Locations for groups of more than to backpack

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 Hi, I am trying to find some locations for a youth group backpacking trip. Last summer we had our first ever, a wonderful hike to the Pamelia Lake area. The distance in was perfect, the access to water and the interesting hikes to take from the campsite. It was a huge success.

This year we want to do another, only one problem. The success of last years trip, combined with the growth of our youth group, means more kids are going to want to go than the nine +3 adults we took last year. Pamelia will therefore be out of play, as we will have more than 12 in our group. 

So question is, where can we take a group larger than 12 people, with great access to water, an easy to moderate hike in to the campsites, and preferably within two hours of Salem?

Anything out there fit the bill? I'm finding all sorts of great looking locations, but they are all in wilderness areas so group size is limited to 12.

Thanks for any help you can give.


We are in Salem. I was hoping to keep the drivr under 2 hours.
What area are you from and what distance are you willing to travel?  Perhaps some trails in the Elkhorn Crest in Eastern Oregon could work.  It isn't a wilderness area, but the scenery makes it worthy.
That's quite the challenge -- it's going to be quite tough to find a nice area that's not within a wilderness area.  I first thought of Tumble Lake.  I've never been there so I'm not sure exactly what it's like, but it sits above Detroit Lake and has always looked intriguing.  The trail in is only a mile and a half and it doesn't look like there are too many other hiking options from the lake, so it may not work for your needs. 

I'll be looking through my maps to see what may be possible...