I've made three backpack trips into the Tonquin, all via Astoria, and one day hike to Maccarib Pass and back. I concur re the bugs but the mountain vistas and meadows are worth it. The first trip in we encountered a grizzly near the Surprise Point campground. Later, one of our gang hand caught a large trout from the stream flowing from Amethyst Lakes. His bare arm was severely pierced before he succeeded.
In '78 I made one of the best, with Great Divide Girl's mom, a five day, four night, bug-free, late September backpack loop. With no information other than the topographic map we started at Astoria and made our first camp beyond Verdant Pass high above the Whirlpool Valley. Next day we side-hilled to a camp in the valley east of Angle Peak. Next day we hiked up the valley to the pass leading to Eremite Valley.
Looking up Eremite Valley in '94. I think we crossed the pass on the left.
The next day we backtracked a bit to cross a rough pass between the south outlier of Thunderbolt Peak and Campus Peak to a camp in the Campus Pass meadows. Later that day I made a solo first ascent of "Freshman Mountain". That evening we enjoyed watching a herd of caribou in the meadows. On the final day, we went through Campus Pass, past Beryl and Buttress Lakes to complete the loop at the Verdant Pass trail. It's a loop I'd be surprised if anyone else has done but maybe someone reading this will be inspired.
Here's a few photos from a '94 trip. We stayed at the ACC hut and climbed Outpost, Memorial, Surprise Point, McConnell and Clitheroe.
The Ramparts. Surprise Point is the lower dark peak in the foreground.
Amethyst Lakes beyond Surprise Point from the summit of Outpost. Outpost Lake and the Wates-Gibson ACC hut below.
Surprise Point summit, Outpost and Memorial behind.
The back side of the Ramparts, Redoubt, Dungeon and Oubliette from the summit of McConnell.
Caribou in the meadows below Clitheroe.