August Camp 2024: Central Cascades in Sisters Oregon
Welcome to AMC August Camp 2024! Nestled near the majestic Santiam Pass at an elevation of 4,600 feet, where the iconic Pacific Crest Trail intersects Route 20, our base camp sets the stage for an unforgettable outdoor adventure. Prepare to immerse yourself in the beautiful landscapes of the Deschutes and Willamette National Forests, as well as the pristine Three Sisters and Mount Jefferson Wilderness Areas.
Embark on a journey that combines the fun of exploration with the joys of relaxation. Each day, you'll have the freedom to choose your own adventure, be it challenging hikes to stunning viewpoints, serene nature walks through ancient forests, or invigorating treks to alpine lakes. No matter your skill level, our diverse range of daily hikes ensures that hikers able to regularly hike at least 6 miles per day can fully embrace the natural wonders of this region.
As the sun sets and the day's activities come to a close, we gather to share stories and highlights from the day's hikes. Here we find out about the various hikes planned for the next day. The crackling firelight creates an ambiance where camaraderie flourishes, and the sounds of laughter and song fill the air.
Our full-service tent village will be set up next to the Hoodoo Ski Area. It accommodates up to 64 campers each week. Two-person tents (8'x10' canvas tent) with cots are provided. Our dedicated Croo will delight your taste buds with delicious home-cooked meals, ensuring you're well-fueled for the adventures that await.
Join us for a week of exploration, relaxation, and the forging of lifelong memories against the backdrop of some of the most stunning natural landscapes the Pacific Northwest has to offer.
August Camp is currently accepting applications for all weeks.
APPLYING WITH SOMEONE?
If you are applying with another person, please indicate on the form that your attendance is dependent on the acceptance of both applicants. Both individuals must list each other as companions. Ensure you provide accurate contact information for your travel companion. Each person must complete their own application form. The maximum number of people who can apply together is three.
COMMITMENT AND PAYMENT
If you are accepted at the end of January, payment for camp in full must be made within ten days of receiving your acceptance. Please apply only if you are fully committed to attending camp if accepted. Due to the lottery system, some individuals genuinely wish to attend but may not secure a spot. Therefore, it is crucial that if you are accepted, you honor your commitment. Choosing not to attend after acceptance denies another deserving person the opportunity to participate.
IS AUGUST CAMP FOR ME?
You should be aware that this is a hiking camp – we will be out on the trails for 5-8 hours per day, six days in a row, covering 6-13 miles and 500’ to 2500’ or more of elevation gain, at a suitable pace for the hikes you choose. If you join a hike beyond your ability or fitness, you will be asked to choose easier hikes for the rest of the week. Even our easiest “C” hikes require you to hike the indicated distance and elevation gain at a steady pace of around 2 miles/hour. (See hike rating section below)
While we offer occasional non-hiking activities, such as biking, kayaking/rafting, or a service trip, these vary by location and are limited in number. There are no half-day options at Camp, no “walks” and no organized activities if you cannot do the scheduled hikes at the group's pace or choose to remain at Camp rather than join a hike.
Our hike rating system
A hikes are the most difficult and may run from 7 to 13 miles in length with elevation gains from 1000’ to over 4000.’ Because of the length and gain, they run at a fast pace with shorter breaks.
B hikes are our intermediate level hikes, covering 5-10 miles, with elevation gains of 1000’ to over 2000’, and are run at a more moderate pace than the A hikes.
C hikes are easier, and proceed at a sustained pace somewhat slower than the B hikes, generally on less challenging terrain and with more frequent stops. Although some hikes on the C list are as short as 2-3 miles, these would be combined with another hike or activity to make for a full day’s outing. C hikers can expect to do six or more miles in a day with up to as much as 1500’ of elevation gain.
Although our rating system is based on distance and elevation gain, it does not take into account the condition of the trail (steep ascents/descents, boulders, mud, scree, stream crossings, etc). Such hazards may make any given hike considerably more challenging. Special features, when known, will be described at campfire the night before by the hike leaders, along with the expected distance and elevation gain for the day.
