Below is the start of the PCT and as I watch vlogs on Youtube sometimes it’s hard for me to visualize the trail and what is the distance between points and what towns are close by that some hikers descend on to resupply or grab gear to swap into their system. So these yellow sheets cover California. My scanning app turned the last two into a white photocopy.
For me… I knew the first 700 miles to Kennedy Meadows, but after the Sierra Mountains, I never knew all the legs off by heart. Same for Oregon and Washington.
Next, I will try and get a rough idea of how long each leg will take and make notes of possible zero-days off-trail for errands, rest, and resupply.
Above: Sheet 1 / California / Campo 0 Miles to Int-10 Cabazon 209 Miles.
You can see the start at Campo near the Mexican border. We have two people that have reached out and offered rides to the starting point by trail angels. Our first Burger will probably in the snack bar in Lake Morena on our second day.
The “N” at the 3rd stop at Mt. Laguna represents a “Nero” which is a day with almost no miles hiked. This would be 3 quarters of a day in Mt. Laguna. North of that you will see a “Z” beside Julian (77 miles in) The “Z” would be full “Zero” and probably getting a motel room or hostel to sleep. We will be about 9-10 days into our hike.
Two weeks in should get us to Warner Springs as we just passed the 100-mile mark. We will average about 12 miles a day for the first two weeks and that in Canadian is about 20 kilometers per day. Leg 5 & 151 miles in is listed by many as the best burgers on the PCT at the Paradise Cafe.
Before getting into Idyllwild we will pass where Trevor lost his life this year 11 days into his hike when he slipped on snow/ice fell down a ravine. We will take 1 or 2 “Zero’s” in Idyllwild and run errands, rest, and edit & post. Hey, we have to meet the Mayor. Leaving Idyllwild we will consider if it’s safe to try and summit Mt. Jacinto at 10,834 ft. It all depends on the snow.
This sheet covers Section A & B of the trail ending at Interstate 10 and a short hitch into Cabazon for those who would like to hit In & Out Burger.
See some trail lingo you don’t understand? Hit this.
Above: Sheet 2 / California / Int-10 Cabazon 209 Miles to Agula Dulce 454 Miles
You will see the trail head west after Big Bear. After a long leg from Cabazon to Big Bear to start off section C will probably have us take a zero in Big Bear. Then the next leg of 76 miles will take us to Interstate 15 at Cajon Pass (342 miles) where the famous McDonald’s is and the McDonald’s Resupply Challenge that we will have to take on. It’s where you only buy McDonald’s food to eat for the next section to Wrightwood. 30 miles of only eating McDonald’s should not be hard. When we hit Wrightwood we will take a zero before the next stretch.
We will try and summit Mt. Baden-Powell. Watch IBTAT have a rough day getting up Baden Powell here. After that, it’s off to Agula Dulce and we could stay at the KOA right before it… but who wants to get into a hiker trash hot tub with a bunch of PCT hikers making it into a creepy stew lol.
This sheet above covers sections C and D and gets us up to the 454-mile marker and pretty close to Los Angeles.
Above: Sheet 3 / California / Agula Dulce Mile 454 to Walker Pass Mile 652
is sections E & F that will take us close to Kennedy Meadows and out of the heat and into the Sierra Mountains. Leg 10 is long and could be a 6-7 day leg. I’m sure this stretch we won’t be talking much and will just be hauling ass through the desert on long stretches. We will have been hiking for weeks and into a little groove with how our days are mapped out with breaks, naps in the hot afternoons, and when we usually quit for the night and set up camp.
This section is new to me and I have to take the time to see what’s along the way. I have not done my research for this section.
Above: Sheet 4 / CA / Walker Pass Mile 652 to Crabtree Meadows 767
Section G gets us into Kennedy Meadows where we will probably take 2-3 zero’s as we get ready for the Sierra Mountains with picking up our Ice Axe, Bear Can, and crampons. I’m sure we will look at warmer clothing also. We need to find some buddies to hike into the Sierra’s with. If we have not met anyone along the way that is going the same pace with us we will have to turn on the charm 😉 I’m sure we will take some time and hook up with some other people. Usually going into the Sierra’s… hikers will gather up in groups of 6, 8, or 10 to cover this section together for safety. Hopefully, someone in our group has done this section before, since that experience helps. Heading into the Sierra’s it could be slow going and we will be carrying lots of food since the stretches might be 8-10 days before our next resupply.
We have Mt. Whitney to summit as a side trip so finding people to go into the Sierra’s together… it’s important to find some people who want to summit since you don’t want to lose your group. Some might wait in Lone Pine or Crabtree Meadows by the ranger station.
More on the Sierra on the next sheet. This sheet only covers a little bit into the Sierra’s so the next sheet will be from Mt. Whitney going forward passing all those passes. Forrester’s Pass is the highest point on the trail. Mt. Whitney is higher but that is an extra side trip and not part of the PCT which many try and make it part of their trip.