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Help Plan Location of Our PCT Trip This Summer
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Nate Boyer
(NateB123) - MLife
Help Plan Location of Our PCT Trip This Summer on 01/03/2013 19:26:07 MST Print View

My girlfriend and I are taking a trip out west this coming summer and are having trouble picking a section of trail on the PCT. We're 27 years old and in good shape. We'd like to hear some sugestions from you. Here are some guidelines:

-We would like to do about 100 miles in 6 days.
-We would like to have one resupply point (town with post office).
-We're not interested in doing a loop. We want to stay on the PCT.
-We're not sure how to get from the airport to the trail, and from the trail to the airport.
-Mountains are great, but not necessary. We're considering the section that covers Mount Whitney.

I look forwared to hearing your sugestions. Thanks.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Help Plan Location of Our PCT Trip This Summer on 01/03/2013 19:33:28 MST Print View

"We're considering the section that covers Mount Whitney."

I guess you know that Mount Whitney is not on the PCT.


Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Sierra on 01/03/2013 19:36:14 MST Print View

Not sure the mileage but head in at Bishop and out at Whitney. Not much better bang for buck than that.

a b
Re: Sierra on 01/03/2013 19:50:42 MST Print View

Leave your car in Lone Pine.
Take the bus to Independence and hitch a ride up to Onion Valley. (It is the easiest hitch along the PCT.. dead end road.. only hikers driving to and from TH)

Hike over Kearsarge Pass and join the PCT near Vidette meadows.
South over Forrester pass and hang a left at Crabtree Meadows and summit Whitney on your last day(s).
Down to Lone Pine and journey is complete.

Kearsarge Pass area is absolutely stunning and a few days could be spent there alone.
.Kearsarge Pass area

Edited by Ice-axe on 01/03/2013 19:55:44 MST.

Elizabeth Tracy
(mariposa) - M

Locale: Outside
What month? on 01/05/2013 20:13:21 MST Print View


Sounds like fun.

What are the approximate dates of this trip? If in June, or even the first half of July, the snowpack may heavily influence your options in some locations.

You say you're in great shape. Are you in great HILL shape? A 17-mile day in the High Sierra is going to be dramatically more difficult than a 17-mile day in Oregon. You might be talking 5000+ feet of climbing per day, and the same amount of descending, with a pack, moving very slowly because you're at 11k or 12k or higher and are not acclimated. PCT'ers racking up 20-25 mile days in southern California usually slow down to 15 miles/day once they hit the Whitney area. It's just very taxing. If in the High Sierra you could maybe aim for, say, ~12-14 miles/day instead of trying to make 100 miles in 6 days.

Most people I talk to who've done the whole PCT (I've only done certain sections) preferred either the High Sierra between Whitney and Yosemite, or parts of Washington State, especially the trek through the North Cascades (north-central Washington). The WA section from Snoqualmie Pass to Stevens Pass is probably around 100 miles, and I can highly recommend that one. Someone also mentioned Bishop Pass to Mt. Whitney in CA, and that's also about as good as it gets (although it is also very high/vertical/difficult, so check the mileage to make sure that doesn't create 18-mile days).

- Elizabeth

Elizabeth Tracy
(mariposa) - M

Locale: Outside
resupply? on 01/05/2013 20:18:37 MST Print View

p.s. You want a resupply point at the midpoint? I'm sure we can think of a few. Just know that requiring a resupply town will reduce your options, as some of the best scenery is also the most remotely located, with no realistic 3-day resupply source.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: What month? on 01/06/2013 17:53:49 MST Print View

"The WA section from Snoqualmie Pass to Stevens Pass is probably around 100 miles, and I can highly recommend that one."

Washington Trails Association has it at 75 miles with 16,000' of elevation gain. There is about 17,000'of loss, IIRC. Other sources, like REI, put it as low as 68.5 miles. In any case, it's a great hike and I can heartily second your recommendation. Someone in reasonably good shape could easily do 16-18 miles/day, and PCT types far more. Altitude is not a problem, but the ups and downs make for a good workout. Hard to beat the scenery. It is best done in late August or September, especially in high snow years. There is one stream crossing below Mt Daniels that can be really dicey when the stream is running high.

Nate Boyer
(NateB123) - MLife
Update on 01/07/2013 07:57:38 MST Print View

-We have decided not to do Whitney. We are in good shape and can handle 15-20 mile days (without much elevation change), but she is not used to elevation and I'm not sure how she would handle it. We're not going to risk our trip on it.

-We've decided a re-supply town is not necessary. However, if we don't have one, we may cut our time on the trail down to four days.

-If we do a section near Yosemite, we may do four days on the trail and then spend a night or two in Yosemite when we're done.


Edited by NateB123 on 01/07/2013 07:58:46 MST.

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: Update on 01/07/2013 08:22:41 MST Print View

Mammoth (Reds Meadow area) to Yosemite Valley is a nice 3-4 day trip via the JMT/PCT.
its about 56-65 miles depending on how and where you start.

the logistics of this trip are also fairly easy.

you would finish in Yosemite Valley, hang there as long as desired, then take the YARTS bus back to Mammoth.


Diamox (need a doctor's prescription) does work for altitude issues.
you will still huff and puff going up hill but you won't get altitude sick.

Edited by asandh on 01/07/2013 08:55:42 MST.

Brian Pendley
Re: Help Plan Location of Our PCT Trip This Summer on 02/04/2013 19:18:31 MST Print View

You might consider the +/- 76-mile section J of PCT from Sonora Pass to Echo Lake (near Lake Tahoe). See National Geographic topo maps (mostly hols at 9000') link at
My wife & I are looking at this section for this summer as well.
PS if you want another 76-miles start from Yosemite (section I of PCT)

Edited by newbie58 on 02/04/2013 19:19:55 MST.