After getting out of the Sierra’s, there is still 500 more miles of trail in California to hike through before hitting the Oregon border. This last section of the PCT in CA is when it seems some folks quit their “thru-hike” and drop off the trail or just skip ahead closer to oregon… which is understandable since many consider the Sierras the most epic 400 miles of the entire PCT… what could top that? Plenty.
We LOVED this section, and had many special moments in it together. Husband, Wife and Dog. The Castle Crags, Trinity Alps, Marble Wilderness were all favorites of ours and super beautiful and unique areas of the NOCAL wilderness.
We did encounter smoke from a forest fire near Etna, CA and and another near the border of Oregon. We could see the smoke settle in the valleys in the morning as we were walking the ridges of the mountains. We found the air smoky as we approached Ashland from several active fires that were 100 miles away. Thankfully neither fires caused the PCT to be unsafe and “closed” by the Forest Service. Many parts of southern CA that we hiked through have burnt since we have been there so it is a major concern. We continually use our mobile technology to stay informed about any concerns… this is one advantage to carrying a smart phone as we cross the country on foot.
We have had a too many hot days and have had to go back to some early morning and night hiking, but Balu sure does appreciate the cooler night weather!
We are continually surprised and blessed with trail magic! Here we found two coolers labelled for PCT thru-hikers; one had a box of donuts in it and the other had sodas. This always hits the spot on a hot day.
After getting to the Oregon Border, we celebrated with beers and cupcakes with several of our thru-hiking friends. Good times with good friends on the trail… and we were so happy to be done hiking through California (1700 miles!). Now on to our home state of Oregon…