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Hiking / Trail Trips
Hiking - General Info and Tips
(We call this page “Hikes / Trail Trips” because you’ll find showshoe outings and the occasional Nordic ski trip as well as hiking.) All Mazamas hikes are open to members and non-members. We welcome non-Mazama members or those with limited experience on our hikes. Our leaders are some of the most experienced hikers in the Northwest, and they can show you some spots that you might never get to on your own! You do not need to pre-register for a hike - just show up at the carpool meeting spot at the indicated time and sign in with the leader. Maps to carpool meeting spots
We schedule a variety of hikes to appeal to a broad diversity of skill and fitness levels. We classify our hikes by a difficulty factor using two criteria - distance and elevation gain. This makes it easier to find a hike suitable for your fitness and experience level. Each hike we lead is rated A, B, C, or D.
Poor trail conditions, harsh weather and speed of hiking can add an extra level of difficulty. The hike schedule is published each month in the Mazama Bulletin and is available on the Mazamas web. If you are not sure of your capabilities, it’s best to choose a hike that’s easier than you think you can do. If some of the small print is still cryptic, have a look at the hike codes and symbols page for a more detailed explanation.)
Bring proper clothes, food and gear - Proper clothing usually means polypro, fleece, wool - things that will stay warm if they get wet. Cotton is not a good idea (no jeans!), especially in the rainy season - it loses all of its insulating value when it gets wet. In summer months, running shoes work for many trails, but in the winter, waterproof footwear will keep you a lot warmer. Keep in mind that leaders may turn anyone away who isn’t properly dressed and equipped, for the safety of the group. In winter, it’s nice to have a change of clothes in the car and a duffel or large plastic bag to put your wet muddy gear in after the hike - this can keep your drivers happy, too. Please carry raingear during all seasons. Bring a lunch and snacks, at least 2 liters of water, and as many of the Mazamas ten essentials as you have. For a more extensive list of gear and clothing to bring on a day hike, please consult Day Hike Gear and Clothing Checklist
In general, the “10 Es’ are:
Be prompt - Mazamas hikes leave on time from the meeting areas! The times listed are departure times, not meeting times. Please arrive at least 10 minutes early, sign in with the leader, pay any hike costs, find a car for a ride, and be ready to go at the stated time. A donation for gas to the driver is best arranged at the start of the day. Note that some carpool meeting areas are popular with other groups as well, so be sure you are hooked up with the correct hike.
From mid-December through early March we schedule regular snowshoe hikes. Snowshoe treks are indicated by an ‘S’ in the schedule. The details of difficulty level are described in the write up for each hike.
Nordic Ski Trips
Nordic ski trips are published in the trail trips section of the bulletn and on the web during winter. (In recent years we’ve tended to offer more snowshoe trips than Nordic ski trips.)
The snow bivouac is a two day, one night backpack scheduled so that you have the opportunity to test your snow camping skills. The hike to camp can be as little as one mile and you may need to be on snowshoes or skis to get there.
We have a special series of hikes that are meant to provide an opportunity for getting back into shape before the climbing season. These hikes often have climb leaders as their leaders and are usually class ‘C’ hikes. Conditioners start in March and continue until the end of August. You should have already been doing class ‘B’ hikes (or equivalent) before participating in this class of hikes.
We schedule backpack trips of one to three nights on the trail (Longer trips are scheduled by the Outing Committee). These trips are lead by experienced backpackers and are often limited as to group size because of wilderness restrictions. Usually, you will pack in your gear five to eight miles into a serene setting and camp out. Some trips may include daily hikes in one area while others move to a new site each day. Areas that we have camped in include Jefferson Park, Indian Heaven, Three Sisters Wilderness, North Cascades Wilderness, Goat Rocks Wilderness, and portions of the Oregon and Washington Pacific Crest Trail. Visit our Backpacking Trips page for currently scheduled trips!
Car camps are typically one to three nights in one area based at a drive in camp setting. (The McKenzie River area in Central Oregon is one of our favorites.) These allow exploring without a full backpack.
Used Equipment Sale
As a fund-raiser, we annually organize a sale of used equipment with 30% of the proceeds being donated to the Mazamas. Members price and identify items they wish to sell and the Trail Trips Committee organizes the merchandise at the MMC for sale during a Friday evening in May.. Many good quality bargains are available such as skis, boots, hiking and climbing clothing, ice axes, climbing equipment and camping gear. More on the Mazamas Used Equipment Sale
Hike Leader Training
All our more then 100 Trail Trip leaders are volunteers, and it;s easy to get started. See the Share Your Time page for details.
The cost of our activities is nominal, but no person will be turned away if they are unable to pay.
When we need to drive to a trailhead, your share of carpooling expenses is determined by the driver. Mazamas recommend a carpooling reimbursement to the driver of no more than 14 cents per mile per passenger. That amount is noted at the top of the sigh-in sheet. Check with your driver for details.
We strongly encourage participants to carpool to the trailheads. The recommended contribution is $0.10 per mile to the driver (per passenger). Maps to carpool meeting places.
Mazamas Hike Rules