Category ArchivePacific Crest Trail

08 Jun 2014 06:01 pm    Category: Pacific Crest Trail    

PCT from I-80 South

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An out-and-back hike on the Pacific Crest Trail from the Interstate-80 PCT trailhead at Boreal/Castle Pass south. We were intending to head to Azalea Lake and Flora Lake, but missed that side trail on the way out. Found it on the way back, at 39.33717° N 120.33077° W (for future reference).  The PCT is a nice trail past granite cliffs that separate it from the lakes. The snow is all gone, except for one patch near Glacier Pond, and there are just a few wildflowers.

4.29 mi (1.66 mi uphill, 1.92 mi downhill, 0.70 mi flat)
500 ft total ascent – 12.2 % uphill grade, 91.7 % downhill grade
1:55:11 total time (1:51:25 moving, 0:03:46 stopped)
0:25:57 pace (2.3 mph average speed)
5.5 difficulty, 11.3 effort


08 Jul 2012 06:37 pm    Category: Donner Lake Rim Trail &Pacific Crest Trail &Tahoe OGUL Peak List    

Castle Peak and Basin Peak

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A hike to Castle Peak and Basin Peak, both on the OGUL Peak List,  from the P.C.T trailhead at I-80.  This route follows the Summit Lake trail to the Donner Lake Rim Trail (longer than necessary), which then meets up again with the Pacific Crest Trail. The use trail from Castle Pass to Castle Peak is steep and loose; it’s definitely better to go up this than the knee-wrecking descent. The spectacular trail between the peaks follows the high, narrow ridge between Round Valley and Coon Canyon/Carpenter Valley. The trail down the north side of Basin Peak is indistinct in place, then meets up with the “old” P.C.T. before rejoining the current P.C.T. back to Castle Pass through Round Valley.  A much shorter route starts along the Castle Pass access road north of I-80, but I definitely recommend the CCW direction for the Castle Peak/Basin Peak loop from Castle Pass. I went to the first crag of Castle Peak, which is possibly slightly lower in elevation than than the second and third crags but doesn’t require technical climbing. I’m counting it anyway.


14.18 mi (5.81 mi uphill, 5.99 mi downhill, 2.33 mi flat)
2250 ft total ascent – 15.8 % uphill grade, 43.7 % downhill grade
7:13:06 total time (6:23:38 moving, 0:49:28 stopped)
0:27:02 pace (2.2 mph average speed)
26.9 difficulty, 48.1 effort

27 Sep 2009 11:56 pm    Category: Pacific Crest Trail    

Haypress Creek / PCT Section L3 North

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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<

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