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Over the last few years, M. and I have been doing sections of the Pacific Crest Trail, mostly as day hikes. This hike completes the sections from A-Tree trailhead near Graeagle, California, our northernmost section, to the Rubicon Trail crossing just outside Desolation Wilderness Area near Lake Tahoe. We had thought that this would be a boring hike uphill through the woods, judging by our hike last year on the other end of the same section, but as it turned out the trail is very nice and crosses streams via footbridges at several points. The PCT crosses the North Fork of the Yuba River at Loves Falls, which were nice now and would be spectacular in the spring, then follows the tributaries Haypress Creek and Milton Creek. The streams were welcome relief from the unusually hot late-September weather. We did a loop on the return via the Haypress Creek Valley campground.

11.75 mi (4.35 mi uphill, 4.92 mi downhill, 2.37 mi flat)
1200 ft total ascent  – 12.3 % uphill grade, 37.3 % downhill grade
5:54:47 total time (5:04:47 moving, 0:50:00 stopped)
0:25:56 pace (2.3 mph average speed, 16.1 mph max speed)
15.1 difficulty, 29.7 effort<