106 days
2652 miles
25 miles per day
Mile 0020 Oct. 24, 2018, 6:13 p.m.

Checked in near Lake Morena CG

“Trailhead parking near Lake Morena Campground. PCT joins paved Lake Shore Drive for 2/10 mile N. Campground office is 3/10 mile NW on Lake Morena Drive. Lake Morena Village with small store/deli nearby. ---WATER ALERT: Next southbound water after Lake Morena Campground may be the faucet at the Juvenile Ranch facility in 18.7 miles. Check pctwater.com for the latest water information.”

Mile 0052.5 Oct. 23, 2018, 6:55 p.m.

Checked in near WR053

“Pioneer Mail Picnic Area, outhouse.---"Remote Camping" not allowed in the Laguna Mountain Recreation Area.”

Mile 0086.5 Oct. 22, 2018, 7:55 p.m.

Checked in near CS0087

“Many campsites along wide dry creekbed.”

Mile 0119.5 Oct. 21, 2018, 6:33 p.m.

Checked in near WR120

“Lost Valley Spring, 2/10 mile N of PCT.”

Mile 0152 Oct. 20, 2018, 5:34 p.m.

Checked in near Hwy 74

“Highway 74, Idyllwild is 13.5 miles NW on Hwy 74, then 4.5 miles N on Hwy 243. The small town of Anza is 1 mile W on Hwy 74, then 5.8 miles SW on Hwy 371.”

Mile 0188 Oct. 19, 2018, 7:29 p.m.

Checked in near San Jacinto Wild 2

“San Jacinto State Park Wilderness, northern boundary. Camping allowed only in designated camping areas, $5 per person permit required, for 5.4 miles to the S.”

Mile 0218.5 Oct. 18, 2018, 7:30 p.m.

Checked in near WRCS0219

“Whitewater Preserve [wildlandsconservancy.org, 760-325-7222], 6/10 mile E of PCT, shade, water, wading pool, toilets, and free camping for PCT hikers.”

Mile 0256 Oct. 17, 2018, 6:43 p.m.

Checked in near WRCS0256

“Arrastre Trail Camp, Deer Spring, stream 200 feet to the N, picnic table, campsites.---WATER ALERT: Next southbound water after Arrastre Trail Camp, Deer Spring, may be Mission Springs Trail Camp in 16.3 miles.”

Mile 0273 Oct. 16, 2018, 7:13 p.m.

Checked in near RD0271

“Unpaved jeep road”

Mile 0308 Oct. 15, 2018, 8 p.m.

Checked in near WA0308

“Deep Creek hot spring. ”

Mile 0342 Oct. 14, 2018, 6:23 p.m.
View this post on Instagram

Agua Dulce to Cajon Pass: far more diverse than just "the desert". From the Utah-like Vasquez Rocks, up into the San Gabriel mountains, where I got my first legit rainstorm. I planned badly (paid attention to the weather forecast rather than what I was seeing on the trail), set up camp sloppily, and got drenched. Luckily, the clouds cleared the next day and I was able to dry everything out at Islip Saddle while day hikers wondered what the heck I was up to. Then up and over Mt Baden-Powell, then down down down back into the desert again with a view back to Mt Baldy, dusted in snow from that same storm.

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Mile 0342 Oct. 14, 2018, 4:34 p.m.

Checked in near Hwy 15

“Interstate Highway 15 and Cajon Pass [about 1/2 mile N of the PCT] is a busy interstate highway intersection with a McDonald's restaurant, pay phone, gas station mini-mart and a hiker-friendly Best Western Motel [760-249-6777].---WATER ALERT: Next northbound water after Cajon Pass may be Guffy Spring in 22.3 miles. This can be a very long, hot, steep, waterless climb.”

Mile 0371.5 Oct. 13, 2018, 6:41 p.m.

Checked in near RD0371B

“PCT departs the narrow paved road. ”

Mile 0400.5 Oct. 12, 2018, 5:53 p.m.

