Tuesday, June 30, 2015

PCT 2015 -> Days 70-85 (6/20-7/5) (miles 1,091-1,450)

The past 16 days and roughly 360 miles have brought the Sierras to a close and the trail has transitioned to the volcanos, heat, and easier tread of northern Calfiornia.  After leaving south Lake Tahoe the PCT follows the west side of the lake, going behind the ski areas of Alpine Meadows and Squaw Valley before crossing I-80 near Donner Pass.  After passing through the small towns of Sierra City and Belden the trail crosses into Lassen National Park, then continues north to the high desert Hat Creek Rim section, which has long waterless stretch.  After dropping off Hat Creek Rim the trail turns west and heads towards Mount Shasta.

The trail in NorCal is generally flatter and easier on the body than the Sierra section, so most hikers tend to start increasing their daily mileage to around 25-30 miles per day after leaving Tahoe.  Another positive about the NorCal section has been the abundance of natural springs either on or close to the trail, providing cold clean water.  On the negative side the trail has been mostly unremarkable/hot/ buggy since Tahoe, much of the time passing through bland forests and logging roads.  So while physically the trail in NorCal is easier, mentally the test can be harder than the Sierras. 

Fontanillis Lake, Desolation Wilderness

Sunset from campsite above Lake Tahoe, Granite Chief Wilderness


Alpine meadow near Donner Pass
Sierra City, mile 1,195

Sierra City - PCT friendly Methodist Church allows free camping on lawn (except on Sundays)
Camp at 1,280

Sunset near Belden, CA

PCT midpoint sign

Sunrise on Hat Creek Rim

"Wild Bird Cache" trail magic near Highway 299

Burney Falls



Mount Shasta early morning from camp, mile 1,450

Thursday, June 18, 2015

PCT 2015 -> Days 60-69 (6/10-6/19) (miles 907-1,090)

Photos from Mammoth to South Lake Tahoe.  

Davison St Guest House - a hostel in Mammoth

Thousand Island Lake, Ansel Adams Wilderness

Donahue Pass - Yosemite NP

Yosemite NP

Yosemite NP - photo by Suds

Yosemite NP, Tuolumne River

Yosemite NP, Tuolumne Falls

Yosemite NP
Yosemite NP

Dorothy Lake - photo by Suds

Mile 1,000 marker

Approaching Sonora Pass, Emigrant Wilderness
Campsite, Mokelumne Wilderness

Carson Pass area

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

PCT 2015 -> Days 50-59 (5/31-6/9) (miles 791-906)

Heading back over Kearsarge Pass

Heading back over Kearsarge Pass dusk
On top of Glenn Pass looking south

Glenn Pass
Looking back up Glenn Pass, steeper than it appears

Approaching Rae Lakes - photo by Ricky Bobby

Rae Lakes

Me crossing Woods Creek Bridge
Wood Creek water slide

Approaching Pinchot Pass
Arrowhead Lake

Approaching Mather Pass, along South Fork Kings River head waters

Mather Pass looking south


Descending Mather Pass
Looking north towards Palisade Lakes
Palisade Lakes
Along middle fork Kings River
Middle fork Kings River

Helen Lake

Muir Hut, Muir Pass

Descending from Muir Pass
Deer along the San Joquin River - photo by Ricky Bobby

Looking north from Seldon Pass
Silver Pass Lake
Atop Silver Pass

One of many late afternoon thunderstorms near Mammoth