For future thruhikers or those curious, here’s the Too Long; Didn’t Read version of my Pacific Crest Trail thruhike. Your mileage, pun absolutely intended, may vary.
Start: 4 May 2016
Finish: 29 September 2016
Total Time: 149 days (4 months, 25 days or 21 weeks, 1 day)
Total Mileage: 2692.4 (with side trails and alternates)
Average Daily Mileage Overall: 18.1 miles/day
Zero Days: 12 (2 each in Green Valley and Bishop; 1 each in Idlyllwild, Kernville, Kennedy Meadows, Mammoth, Tahoe, Ashland, Bend, Portland)
Average Daily Mileage, without Zero Days: 19.6 miles/day
Nero1 Days: 31
Average Daily Mileage, without Zeros or Neros: 22.5 miles/day
Average Daily Mileage of First Week: 15.6 miles/day
Average Daily Mileage of Last Week: 20.1 miles/day
SoCal Average Daily Mileage: 14.7 miles/day
SoCal Average Daily Mileage, without Zeros: 16.1 miles/day
SoCal Average Daily Mileage, without Zeros or Neros: 19.0 miles/day
Sierra Average Daily Mileage: 15.0 miles/day
Sierra Average Daily Mileage, without Zeros: 16.7 miles/day
Sierra Average Daily Mileage, without Zeros or Neros: 19.7 miles/day
NorCal Average Daily Mileage: 23.7 miles/day
NorCal Average Daily Mileage, without Zeros: 23.7 miles/day (I took no Zeros in NorCal)
NorCal Average Daily Mileage, without Zeros or Neros: 25.6 miles/day
Oregon Average Daily Mileage: 21.1 miles/day
Oregon Average Daily Mileage, without Zeros: 24.3 miles/day
Oregon Average Daily Mileage, without Zeros or Neros: 25.9 miles/day
Washington Average Daily Mileage: 21.4 miles/day
Washington Average Daily Mileage, without Zeros: 21.4 miles/day (I took no Zeros in WA)
Washington Average Daily Mileage, without Zeros or Neros: 24.0 miles/day
Resupply Towns, California: Warner Springs, Idyllwild, Big Bear, Wrightwood, Agua Dulce, Tehachapi, Lake Isabella, Kennedy Meadows, Bishop, Muir Trail Ranch (Hikerbox), Mammoth, Tuolumne Meadows, Kennedy Meadows North, South Lake Tahoe, Sierra City, Belden, Old Station, Burney, Mount Shasta, Etna
Resupply Towns, Oregon: Ashland, Crater Lake – Mazama Village, Crescent Lake, Bend, Big Lake Youth Camp, Timberline Lodge, Cascade Locks
Resupply Towns, Washington: White Pass, Snoqualmie Pass, Skykomish, Stehekin
Resupply Strategy: Buy as you Go for most of California; Mail Drops for Warner Springs, Tuolumne Meadows, Sierra City, Belden, Old Station, and all of Oregon and Washington
Average Distance between Resupply, total: 85.6
Longest Distance between Resupply: 148.3
Shortest Distance between Resupply: 35.9
Favorite Town Stops: Paradise Valley, Idyllwild, Wrightwood, Agua Dulce, Green Valley, Mammoth, South Lake Tahoe, Etna, Ashland, Portland, Stehekin. So many magical places, so many magical people.
Favorite Resupply Town: Probably Etna or Stehekin, 100% because both places had, in my opinion, the best food on trail. (I didn’t count Paradise Valley because I didn’t resupply there.)
Least Favorite Resupply Town: Belden, though the trail magic there was incredible and the folks at the music festival were great.
Favorite Thing to Resupply: MAC AND CHEESE. Also Peanut M&Ms.
Least Favorite Thing to Resupply: Clif Bars. I ate a couple, but mostly avoided them like the plague.
Favorite Piece of Gear: Mountain Hardwear Phantom Torch 3F Sleeping Bag. It’s SO FLUFFY. Also, I like being warm.
Least Favorite Piece of Gear: I sent home my Rite in the Rain notebook. Just never used it. But otherwise I felt pretty well dialed in.
Notable Wildlife Sightings: 2 black bears, 3(?) mountain lions, 1 snowshoe hare, 1 badger, innumerable lizards deer pikas marmots butterflies
Guns Seen: 0
Number of Days I Went Without Seeing People: 0
Common Dinner: Beans and Rice when stoveless, Mac & Cheese with stove
Break Philosophy: I didn’t really like taking breaks, but I think I learned that I do need to take breaks – though I tried to keep them to about an hour only a couple of times a day. I tried to do all my snacking while walking, and almost got the addendum “Kangaroo” to my trail name, because I used my shirt as a pocket to carry all my snacks. And, much like on the Colorado Trail, while I was hiking with other people, it was a lot easier to chill out, sit down, and have a meal-type-thing when there was the promise of company while I was doing it.
Biggest Joy: The day I hiked Forester Pass; the day I finished.
Biggest Pain: Physically, pinching that nerve in my back. Mentally, knowing I was drained in Washington, and knowing I was sO CLOSE to the finish.
Would You Recommend the Pacific Crest Trail?: Yes. So yes. Such yes. Many yes. Wow.
Would You Recommend the Pacific Crest Trail as a Starting Trail?: I wouldn’t not recommend it. I know plenty of people who successfully completed it as their first backpacking trip, though for the most part, they were hiking with more experienced partners.
So that’s the quick of it. Click here to start reading the long of it.
Other questions? Comment, and I’ll answer.