Checked in near WR0401

“Camp Glenwood, Boy Scout Camp, outhouse, picnic table, possible water tank.”

Mile 0430.5 Oct. 11, 2018, 6:40 p.m.

Checked in near Messenger Flats

“Messenger Flats campground”

Mile 0454.5 Oct. 10, 2018, 6:03 p.m.

Checked in near Agua Dulce

“Agua Dulce is a small town on the PCT with a good grocery store, restaurants, pay phones, ATM and Hiker Heaven [AKA the Saufley's, hikerheaven.com, 661-268-1235, guest [hiker] phone 661-402-5000]. Hiker Heaven is usually open March - June and in the fall for southbounders. The PCT follows the road through the center of Agua Dulce. To reach Hiker Heaven walk past the grocery store and pizza place and turn left on Darling Road for 1 mile.”

Mile 0477.5 Oct. 9, 2018, 6:35 p.m.

Checked in near Casa Luna

“Casa De Luna, AKA the Anderson's, 2 miles SW of the PCT. A small convenience store is nearyby.”

Mile 0508 Oct. 8, 2018, 6:50 p.m.

Checked in near CS0508

“Horse Camp, picnic table, trail to spring in canyon below.”

Mile 0540.5 Oct. 7, 2018, 6:02 p.m.

Checked in near WRCS542

“Tylerhorse Canyon, small creek, campsite.---WATER ALERT: Next northbound water after Tylerhorse Canyon may be Oak Creek in 16.6 miles.”

Mile 0558.5 Oct. 6, 2018, 12:51 p.m.

Checked in near RD0558

“Paved Tehachapi Willow Springs Road. Tehachapi is 9.1 miles NW of the PCT on Tehachapi Willow Springs Rd, Mojave is 11.5 miles E of the PCT on nearby Oak Creek Rd.---Tehachapi Willow Springs Road has easier hitching to Tehachapi or Mojave than the almost freeway like Hwy 58, but resuming the PCT from Hwy 58 cuts 8 miles from the 25 mile northbound waterless section to the N.”

Mile 0578 Oct. 5, 2018, 6:26 p.m.

Checked in near RD0579

“Pass junction with jeep road MK13.”

Mile 0609 Oct. 4, 2018, 6:58 p.m.

Checked in near RD0609

“Unpaved road 29S05 to Landers Camp.”

Mile 0642.5 Oct. 3, 2018, 6:52 p.m.

Checked in near RD0641

“PCT joins unpaved road to the NE for 2.3 miles.”

Mile 0670 Oct. 2, 2018, 7:41 p.m.

Checked in near WR670B

“Spanish Needle Creek, forth crossing.”

Mile 0701.5 Oct. 1, 2018, 5:55 p.m.

Checked in near KM Store

“Kennedy Meadows is a small hiker-friendly community 1/2 mile E of the PCT. Kennedy Meadows has a restaurant and a small general store [559-850-5647] with a grill, laundry, showers, pay phone, and they allow hikers to camp out back. The store accepts hiker resupply packages [$].”

Mile 0760 Sept. 29, 2018, 6:21 p.m.

Checked in near CS0760

“Large campsite”

Mile 0782.5 Sept. 28, 2018, 5:56 p.m.

Checked in near WACS0783

“Campsite, water from creek south of trail.”

Mile 0785.5 Sept. 26, 2018, 6:22 p.m.

Resupply and rest in Independence

Resupplying for the final Sierra push in Independence. The JMT officially kicked my butt - 4.5 days from Reds to Independence was too fast, and now I’m pretty destroyed. Time to rest up for the final two passes: back over Kearsarge to the JMT/PCT, then the final push over Forrester. Gulp.

Mile 0804 Sept. 25, 2018, 6:46 p.m.

Checked in near Sawmill Pass TR

“Sawmill Pass Trail junction, trail not maintained.”

Mile 0830.5 Sept. 24, 2018, 6:56 p.m.

