Monday, July 6, 2015

Hiking into the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes

Ryan, me, John, and Katelyn at the trailhead
We started our trip with a night in the Brooks Camp Campground and then took the bus to The Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. On our first day we hiked to the Baked Mountain Huts (~9-10 miles). Two other groups of backpackers got off the bus at the same time as us, but they had different destinations the first night.

We had great weather on our first day - not too sunny or windy. One of the trickier parts of this hike - the Lethe River crossing - was a breeze for us. The water was very low and we only got wet up to our shins. We arrived at the huts at the same time as a group of two who had already been in the valley for a few days.

Lethe River slot canyon
Lethe River
Crossing the Lethe River
The huts are just basic plywood shacks, but they offer protection from blowing pumice and rain, although we didn't really have either. For us, they were also a great centrally-located base camp and we enjoyed using the counters for cooking and wooden boxes for sitting.

Crossing the last stretch of valley floor before Baked Mountain
Climbing up to the huts along a well-worn bear trail
View of the outhouse and Trident volcanoes from the huts
View of Mt. Griggs from the door-less outhouse
Our hut
Cooking in the hut
This bunk was labeled Vladimir Putin

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