PCT Thruhike: Section 18

In this section,  we hike from Sonora Pass to Red’s Meadow in the Sierras. This episode includes our first use of bear canisters and a stroll through Yosemite National Park.

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 18 Photos!

Mini-Blog:

Monday, September 23:

  • Day: 97
  • Miles Hiked Today: 20.5
  • Miles Hiked So Far: 1656.7
  • Update:  We officially hit the 1000 miles left milestone today and that felt right. The day was gorgeous (we’re in the Sierras…duh)…but more than that,  this is the time/place all us PCT thruhikers strive for. We’re excited to be here and nervous about weather. Today, we had a couple of small climbs but nothing unbearable.  We’re still preparing for the difficulty of the Sierras to present itself in future sections. Currently, we’re camped next to Dorothy Lake, named after the daughter of Yosemite’s first superintendent. 

Tuesday, September 24:

  • Day: 98
  • Miles Hiked Today: 21.5
  • Miles Hiked So Far: 1678.2
  • Update:  It was so cold this morning, we had a hard time getting up. We eventually broke camp a little after 8am. The first third of the day was easy, but the rest was a bit of a butt kicker.  The grade is much steeper here and the terrain so rocky. You have to watch every step…so 21.5 miles felt like 28 to us. We only got to camp at 7pm. We’re continuing to hike in the vicinity of the Woolie Boolies and saw them off and on throughout the day. The Sierras have been spectacular in terms of beauty if a little tougher.  Oh… and today got kind of hot! It’s not freezing as I type this…look mom, no gloves!

Wednesday, September 25:

  • Day: 99
  • Miles Hiked Today: 23.8
  • Miles Hiked So Far: 1702
  • Update: 1700 miles! Today still had some tough climbs but the descents were better (not steep wavy rocky trails) so we were able to get nearly 24 miles in before dark.  The views varied today from rock walls, to mountain streams, to meadows, to forests… very diverse. We both feel pretty beat after the past two days but have been thankful for the warmer temps… actually hot as your climbing! We didn’t see any of our friends today. The Woolie Boolies are behind us somewhere as are two French hikers that don’t have trail names yet.  We’ve been meaning to get to know them better. Tomorrow we’ll visit Tuolumne Meadows, which has a restaurant and general store. We’ve both been super hungry these past three days and wish we’d brought more snacks! Cheesecake…

Thursday, September 26:

  • Day: 100
  • Miles Hiked Today: 24.1
  • Miles Hiked So Far: 1726.1
  • Update:  Today was totally easier than the past few days,  with mostly gentle meadow walks, excepting Donahue Pass, a fairly hefty but dramatic climb into the snow tipped mountains of Yosemite. We also stopped by Tuolumne Meadows store and restaurant for snacks and breakfast.  No cheesecake, but we ate delicious breakfast sandwiches and cinnamon rolls. We also got a weather report…. And it’s bad! We’re looking at night time lows around 10 degrees for a few days. We’re spending the next two nights in a cabin at Reds Meadow to wait out the rain/snow storm but we’ll still have to face the cold front.  The store was having a big sale, so we bought an emergency cacoon thingy… and also a small box of wine that we’re enjoying right now on a relatively warm 30 degree night. Yosemite has been gorgeous and we found an old acquaintance, Wonder, who’s camped with us tonight in a beautiful valley with the sounds of coyotes howling in the not so far distance. 

Friday, September 27:

  • Day: 101
  • Miles Hiked Today: 20.2
  • Miles Hiked So Far: 1746.5
  • Update:  We arose to a beautiful sunrise that I neglected to capture digitally and a breakfast of pop tarts before rushing off to “town.” Today we resupplied at Reds Meadow Resort, one of the easiest places to reach in the Sierras, only a half mile off trail (though quite pricey). Most of the hiking today was really kind of blah with some stunning bits, but at least it didn’t rain as we previously expected. The rain/snow should hit tomorrow (on my birthday) and we’ll be cuddled up here in a hiker cabin,  toasty and dry. We hung out in the evening with some fellow hikertrash who all bought me beers for my birthday!

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