PCT Thruhike: Section 17

In this section,  we hike from South Lake Tahoe, CA to Sonora Pass. This episode includes our first impressions of the Sierras!

Our videos feature quick and dirty views of each trail section as well as A+ and F moments and conclude with Lessons Learned. We hope you enjoy!

Click here for Section 17 Photos!


Thursday, September 19:

  • Day: 93
  • Miles Hiked Today: 10.4
  • Miles Hiked So Far: 1571.2
  • Update: The morning was a bustle as we prepped our resupply and gear before doing a few more errands in time to get a ride back to the trail from a local angel around 11am. We planned a short day with a relaxed afternoon by a lake. The foul weather was supposed to have finished yesterday so we were surprised to get SNOW today.  But at least it was snow and not rain… and it only lasted a couple of hours. While in camp, we saw a few friends and got caught up as they passed by: Mansoda, Ryan, Highfeet, Sour Patch, Willy Wonka, Nails, Spoonman, and Skipper. Everyone seems relieved to have made it through the storm, refreshed from town, and excited about the Sierras. 

Friday, September 20:

  • Day: 94
  • Miles Hiked Today: 21.4
  • Miles Hiked So Far: 1592.6
  • Update: We woke to 25 degree temps around 5am, peed, then got back into our cacoons for another two hours at which point the temperature had increased to a whopping 28.6! But, we slowly got moving and broke camp around 8:30. Slow start for what should have been a 28 mile day…though we quickly adjusted our schedule to a shorter day with realistic expectations and enough time before a Sunday shuttle at 3:30pm to be flexible.  We also ran into our friends Nails, Skipper, and Spoonman (who are now known collectively as the Wooly Boolies) who invited us to Spoonman’s birthday party at a lake a bit past our revised campsite but a mile off trail, however… we started to get cold and ended up stopping before we got there (I’m still nervous about cold). Our gift to Spoonman is that he doesn’t have to share his whiskey with us! 🙂 Happy birthday Spoon!

Saturday, September 21:

  • Day: 95
  • Miles Hiked Today: 26.3
  • Miles Hiked So Far: 1618.9
  • Update: We surpassed 1600 miles today! So, only about 1000 more. It was our biggest mile day in a few days and I definitely felt it, especially at the end when the cold set in. Nights are cold now but we’ve got good layers and can heat hot water bottles to warm up faster…but I still hate the cold. The views were diverse and very pretty today as we head into the Sierras. Tomorrow we have a short day into Sonora Pass, where we’ll shuttle to the Kennedy Meadows North Resort to resupply, etc. We will now have to start carrying 3 pound bear canisters :(.

Sunday, September 22:

  • Day: 96
  • Miles Hiked Today: 17.3
  • Miles Hiked So Far: 1636.2
  • Update: It was a relatively easy day into Sonora Pass, with a fairly hefty climb of 2500 feet to 10500 feet, the highest elevation we’ve had so far! We easily hitched into Kennedy Meadows North Resort where we are currently staying in a hiker dorm room. Laundry and showers were easy,  the burgers delicious, but the WIFI is pretty lousy! We’re currently having difficulty with our tenants and desperately need to call them but can’t. Boo! Tomorrow, we officially begin what we consider the “Sierras” and are excited but nervous because another snow storm is expected this coming weekend… for my 38th birthday!


  1. Miriam Eve Tidwell

    your skin is so beautiful, walking 1600 miles is good for your complexion!

    1. Melissa

      Maybe…or it could be the beauty face feature of my smart phone lol! Thanks in any case 🙂

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