Kelly and I both took Friday off from work, and amongst other things, our plan was to find a nice morning hike. Following an unnecessarily lengthy review of potential candidates, we settled on the Pacific Crest Trail. Sure, the logistics of driving only 15 minutes to the nearest trailhead could not have been easier, but in actuality, its hard to feel that we actually ‘settled’.
The PCT is the most widely used north/south long-distance hiking trail on the western portion of the United States, and those who choose to follow its path will view some of the most beautiful scenery there is to be seen.
Map of the PCT
With Canada and Mexico as bookends, the trail spans 2,663 miles through California, Oregon, and Washington and is closely aligned with the highest portion of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges. Not in a position to hike the entire trail on Friday, we spent three hours exploring an out and back section.
The trailhead we used for access was just off an old logging road and I’m guessing receives moderate usage. We saw only one other party (two people total) which made for a very enjoyable morning on the trails.
It was another hot one here in Ashland today. Consequently, I was inside the Airstream most of the day. While comfortable in the confines of air conditioning, by the time my work day ended, I was more than ready to get myself outside and into a change of scenery.
At Kelly’s suggestion, we decided to explore a nearby trailhead and see where it would lead. Unbeknownst to us, the expansive Pacific Crest Trail sat quietly just down the road from where we’ve been parked these past few days. The PCT proved to be just perfect – it was close, was not too steep, and afforded us lots of tree cover to block any direct sun.
To my surprise, the trail itself was exceptionally well marked. We covered only a few miles, but we must have passed a dozen trail markers. The trail is maintained primarily by the US Forest Service and I’d be curious to know if the entire system is so well marked.
One of many trail markers
We had a nice walk and per usual, Lilly was out front the entire time.
Lilly, always ready to keep moving
All in all, a great walk. We arrived back to the Airstream just in time to capture a nice sunset and enjoy a late dinner.
Tomorrow we begin the trip back to Half Moon Bay.