! :D
 

Jackson

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Interesting idea! I've actually never ventured down that road toward Haystack. I also love @Ugly's Big Elk/Little Elk suggestion (LOVE that quiet corner of the range), though the trail might not be G-rated enough for the foot quite yet! :D
Expect a decent number of car campers right off the road, but I bet you'd have Haystack to yourself at night. Maybe a few day hikers though. Report back on what you decide to do!
 

LarryBoy

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@Jackson is right, you can drive almost all the way to Haystack. Cliff has been busier when I have been by there en route to other places with mostly young families, and if the Crystal Lake TH is packed, then you are looking at almost a mile just to get from the overflow along the overflow trail to get started at the TH.
You can also drive Norway flats to within about a mile of Big Elk, or right next to Little Elk, which has alluring little pond up the bench called Hourglass that I only saw once when it was under ice and snow.

For Bear Lake, I am not against stealth camping, but when I was up there last week we went by a couple places where we used to sneak in on a Friday night and both of them were marked no camping. I am not sure there is any at-large beach camping left, unless it's over on the southeast side. It's either state park, wildlife refuge or private. The little mosquitoes were out in force in St Charles and my ankles took the brunt of it.

I once did a half mile backpack with my son from Guardsman pass along one of the mountain biking trails until we hit a good patch of aspen looking down Big Cottonwood and threw up hammocks. There are good views across the BCC ridge and back toward Summit Co. Pretty sure that was wimpier than anything you end up doing!
Good luck on the recovery, go somewhere nice.
I think the Bear Lake area might be a winner, though up in the Bear River Range rather than down by the lake. A couple very short trails to pretty lakes. We shall see!
 

LarryBoy

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Hey, you take care of that heel and don't push it before it is ready! Good motherly advice. :)

You're going to have to work at the "Wimpiest Backpacking Trip" moniquer though. I think that I am king of the wimpiest trips.

Wishing you a full recovery.
Yes mom :) I'm trying to start small and ramp up steadily. Spent about 3 months not walking at all, so the foot definitely needs to get used to the whole walking thing again :)
 

LarryBoy

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O u c h ! Hopin’ n prayin for a full n speedy recovery…th heel injury story is scarier than th bear cuz that one cud befall any of us! Take er slow n easy . Happy Trails.
It really could. One of the reasons I've adopted a more positive attitude toward PLBs. Thanks for your prayers and kind words!
 
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