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Pacific Northwest Trail - 1200 mi. - Summer '07
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Sarah Florell
(sarah_f) - F

Locale: BWCA
Re: Great PNT progress on 07/11/2007 14:18:26 MDT Print View

Set one of Sam's PNT thru hike. Take a peek they're great.

Edited by sharalds on 07/12/2007 14:18:01 MDT.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Great PNT progress on 07/11/2007 14:57:26 MDT Print View

Great photos. Sarah, what kind of camera is he using? I need to track down his gearlist again and check it out.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Pacific Northwest Trail - 1200 mi. - Summer '07 on 07/12/2007 14:17:14 MDT Print View


Day twenty-two on the Pacific Northwest Trail ( ).
I've been averaging somewhere near twenty miles per day. My shortest
day was thirteen miles and my longest was thirty-seven.

It's only rained on me once so I'm awaiting some kind of torrential
downpour. It would be a welcome respite from the temps which have
topped 105 deg. F. Early morning hiking has been a necessity to keep
cool and I've been consuming upwards of two gallons of water a day.

The snow that plagued my weary ankles in the high country of Western
Montana and into Idaho is gone in all but the smallest little patches
now. With the disappearance of the snow will also come the
disappearance of some of the small snow-melt creeks which made
stocking up on water so easy. I'll have to pay close attention to
"tanking up" with water when the chance arises and have made notes in
my trail guides as to where the best water resources are in the
upcoming miles.

I'm now in the sere brown hills of Eastern Washington which albeit not
the tremendous peaks and valleys of Montana's Rocky Mountains or
Idaho's Selkirks still hold their own in elevation gain/loss
(especially compared with my homeland of Minnesota). The area I am
about to embark into is not as highly developed from a recreational
standpoint so more of my immediate travels will be on Forest Service
roads than on trails. The roads provide good grade and level walking
and typically are closed to vehicular traffic so they still provide
for quality walking.

I've seen some diverse landscapes, from the rocky balds and snow
packed heights of Boulder Pass in Glacier National Park to the old
growth cedar forests, complete with trees in excess of eight feet in
diameter of the Salmo Priest Wilderness. Next is the drier hills of
Easter Washington's Kettle Crest with the deep canyons of the Paysaten
Wilderness and the lush expanses of North Cascades National Park to
follow. Alas, I get ahead of myself. I've much country to explore in
Colville and Okanagan National Forests first and you'll hear from me
again mid-exploration of those lands.

Tomorrow morning I set off with eight days of food in search of
Bonaparte Lake Resort (NE of Tonasket, WA) where I'll pick up three
more days supplies for a quick jaunt up to Oroville, WA. From
Oroville I expect to make my next correspondence with the world.
Until then I bid you adieu.

Sam Haraldson

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Pacific Northwest Trail - 1200 mi. - Summer '07 on 07/12/2007 14:20:12 MDT Print View

John, I'm using a Canon Powershot SD400 point and shoot. The photos were then run through some basic Photoshop-ing by brother and then put online. You can view my pre-trip gearlist at It's changed a little bit but is mostly accurate.

Sarah, my (and your) homemade gear is holding up wonderfully!

Ryan Faulkner
(ryanf) - F

Locale: Mid atlantic, No. Cal
Re: Pacific Northwest Trail - 1200 mi. - Summer '07 on 07/12/2007 14:46:16 MDT Print View

thanks for the updates sam

im dying to do another long trip myself after reading this

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Pacific Northwest Trail - 1200 mi. - Summer '07 on 07/23/2007 11:35:00 MDT Print View


I'm in Oroville, Washington and am paying for internet time so this update will be unfortunately short. The public library (probably thanks to our current administration) is closed on Mondays.

I've made it most of the way across the hot, dry desert-like hills of the Okanogan Valley of Eastern Washington. Next up is the high country of the Paysaten Wilderness and North Cascades National Park. This is the part of the trip I've most anticipated. Between these two wild areas I will get to cover literally hundreds of miles of roadless area, broken only by a short ferry trip across Ross Lake.

My pack is at its heaviest right now with 8+ days of food and enough water to get between streams and lakes. I'm in great shape though and can put down twenty plus miles without too much thought now. I still enjoy getting to town and enjoying a cheeseburger and beer though.

A new batch of photos should be ready in the near future and my at-home-tech-support brother will be letting you all know when they're available. It's certainly good having folks such as him, my parents and girlfriend helping out on the home front.

Sam Haraldson

Sarah Florell
(sarah_f) - F

Locale: BWCA
Pacific Northwest Trail Update on 07/24/2007 16:45:42 MDT Print View

For those of you following Sam's PNT journey, here's the link to set two of pictures. Looks like some beautiful scenery.

Half way done, Sam! Nice work.


Edited by sarah_f on 07/24/2007 16:52:54 MDT.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Pacific Northwest Trail - 1200 mi. - Summer '07 on 08/10/2007 20:30:33 MDT Print View

Fans and friends,

I've been walking the Pacific Northwest Trail for forty-eight days.
Talk on two pleasurable days before that in Glacier National Park
making my way to the official PNT start on the continental divide and
that makes for an even fifty days. My mileage is somewhere in the 900
mile range thus far and my current location is Port Townsend,

The past few days have been a flurry of official PNT signage and trail
blazes proving that the trail has a good local following and that
locals are supporting it. It is a polar opposite from the off-trail
sections and route-finding nightmares of Montana, Idaho and E.

