Date: Saturday, 01 July 2017
Start: Camped by the trail in a small saddle at Mile 1514.4, 5998 ft
Finish: Camped by the trail at Parks Creek Trailhead at Mile 1537.2, 6860 ft
Daily Miles: 22.8
Total PCT Miles: 996.9
Weather: Warm and mostly sunny
Dinner: Rehydrated cheese enchilada ranchero
Aches: None in particular
Highlight: Hard to pick
Lowlight: None really
Pictures: Click here
I was away soon after 6:30am on a slightly cooler morning foŕ what turned out to be a beautiful day’s hiking. For most of the time, the trail followed ridges or ran high along hillsides that were rocky and largely bare of vegetation, oscillating between 6000 ft and 7200 ft. This meant that there were great views that kept changing as the trail switched from one side of a ridge to the other, or crossed a high pass. There were mountains and forests in all directions with the ubiquitous Mt Shasta making frequent appearances. And amongst the mountains and forests were beautiful crystal clear alpine lakes.
I think the area is known as the Trinity Alps or Trinity Divide, and it is obviously a hiking Mecca, with lots of well-marked trails, and being July 4th weekend, lots of hikers. I also saw quite a few southbound PCT hikers, one of whom warned me that I will be glad of my crampons on the section after the next town, Etna, which I hope to reach on July 4th. For today, the snow I feared didn’t eventuate. There were a few snowy sections, some of which required care (especially in the afternoon when it has become soft, slushy and slippery), but my ice axe and crampons remained holstered.
I reached the Parks Creek trailhead, my target for the day, about 5:45pm, feeling I had had a good day. Although the guide didn’t reference any campsites here, I found one a little away from the car park, which contains a number of cars left by hikers.