Your preparation and conditioning
A variety of hikes are offered daily, and you will be out on the trails for several hours each day. Hiking is a physically demanding activity, regardless of the difficulty rating of a particular hike. Our hike rating system assumes that all campers are starting from a foundation of being active, healthy people with good footing, strength and balance.
If you can agree with the statements below, August Camp is the place for you!
- I follow a regular fitness program, exercising several times a week.
- I regularly participate in strenuous exercise that elevates my heart rate.
- I am able to navigate uneven surfaces.
- I am comfortable hiking/walking 6-10 miles.
- I am able to hike for half an hour without needing a break.
- My health status does not hinder my hiking ability.
- I enjoy hiking 5-6 days in a row.
- I am able to hike at a pace of 1.5-2 miles per hour, and am able to maintain a regular, uninterrupted pace.
- I am able to hike multiple miles with elevation change (500-2500’ of elevation gain).
If you are not quite ready for the level of hiking that we offer, we encourage you to consider some of AMC’s other group sites and activities that may offer more flexibility in their offerings. Here are some options you may find of interest.
CANCELLATION AND REFUND POLICY
The fee for August Camp covers your tent lodging and three meals a day, from Saturday dinner to next Saturday's breakfast, as well as transportation each day on Camp-led hikes or other activities. Some special optional activities, such as rafting, may cost you an additional fee.
Cancellations must be e-mailed to the Registrar – phone cancellations will not be accepted.
- Prior to May 1, 2024, all but $300 per person will be refunded.
- After May 1, 2024, but at least 31 days prior to the first Saturday for which a person is registered, 50% of payment in excess of $300 per person will be refunded.
- No refunds will be given for cancellations received within 30 days of the first Saturday for which a person is registered.
Cancellations must be e-mailed to [email protected].
In the event of Camp cancellation or interruption due to COVID-related restrictions or other unforeseeable events, August Camp would return all or part of the camp registration fees to affected campers, with the amount depending on the timing of such interruption or cancellation.
If an entire camp is canceled due to State of Oregon regulations, the full amount will be refunded.
If, within 14 days prior to arrival to August Camp, you experience symptoms of COVID or have been exposed to COVID, please do not come to camp.
Camper expenses outside the registration fees, such as travel expenses, are not the responsibility of August Camp. August Camp strongly recommends that Campers purchase travel insurance to cover expenses in the case of personal cancellation and also in the case of camp cancellation. If you choose to purchase such insurance, verify with your insurer that it covers cancellation for any reason.
We recommend you buy Trip Cancellation Insurance.
August Camp strongly recommends that Campers purchase travel insurance to cover expenses in the case of personal cancellation and also in the case of Camp cancellation. If you choose to purchase such insurance, verify with your insurer that it covers cancellation for any reason.
Unfortunately, we cannot make exceptions to our cancellation policy for medical issues and other personal emergencies that may arise, so we strongly recommend that you purchase trip insurance to protect yourself in case such a situation occurs
RoamRight is one company with whom the AMC has worked. Participants can purchase insurance online from them or any agency of your choice.
HEALTH AND ILLNESS INFORMATION
Given the nature of August Camp’s activities, set-up, and location, the August Camp Committee encourages participants to be especially mindful while traveling to camp and to take appropriate steps to arrive at camp healthy and illness-free. It is expected that anyone not feeling well while at camp will notify the Camp Director immediately. Any guest who becomes ill during a session may be asked to leave if that illness jeopardizes the health and participation of other campers. Any expense incurred under these circumstances will be the responsibility of the camper. We strongly encourage campers to obtain travel insurance.
Q: What can one do to have the best chance of an illness-free experience at August Camp?
A: We have had COVID outbreaks in camp in 2022 and 2023, both from exposure while traveling to camp. To avoid a repeat, we recommend the following:
- Arrive at camp in good health, and protected by current vaccinations for COVID and flu, and any other illnesses relevant to a visit to the northwestern US, your age and your health status.
- In the week before camp, avoid exposure to illnesses from aerosol spread by wearing a mask in closed and/or crowded spaces (public transportation, airports, concerts, shopping, etc.).
- Wear a mask on the plane, in the airport meeting area, in the van traveling to camp, and during any travel by vans (our only enclosed space) during camp.