Checked in near WACS0831

“Campsite, water, along Middle Fork Kings River.”

Mile 0888 Sept. 22, 2018, 7:08 p.m.

Checked in near Cascade Val TR

“Cascade Valley Trail”

Mile 0907 Sept. 21, 2018, 6:24 p.m.

Checked in near Reds Mdw Store

“Red's Meadow [Redsmeadow.com, 760-934-2345] is a pack station 3/10 mile NE of the PCT with a small store, restaurant, cabins, laundry, pay phone, nearby campground with free hot spring showers. A shuttle to the town of Mammoth Lakes stops at the store. Red's Meadow is open from about 6/15 - 10/1. Snow may delay the opening.”

Mile 0936.5 Sept. 20, 2018, 7:38 p.m.

Checked in near Evelyn Lake TR

“Evelyn Lake Trail junction”

Mile 0965.5 Sept. 19, 2018, 6:37 p.m.

Checked in near WACS0965

“Last ford of Wilson Creek, small tent site nearby.”

Mile 0990 Sept. 18, 2018, 6:07 p.m.

Checked in near TR0989

“Tilden Lake trail junction (lake is 1.5 mi E).”

Mile 1017 Sept. 17, 2018, 6:35 p.m.

Checked in near TH1017

“Paved road to Sonora Pass trailhead parking.”

Mile 1041.5 Sept. 16, 2018, 6:47 p.m.

Checked in near WACS1041

“Campsites near Asa Lake.”

Mile 1070 Sept. 15, 2018, 6:02 p.m.

Checked in near RD1070

“Unpaved Lost Lakes spur road”

Mile 1092.5 Sept. 13, 2018, 12:12 p.m.

Checked in near Echo Lake

“Echo Lake, Echo Chalet store, a small resort [echochalet.com] on the PCT with cabins [2 night minimum stay], small store, deli, and pay phone. Echo Lake is open daily during the summer only. The Echo Lake Post Office can no longer receive hiker resupply packages.”

Mile 1099.5 Sept. 12, 2018, 5:21 p.m.

Checked in near TR1100

“Mosquito Pass trail junction”

Mile 1122 Sept. 11, 2018, 5:58 p.m.

Checked in near CS1122

“Seasonal stream below Bear Lake, campsite nearby.”

Mile 1151 Sept. 10, 2018, 6:22 p.m.

Checked in near TR1151

“Emigrant trail junction”

Mile 1175 Sept. 9, 2018, 7:21 p.m.

Checked in near CS1175

“Small campsite”

Mile 1195.5 Sept. 8, 2018, 6:14 p.m.

Checked in near Sierra City

“Highway 49”

Sept. 8, 2018, 5:50 p.m.
View this post on Instagram

Ever since Ashland, most of the trail had looked just like the Northern California I know well: golden hills, mixed pine and oak forests, brushy Manzanita scrub, dry crumbly rocks. Then, suddenly, after the steep climb out of Belden: bam, Sierra! Suddenly it's all granite, boulders and old growth, alpine meadows and lakes. I've been so looking forward to the Sierra -- and now I'm getting there!

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Mile 1224.5 Sept. 7, 2018, 6:36 p.m.

Checked in near WA1224

“Small creek”

Mile 1254.5 Sept. 6, 2018, 7:38 p.m.

Checked in near Bear Creek

“Tributary of Bear Creek”

Mile 1287 Sept. 5, 2018, 8:01 p.m.

Checked in near Belden

“Belden is a small resort and lodge on the PCT with a very small store, restaurant/bar [Beldentown.com, 530-283-9662], and The Braatens of Little Haven [Littlehavenpct.com/hikerservices]. The Belden Post Office closed in 2013. Hwy 70 is a narrow, curvy, dangerous road with no room to walk safely.”

Mile 1321 Sept. 4, 2018, 7:56 p.m.

Checked in near CS1321


Mile 1350.5 Sept. 3, 2018, 6 p.m.

