right on....I have never packed with more than myself or 1 other person, so hitch hiking is probably out. meaning.....when I pack, I dont like to have to walk the same trail to get back to the car, I'll park at one trail head, & pop out on the opposite side of the mountain, than walk south boundary road (thumbing it) till I can find a nice person to let me sit on there tail gate back to the car. the most I've ever had to walk on the road was an hour.
with that many days its plenty to make it anywhere, but I think If I just tell you my favorite places, part of the adventure is deciding how you want to get there. if you have a g.p.s. it makes it really easy to get to all the off trail places, just make sure to bring a long enough rope to pull your food bag up into a tree as there will be no convenient bear polls. & there WILL be pesty bears.
I love trap falls, lake of the clouds is of coarse the main attraction, but I suggest hiking to it & not driving to it like the tourists. (its much more rewarding.)
my favorite trail is little carp river trail, I find it to be the most scenic. it used to be cool to go to mirror lake & run into sumoe the bear, but the d.n.r. put him down with a gun a few years back as he was rushing campers with the intent to scare them off & get there food (never would he attack). he never got my food, I wouldn't budge. I got some good pictures of him & of what he did to other campers food packs.
in the past I have rented the 8 bunk mirror lake cabin too. very cool as they give you a row boat to take out on the lake. there I've seen a bald eagle swoop down & grab a fish, take it to a dead tree & eat it. I felt like I was back in "mutual of omaha's wild kingdom"
I find it a must to make it to the superior trail, but be warned of all the black flys on the coast if its still summer
, they dont seem to dissapear untill end of august into sept.
big carp river trail is a great way to go or come from lake of the clouds.
do you need a map? they give you maps there, but if you need one before hand I can scan you one & e-mail it to you, I also have one that shows bear pole location. let me know!
typing about all of this is making me want to go RIGHT NOW...I miss that place, its my little home away from home.
oh, as long as you have a water microbacteria filter pump, than your all set there, its some of the best tasting water...it has a lot of minerals so your stomach may need a day to adjust. let me know if you have any more questions.
by tradition I listen to dead music (usually live shows) the whole trip up, it sets the perfect mental mood for the long strange trip it'll be!