Since my last update I've walked a seven day stretch without walking a
road, walked stretches of the pristine beaches along the Strait of
Juan de Fuca and also pounded dozens of miles of tense, high traffic

The crossing of Ross Lake in between the Paysaten Wilderness and the
North Cascades National Park was like awaking from a dreamless sleep
and finding yourself in the middle of Times Square. Previously I had
been able to make mental notes of all the people I'd seen on the
various trails I'd walked. Once I arrived in the lands of Western
Washington it became apparent that people here really like to get out
and after it in the woods as they were everywhere. I miss the
solitude but am happy to see the trails getting good use. On a
positive note it has given me a chance to spend time with some fellow
campers - a number of whom will be receiving this update. The
kindness and generosity of others (I love free beer, thanks, Gary!) in
trade for nothing more than some backpacking stories or gear advice
has been wonderful.

All the people out in the woods obviously live somewhere and the
population density of the area shows. Finding places to camp in these
lands which aren't mile after mile of National Forest like in previous
sections of the hike can be more difficult. As of late I've had to
put some of my stealth camping techniques to the test and have even
(gasp!) paid for some state park camping. I travel light and only
require a small earth footprint so with a bit of advice from some
locals in a pub a choice spot in the local park can be quickly

Ahead of me lies a nice chunk of state and federal lands encompassing
the bulk of the Olympic Peninsula's Olympic Mountain Range and the
expansive coast of the Pacific Ocean. I'm ready to get back onto some
entire days spent on trails and back to the true backpacking

The latest batch of photos goes into the mail today so when my brother
can find some time in his busy schedule he'll put those online for
everyone to peruse. My next trail report will probably come post-hike
and at that time I look forward to expanding in detail on some
sections and answering any questions folks might have.

It's been great hearing people's commentary along the way so feel free
to keep that coming. In closing let me leave you with the remark my
superstar girlfriend, Sarah leaves me with when we talk on the phone,
"happy hiking".

- Sam

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Wow..Port Townsend already? on 08/10/2007 22:38:12 MDT Print View

It seems like you just started! :-D Did you enjoy your walk across Whidbey Island? My first section of PNT was on Whidbey when I lived there, and then the sections up near Bellingham.

I would think that once you crossed over from Eastern Washington to Western it must have been a nice shock to be in green.

Anyways, you have one of the best sections ahead of you :-) Enjoy the coast, and be safe on your way to Cape Alva.

And yes, we Wa. folks love our trails. The trail you are walking on now for a little is also the Olympic Discovery Trail (ODT) being built section by section from Port Townsend to Cape Alva!

Hope you enjoy your time as you cross the Olympics. The Olympics are home to me, they have always been my favorite place to hike.

Take care!

Edited by sarbar on 08/10/2007 22:55:50 MDT.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Adding post to: "Pacific Northwest Trail - 1200 mi. - Summer '07" on 08/16/2007 13:09:32 MDT Print View

More on Sarah's comment later (almost out of Internet time)

Fellow Hiking Enthusiasts (and wanna be's) -

My hike along the Pacific Northwest Trail grows near its end. I made excellent time across the Olympic Peninsula of Western Washington thus far, enjoying spectacular views of the the snowy peaked Olympic Mountains and (finally) the Pacific Ocean in all its glory. A near record setting day of 35 miles brought me into the town of Forks, WA last evening where I shared some floor space in a dugout of the local ball diamond with a fellow trekker who is making his way along a 1200 mile bike tour.

I secured permits to hike the Pacific Coast sections of Olympic National Park and set out toward that this afternoon. A few luxurious days hiking the beaches and headlands North and I will reach my final destination at Cape Alava. The excitement builds for the notion of completion but the dawning of an end to something amazing is also upon me.

Look forward (or not) to a final trail report, statistics and photos upon my completion and return to civilization. It's been fun sharing this all with you.

Sam Haraldson

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Pacific Northwest Trail - 1200 mi. - Summer '07 on 09/10/2007 15:00:41 MDT Print View


I didn't ever reply to your comments from 08.10 I see. I had an absolutely grand time on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington. Although there was a bit of road walking from Port Townsend to Olympic N.F., once beyond that my time in the Olympic Mountains and rain forest were superb.

Previously to these locations I'd had great weather with very little rain so it was almost a welcome change to get into some wet hiking and camping. It gave me a chance to put my gear to the whole gamut of conditions on which I can put together more accurate and rounded reviews.

I believe it was you, Sarah who directed me to avoid the Bogachiel as my exit strategy from Olympic N.P. and I took this advice to heart and used the Hoh river valley instead. I double checked your information with two backcountry rangers and they assured me that the Bogachiel would be a very tough 20 some odd miles as the storms of last year blew down dozens of trees per mile.