Checked in near Warner Valley CG

“Warner Valley Campground, trash cans, outhouse, creek nearby.”

Mile 1377.5 Sept. 2, 2018, 6:25 p.m.

Checked in near J Js Cafe

“JJ's Cafe is open Su-Th 7-3, Fr-Sa 7-7:30, [jjscafeoldstation.com; 530-335-7225], 1/2 mile SW of Hwy 44.---The Old Station Fill-Up [oldstationfillup.com, 530-335-3152] is a gas station & mini-mart next door to JJ's, open 7-7 daily .”

Mile 1391 Sept. 2, 2018, 12:21 p.m.

Trail magic on Hat Creek Rim

A couple from Redding just gave me an apple cider (!) and homemade cucumber salad (!!!) at the very top of Hat Creek Rim. This is an infamously hot, dry, exposed stretch of trail, and they’d driven miles up a crummy dirt road to picnic. Totally amazing; this trail magic really did feel like magic!

Mile 1409.5 Sept. 1, 2018, 9:21 p.m.

Checked in near Burney Mountain Guest Ranch

“Small power line”

Mile 1430 Aug. 31, 2018, 7:18 p.m.

Checked in near Road 37N05-3

“Unpaved Road 37N05, third crossing.”

Mile 1460.5 Aug. 30, 2018, 8:51 p.m.

Checked in near Road 39N06-3

“Unpaved Road 39N06, third crossing.”

Mile 1501 Aug. 30, 2018, 12:58 p.m.

Navigating around the Hirz fire

I’m in Mt Shasta, trying to figure out how to get around the Hirz fire closure.

Once again, it’s the worst fire season California has seen – which is becoming a yearly trend. In all likelihood, next year will be as bad or worse.

For PCT hikers, this means navigating fire closures is an unavoidable part of a thru hike. So far I’ve been fairly lucky. I’ve had smoke on and off since Crater Lake, but haven’t had to deal with a closure until now. Northbound hikers have it much worse: for a couple of weeks the last 30 miles of the trail were closed, meaning for many it was impossible to finish the trail at the Northern terminus!

Thanks to the amazingly helpful staff at Fifth Season (one of the best outfitters anywhere), I think I’ve got a plan. I’ve been offered a ride to McCloud, and from there it’s about a 15 mile road walk back to the trail. I’ll end up missing about 30 miles of the PCT. Not ideal, but given the ferocity of the fire season it’s really not too bad.

Mile 1508 Aug. 29, 2018, 7:39 p.m.

Checked in near Dog TR

“Dog Trail junction”

Mile 1541 Aug. 28, 2018, 8:16 p.m.

Checked in near Parks Creek Road

“Paved Parks Creek Road, Parks Creek Trailhead nearby.”

Mile 1572.5 Aug. 27, 2018, 8:21 p.m.

Checked in near CS1572


Aug. 27, 2018, 6:10 p.m.

Holy heck, today's been one of the most beautiful days on the trail in... at least a couple weeks! Leaving Etna, the smoke has almost totally cleared, finally granting the first views of Shasta, which almost seems to be floating above the valley. Then, into the Trinity Alps, with rocky ridges and wide grassy valleys. I really needed today: it's been a rough past few days, but this reminds me why I'm out here.

A post shared by Jacob Kaplan-Moss (@jacobian) on

Mile 1599.5 Aug. 26, 2018, 11:56 a.m.

Checked in near Etna

“Paved Sawyers Bar Road at Etna Summit. The town of Etna is 10.4 miles E.”

Mile 1607 Aug. 25, 2018, 6:13 p.m.

Checked in near Cub Bear Spring TR

“Trail junction to Cub Bear Spring, small spring 2/10 mile E of PCT.”

Mile 1633.5 Aug. 24, 2018, 7:59 p.m.

Checked in near Buckhorn Spring

“Buckhorn Spring, small unmarked spring 150 feet W of the PCT in a meadow NW of the large three-forked tree, campsite nearby.”