A friend of mine whom I hiked with last year commented that a picture of mine was one of the top 5 camp spots on the pct. As I started to think about it, a ton of places started coming to mind.
What were my 5 favorite camp spots of the 2011 PCT?
Number 5- The magical Manzanita forest of casa de luna. One of my favorite stops along the PCT last year was the trail angel paradise of casa de luna. This place consisted of trail magic that included taco salads and pancakes. Not to mention the great company and even more fantastic hosts Terri and Joe. Their entire back yard was a manzanita forest. You could walk through the tunneled paths and find hikers passed out in the shade on a daily basis. This for me had to be on my list of places just because of the great time I had.
Number 4- Top of Sierra City. The town of Sierra City is a small town north of the city of Truckee, California. The town is a fantastic community and resembles a rural mountain town. The hike out of Sierra City though was one of the hardest climbs of the pct. It was up 3000 feet in 10 miles or so. The view from the top was that of a setting sun on one side and a rising moon on the other side. The line between dark and light was clearly drawn in the middle. The beauty of the reward of the climb and sun/moon made this my number 4.
Number 3- The Valley after Mather Pass. After a crazy morning of walking up straight ice walls, over a frozen lake and numerous crazy creek crossings, we arrived at the summit of Mather Pass. As we came down the backside we were greeted with walls upon walls of waterfalls, falling on each side of us was the most fantastic feeling. The group and I made camp in a heavily wooded forest for the night. The great day mixed with crazy mountain passes and beautiful waterfalls make this one number 3.
Number 2- The Trinity Divide. The Trinity Divide is a point in the Trinity Alps mountain range in northern california where on one side the water goes to the ocean and the other side the water runs to the Sacramento River and down to the bay area. The climb to the top of the Trinity Divide was approximately 23 miles and had an elevation of around 9000 ft. The thought of the dividing waters made this number 2
Number 1- Glen Aulin. When leaving the small high sierra mt community of Tuolumne Meadows, the group I was hiking with decided to find a really epic next camping spot. On the PCT there is a high sierra mountain camp of Glen Aulin. We decided to head somewhere around there. Near Glen Aulin is a serious of huge waterfalls and gorgeous granite cliffs. We decided to camp upon a huge slab of granite. Watching the sunset over a beautiful valley, star-gazing at the billions of stars, and waking upto a beautiful sunrise make this my number 1 camp spot of the 2011 PCT.