A dinosaur
a blog by Jarrett Retz

Posts about Backpacking

Advice on Winning the Enchantment's Lottery (2023 Data Update)

This post will likely conclude a series of posts examining Enchantments Lottery data published by the USFS. In previous articles, we looked at common advice given to curious applicants to improve their chances of winning a permit.

Apr. 4, 2024techthe enchantmentsbackpackingpythondata analysisjupyter notebook

Evaluating Enchantment Lottery Performance: Awarded-to-Skipped Ratio

Mar. 27, 2024naturethe enchantmentsbackpackingpythondata analysisjupyter notebook

Avoiding Bad Advice on Winning the Enchantment's Lottery (Part II)

In my next analysis, I wanted to break down the results by looking at the group size, day of the week for entry, and month for entry to see if the advice online holds when we look at the data that determines whether an application is accepted or unsuccessful.

Mar. 26, 2024naturethe enchantmentsbackpackingpythondata analysisjupyter notebook

Avoiding Bad Advice on Winning the Enchantment's Lottery (Part I)

You shouldn't apply for the Core Enchantments if you want to win I have personally repeated some variations of this statement. Purely based on my few failed attempts. However, I'm not the only one who has spread this "advice". It didn't take

Mar. 21, 2024techthe enchantmentsbackpackingpythonjupyter notebookdata analysis

Backpacking to Pete Lake So We Can Hike to Spectacle Lake

Jul. 30, 2023naturebackpackingalpine lakes wildernesswashingtonnational forestslake

Money Trees

To my surprise, and to the surprise of probably every other person who has ever used recreation.gov, that lottery application fee goes to Booz Allen's bottom line, the Washington D.C. consulting firm behind recreation.gov.

Dec. 13, 2022naturewonderland trailnational parksnational forestshikingbackpacking

Wonderland Trail Backpacking Planner

There are route-planning applications that use similar data and feature the ability to explore and plan routes. However, what I didn't get from these applications was the ability to see all my options.

Dec. 10, 2022naturewonderland trailmount rainierbackpackinghikingtrip planning

Backpacking the Eastside of the Wonderland, Again

During my reservation window, I logged into recreaction.gov and quickly reserved Summerland Group Site for a Friday in mid-late August and then Indian Bar Group Site the next night (Sat.). In 2020, I did this same section of the Wonderland but in the opposite direction and a cloud of smoke.

Sep. 13, 2022naturemount rainierbackpackingwashingtontrip reportnational parkswonderlandwonderland trail

Devil's Dream on the Wonderland Trail

It's been the year of one-night backpacking trips. Starting with Cape Alava on the coast in April, then Mount Margaret in the middle of August, and finally, another trip to the Wonderland Trail at the end of August. This post is about the last of the three one-nighters: Devil's Dream

Sep. 22, 2021naturewonderland trailwashingtonnational parksbackpackinglongmire

One Night at Bear Camp in the Mount Margaret Backcountry

The Mount Margaret backcountry sits above Spirit Lake in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Two trails create a loop, connected by the Johnston Observatory to the west of the backcountry and the Norway Pass trailhead on the east side. The northern part of the loop is the Lakes Trail, visiting a

Aug. 21, 2021naturebackpackinghikingmount margaretbear campMt. St. Helens

Backpacking the Ozette Triangle Loop

I first came across the backpacking possibilities on the coast after my cousin gave me Backpacking Washington: Overnight and Multi-Day Routes by Craig Romano. I had been out to the Olympic National Park to backpack before—we ventured to the Enchanted Valley—but had

May. 1, 2021natureozettenational parksolympic national parkbackpackingwashington

Two Nights on the Wonderland Trail (Olallie Creek Camp, Indian Bar)

I could not foresee the wildfires, road closures, and smoke that would put the trip in jeopardy and add to the events of this crazy year...there was enough hope to continue the trip...by Sunday it was a consensus that the trip was well worth it.

Sep. 20, 2020naturewonderland trailbackpackingwashingtonnational parksindian bar

Backpacking in the Mount Margaret Backcountry (Panhandle Lake, Dome Camp)

Awoke to beautiful weather the second day. I could not wait to get up and take it all in. I saw our goat friend on the high slope for a few minutes that morning while I watched the sunrise chase down the rocks towards the lake.

Jul. 27, 2020naturetrip reportbackpackingwashingtonMt. St. Helensnational forestsmount margaret

Backpacking on the West Fork Foss Trail - Central Cascades

This will just be a brief trip report about a recent backpacking trip with some friends and family into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness on the West Fork Foss Trail. This area offers many campsites on a variety of lakes, and we spent two nights at Copper Lake. Below are some quick stats, information

Aug. 23, 2019naturetrip reportbackpackingwashingtonnational forests

Backpacking to the Enchanted Valley - Olympic National Park

This will just be a brief trip report about a recent excursion with two of my cousins as we backpacked up the East Quinault River Trail into the Enchanted Valley. Below are some quick stats, information, notables, and pictures.

Jun. 12, 2019naturetrip reportolympic national parkwashingtonbackpackingnational parkschalet

Wonderland Trail Backpack

Gallery from a two-night backpacking trip with my sister on the north side of the Wonderland Trail. The Wonderland goes around Mt.Rainier in Washington State.

Aug. 28, 2017naturemount rainierwonderland trailbackpackingwashingtonnational parksgallery

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