- Observe good handwashing practices while traveling and throughout your stay to wash off illness particles picked up from infected surfaces. (Soap works better than hand sanitizer against GI-based illnesses.)
- As per the equipment list, bring masks to wear in the AC vans during your stay and, if possible, bring 2-3 COVID tests.
Q: What kind of medical facilities are available at August Camp?
A: August Camp does not employ healthcare providers. Hike leaders are certified in Wilderness First Aid. Any camper needing urgent or emergency levels of healthcare will be transported to the locally available hospital emergency service or urgent care provider which generally accept a wide range of medical insurances. Our site for 2024 (used twice previously, to great reviews) is more remote. Urgent and emergency care is at a significant distance from camp. All efforts by campers and staff to arrive and remain in good health are greatly appreciated.
Q: What happens if one becomes ill and has to leave camp?
A: If necessary, we will transport the ill person to a nearby hotel to isolate and recuperate; we will assist in picking up medication from the closest pharmacy (if the pharmacy does not have a delivery service); and we will assist in packing that camper’s belongings and
delivering them to that nearby hotel. For use after the period of CDC recommended isolation, arrangements for bus transportation from Sisters (our local town) to Portland’s airport (PDX) may be made at https://pacificcrestbuslines.net/bend-to-portland-express/ .
AIRPORT MEETING LOCATION
CAMP ARRIVAL INFORMATION
Campers flying to Camp should meet at Portland Airport (PDX) baggage claim between 11 AM and 2 PM on Saturdays only for transport to camp. Look for the welcome booth across from baggage claim number 4. Vans will depart as they fill and volunteer drivers are available.
IMPORTANT: DO NOT arrive before 11 AM on your arrival day to allow departing campers to disembark.
The camp is approximately a 2.5-hour drive from the airport. There will be a quick stop en route for lunch and for purchasing snacks and supplies (e.g., happy hour provisions).
For convenience, many campers choose to fly to Portland on Friday and stay overnight near the airport. This allows time for possible complications with delayed flights.
Transportation to Portland Airport is not available on departure Saturdays for flights leaving before 10 AM. Vans will start departing from the camp at 5 AM to return to the airport. Plan to leave camp about 4-5 hours before your flight time.
We strongly encourage you to consider booking a flight departing late in the morning. Some campers opt for red-eye flights on Saturday night, allowing them to enjoy the sights in Portland on Saturday before heading home. If you choose an early morning flight, schedule it for Sunday morning and spend Saturday night near the airport.
ATTENTION: VOLUNTEER DRIVERS NEEDED!
August Camp relies on volunteer drivers to ensure our daily hikes and activities run smoothly. We urge ALL campers, even if you bring your own vehicle, to apply as approved van drivers.
Your willingness to step up as a driver is crucial to our program’s success. With more drivers, everyone's workload is significantly reduced, making the camp experience better for all.
Thank you for your commitment to help make our camp extraordinary!
May be updated later. Route: PDX to Hoodoo Ski Area (via I-5 and Route 22)
- Head south on NE Airport Way.
- Merge onto I-205 S via the ramp to Salem/Portland.
- Continue onto I-5 S.
- Take exit 253 toward OR-22/OR-99E toward Detroit Lake/Bend.
- Merge onto OR-22 E/Center St NE via the ramp to Detroit Lake/Bend.
- Continue on OR-22 SE for approximately 80 miles.
- Turn slightly left onto US-20 E/Santiam Hwy.
- Continue on US-20 E for about 5 miles.
- Look on the right for the sign to "Hoodoo Ski Area" and "Big Lake Road." Take that right (NF 2690). If you get to the Pacific Crest Trail crossing, you missed the turn.
- Follow NF 2690 S, and stay right into Hoodoo Ski Area. Sharp right into the parking lot, and stay right (E) of the lodge. Drive into Camp from the far right end of the parking area.
HIKING AND ACTIVITIES
August Camp 2024 Hiking Program – Sisters, OR
Please note: You will be out of camp most of the day; even the easiest hikes will require you to be able to hike a minimum of 6 miles with 500-700 feet of elevation gain. Shorter, easier hikes are combined with other hikes or other activities to make for a full day's outing.