- Sam

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Pacific Northwest Trail - 1200 mi. - Summer '07 on 09/12/2007 14:43:47 MDT Print View

It sounds like you had one awesome summer and trip! The Bogey is pretty..but as noted, it gets nearly no upkeep. The Hoh, with it's throngs of tourists, keep it repaired :-)

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Re: Pacific Northwest Trail - 1200 mi. - Summer '07 on 09/13/2007 12:23:41 MDT Print View


The Hoh River trail out of Olympic was like a super-highway of hiking trails. I was able to make four miles per hour on that trail after having already hiked a dozen or so miles that morning (up to the High Divide from Lunch Lake and then down to the Hoh Valley). That was quite the day now that I look back on it because I walked the twenty trail miles and then walked the fifteen miles or so of road from the Hoh Ranger Station out to Highway 101.

- Sam

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Re: Pacific Northwest Trail - 1200 mi. - Summer '07 on 09/24/2007 21:03:20 MDT Print View

Interested Parties -

It's been some time since I last wrote with an update on my hike along
the Pacific Northwest Trail. I've been done hiking for just over a
month now, have settled back into city life in terms of apartment
living, going back to work and spending time with family and friends.
Life on the trail was minimal and straightforward but at the same time
strenuous and consuming. I found time for little more than eating,
hiking and sleeping. Re-entry into the swing of society in which time
isn't determined by the rising and setting of the sun but rather the
whim of the individual I've found myself operating later into the
night, sleeping past sunrise and generally doing the things normal
folks do.

City life has allowed me time to go over the images and words I
captured to my camera and journal. I would like to share with you my
fellow hikers, family and friends these words and pictures so that you
may live vicariously through them, dream that you too may experience
such things and relate them to your own adventures.

All my Web media is either available within the backpacking section of
my Web site or via links there-in. Below are links directly to my
photo galleries, (with many more photos than in previous releases),
trail journals and videos at, Google Images and

I would like to thank you all for the wonderful responses I received
in regards to my mailings, the comments on my photos and questions of
all sorts. In the coming months I will be presenting my thru hike in
person at a number of locations such as W-Trek Outfitters in Duluth,
MN, the Midwest Mountaineering Outdoor Adventure Expo in Minneapolis,
MN and others TBA. If this is something you are interested please
contact me for more information.

Trail Journals



Gear list:

Web site:

Sam Haraldson

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Pacific Northwest Trail - 1200 mi. - Summer '07 on 10/09/2007 08:55:56 MDT Print View

To the Masses:

The warm weather hiking season is coming to a close, the weatherman on the radio is calling for possibilities of snow and the Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations are becoming as prominent as the piles of fallen leaves on the ground. With the end of summer will come the opportunity for me to give an in-person re-cap of my summer's adventures along the Pacific Northwest Trail.

For those of you located in the Midwest I will be presenting, through photo, video and words my thru hike at two locations in two cities. For those unable to attend I hope to have the event filmed for placement on my Web site ( ). The event details are as follows:

"An Ultralight Thru-Hike of the Pacific Northwest Trail."

From well-traveled foot-paths of the National Parks to rough
bushwhacks in the wilderness come hear Sam Haraldson's tales of backpacking done in the ultralight style. If you're interested in long distance hiking, the Pacific Northwest, simple nature photography or ultralight backpacking then come experience the sights of "An Ultralight Thru-Hike of the Pacific Northwest Trail."

Thursday, October 25th, 7:00 pm
W-Trek Outiftters
230 E Superior St, Duluth, MN 55802

Saturday, November 17th, 11:00 am
Midwest Mountaineering Outdoor Adventure Expo
309 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55454
Humphrey Institute, Room 180

I look forward to seeing some of you there!

Sam Haraldson

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Pacific Northwest Trail - 1200 mi. - Summer '07 on 11/17/2007 18:42:49 MST Print View


That was a very nice show and it was great to meet you. There was quite a collection of MN BPLers present. Maybe we could form a local chapter:-)

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Pacific Northwest Trail - 1200 mi. - Summer '07 on 11/19/2007 08:22:47 MST Print View


Yes, it was great meeting you this weekend. Also in attendance were Raleigh Martin and John Mowery of BPL. I asked a question mid-presentation to see how many ultralighters were in the crowd and there was definitely a showing of a dozen or so hands. Not bad for a crowd of 50 or 75 people. Thank you all for coming and checking it out. The presentation will be made available online in the coming months for those interested.

- Sam

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Pacific Northwest Trail - 1200 mi. - Summer '07 on 11/19/2007 17:32:20 MST Print View

Sam, your presentation was great. Nice to meet you and John Mowery (I had met Jim Cotten before through BPL). PS, I signed up for the Superior Hiking Trail Association that you're also involved with at the show.


David T
(DaveT) - F
. on 11/19/2007 21:43:12 MST Print View


Edited by DaveT on 11/19/2014 21:23:34 MST.

Sam Haraldson
(sharalds) - MLife

Locale: Gallatin Range
Pacific Northwest Trail - 1200 mi. - Summer '07 on 11/20/2007 06:39:15 MST Print View

Roleigh -

You'll be glad you joined the SHTA. It's a good organization and a great trail.

- Sam