Loc: Melbourne Australia
Hi all I'm a reasonably fit 53 year old Australian. I have plans to travel to Canada and the USA in June 2017 and would like to spend about 2 weeks on the PCT so I'm looking for recommendations on a 250-350 mile section to explore.
Loc: Tacoma, Washington
Paul...welcome to the forum. I've been told that the Steven's pass to Snoqualmie pass is the most scenic stretch in the whole trail, but it's only 70 some miles. Still, I'd include it in any hike in the state of washington. I'm 68 and personally plan on 10 mile days. Also in June any hikers will be crossing still melting snow banks and downed trees. It all combines to slow a person down, at least it does me. If you're up to it, continue on White pass for a total of 225 miles. ( 14 days @ 16 mile perday-based on two weeks) a full day of arranging transportation needs and food gathering.
Loc: Portland, OR
Because you chose to post this in Backcountry Beginners, I must assume you are fairly new at backcountry backpacking. You also indicate you intend to cover from 250 up to 350 miles of trail in "about two weeks", which would amount to from about 20 to 25 miles a day. That's not including any days off-trail for resupplying yourself with food, so your actual daily miles would probably be higher.
This is very ambitious for an inexperienced hiker, unless by "explore" you meant something other than a continuous hike of the entire 250 to 350 mile section. My first recommendation would be to scale back your ambition a bit to something closer to 15 or 16 miles a day. That would be more like a 200 mile section, with a few off-trail days interpolated for resupply. You can always enjoyably fill an extra hour or two each day with lounging about or side trips, if this mileage goal proves to easy for you.
The other thing I noted was your time frame will be in June. The higher elevation mountains of the western USA are often covered in residual snow from the previous winter in June, and this includes the most scenic parts of the PCT. You will either be walking on snow much of the time, making both walking and navigation difficult, or you must choose a lower elevation and somewhat southerly section, likely to be less snowy. This may not be quite what you had in mind.
Lastly, have you given much thought to your equipment? Will you bring it from Australia or plan to acquire it in the USA? The best way to cover lots of daily miles is to have a light pack. Beginners rarely have the experience to know what to bring and what to leave behind. We can help with that, too.
Could you clarify some of these issues for us, so we can more easily give you the advice you are seeking? Thanks!
Loc: Melbourne Australia
Hi Aimless I posted in beginners because I am and I realise I will need much good advice. The 250 - 350 mile 2 weeks was only a starting point. The amount of miles I hike doesn't worry me and the time frame could push out to 3 or 4 weeks on the PCT. I'm wanting to push myself beyond what I think my limits are.
Information Looking at flying in and out of San Francisco Holiday 6 or 7 weeks must be back at work on 12 July 2017 I would like to hike PTC early in my trip before I start buying things Living out of my backpack and camping taking photos Yosemite - massive fan of Ansel Adams Yellowstone - I want to see as many animals as possible Grand Canyon Traditional archery event 23-25 June in Colorado Spend a week in Alberta and BC
Equipment I will look at buying ice axe and crampons second hand in the US as these are very expensive in Australia and not much use for them here I was thinking of getting a Garmin Rino 750 new or second hand My stove is gas so I may need to replace it with a fuel stove, tent sleeping mat what temperature range sleeping bag? I would appreciate recommendations on all gear I'm looking at new packs at the moment any suggestions?
Yes I'm probably a little crazy and should have put more thought into my name on the forum lack of imagination there. I'm new at forums as well.
Loc: Tacoma, Washington
you might check out " postholer.com ". Once there you'll be able to read equipment lists and pull up a google map of the trail it's self. I use it a lot to work out many of my hikes. they also have trail journals and equipment lists. you should get a good idea of current equipment, others are dragging into the woods.. also you might check out "Washington Trails Assoc."in it you'll find reports on trail conditions.( it's kind of slow during our winter months but all good solid stuff!
Loc: Portland, OR
I'm looking at new packs at the moment any suggestions?
Just one quick suggestion, hold off on buying a pack until you have a very clear idea of how much space you'll need in it to carry the maximum load you'll need it to handle.
Another quick thought: public transportation to towns near the PCT is very limited. Intercity bus service, such as the Greyhound or Trailways bus services, that once flourished as a means of getting from one small town to another, are a mere scrap of what they once were. Trailways vanished and Greyhound almost has.
There is public transport from San Francisco to Yosemite, so that's covered, but you'll almost certainly need to hitchhike from your final trailhead to a town of some size before you can connect to public transport again. Getting around in the US western states is quite difficult without an automobile, but especially to the remoter, wilder areas you are aiming at seeing.
Since Aimless mentioned public transit to Yosemite, how about a lollipop hike with the John Muir Trail out of Yosemite connecting to the Big SEKI loop? That seems pretty close to the mileage you are looking for. Here is info on the Big SEKI loop: https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/73686/
Some words of caution: hiking in the Sierra is probably unlike anything you have done before. Miles there contain significant elevation changes. To do high mileage you need to be in very good shape and have a very light kit. Resupplying on the PCT is not easy. The trail does not go through towns. You typically have to hike over a pass to a trailhead and then hitchhike (or walk) to a town and then reverse it to get back onto the trail.
Our long-time Sponsor, BackcountryGear.com - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:
Affiliate Disclaimer: This forum is an affiliate of BackcountryGear.com, Amazon.com, R.E.I. and others. The product links herein are linked to their sites. If you follow these links to make a purchase, we may get a small commission. This is our only source of support for these forums. Thanks.!