Hike List and Guide Books will be posted when available.
Alternate activities will be posted in the Spring.
Although August Camp is primarily a hiking camp, we will also schedule some non-hiking excursions to scenic areas, and, if possible, some rafting, kayaking or biking activities. These extra activities may involve extra charges, such as admission fees, or costs of an outfitter. In addition, it is perfectly ok to stay in camp for the day and relax with a book or your camera.
August Camp is a volunteer-run AMC entity. This includes transportation from the airport to camp and to trailheads or activities. We rent a fleet of minivans such as the Chrysler Pacifica, which our volunteer drivers, aka campers, will drive. Please consider being a driver to balance the responsibility among many campers.
Emergency Contact Info
Should someone need to contact you in the case of a serious emergency, such as might require your return home, please use your own cell phone as the first line of communication. A dedicated camp phone number for emergencies will be posted prior to camp.
RECOMENDED GEAR LIST 2024
To ensure your comfort and safety, the equipment list has been updated to accommodate activities and conditions at the 2024 camp and on hikes. Definitely bring the required items. Keep in mind while you're packing during a heatwave in the city that you will need warm clothing at camp and on the hikes. Believe it or not, temperatures can dip below freezing. Camp this year is at an elevation of around 4000’ and some hikes may go as high as 6000’. If you are not properly equipped for a particular hike, you may not be able to participate. Snow on many trails is possible. Label your belongings!
- Full set of waterproof rain gear: jacket and rain pants
- Hiking boots/shoes - strong, comfortable and well broken-in
- Shirt and pants for sun protection
- Long pants for cool evenings and high peaks
- Shoes for around camp
- Socks (inner and outer), twice as many as you think you will need
- Two or three sets of your usual hiking gear (non-cotton shorts and shirts)
- Hat for sun protection
- Warm hat, mittens or gloves (necessary for high peaks)
- Wool, primaloft, or fleece layers of clothing
- Bathing suit and beach towel for swimming, if desired
- Second pair of hiking boots/shoes, if you have them
- Waterproof shoes for damp mornings
- Thermal underwear–not cotton
- Sundress/cover-up for trips to the showers
- Sleeping bag, rated to 15-20°F
- Air mattress or foam pad
- Daypack (large enough to carry extra clothing layers, food and 2 quarts of water for hikes)
- Quart-size plastic or metal bottles (at least two for hikes) - or hydration system
- Driver’s license, if signed up to drive
- Sunshower labeled with your name or initials
- Flashlight or headlamp with extra batteries (Note: No candles or gas lanterns are permitted.)
- Personal first aid kit, including blister care items such as moleskin
- Masks for travel in vans and on airplanes, and several COVID tests
- Personal hygiene items (preferably unscented)
- BIODEGRADABLE, unscented soap for personal use and hand-washing laundry
- Insect repellent
- Lip balm with sunscreen
- Tarps, for use as tent ground cloths, are provided in each tent by Camp at no charge (NEW this year!). Don't bring one unless you’re very particular about it.
- Unbreakable mug with handle for hanging on mug tree
- Heavy-duty trash bags, for use in backpack and in duffle bag
- Hiking poles (packed in checked luggage)
- Reusable lunch container
- Charging cables with car adapter; all chargers should be clearly marked with initials
- Unbreakable mirror for shaving or putting in contacts
- Folding chair for campfire (there are also many available for rent ($5) at Camp)
- Head net for insect protection
- Safety pins/sewing kit/repair kit/extra boot laces
- Musical instruments
- National Parks pass, if you have one
- Battery-operated lantern for tent
- Travel alarm
- Tightly sealed box to keep cosmetics/lotions in tent
- Bathmat or throw rug for the floor of your tent
- Trail guidebooks and maps
- Bird, flower and other guidebooks
- Light blanket or quilt or sleeping bag liner, for warmer nights
- Mosquito netting for sleeping under
- Pen and small journal
- Small personal tent (if you want to have the option of sleeping in it or going on an overnight)
- Pocket Knife (in checked luggage)
OTHER REQUIRED ITEMS
- An adventurous spirit
- A great sense of humor!