Day 11: Out of Lassen Volcanic National Park

PCT Miles 1350.3 to 1369.7

Miles Hiked = 19.4

Last evening, an hour or so after I set up my tent, two obvious PCT hikers (guy and a girl) arrived at the campground and set up in the campsite next to mine. I walked over and introduced myself and we chatted for a few minutes. I discovered this was their fourth time hiking the PCT and that they had started at the Mexican border in “late May”. It was now a week into July. Most of the other thru hikers that I had met started at the Southern Terminus in mid-March. I thought to myself …. wow, you guys are fast. Their trail names are T-Rex (girl) and Ritz (guy). I wished them good luck and returned to my camp.

This morning when I got up at 5:30am they were already gone. Over the next few days I learned from other hikers that this couple are “Double Triple Crowners”. In other words, they have completed the PCT, Appalachian Trail and Continental Divide Trail at least two times each! I also learned that they typically hike about forty miles per day! That’s how they are able to hike over 1369 miles (Mexico to Lassen) in five or six weeks.

Warner Campground is approximately 6000 feet in elevation. It was cold last night. When I started hiking at 7am this morning I had several layers on. The trail immediately headed uphill out of Warner Campground. I had a friend lead me up the path for several hundred yards.

In a few minutes I was high enough that I had a good look down Drakesbad Guest Ranch and the meadow that it occupies.

As I continued I once again walked along a manzanita-lined smooth forest trail through the pine tree forest.

Eventually I got to a fairly large stream that required crossing via a large fallen log. This photo was taken after I crossed the stream.

I walked across the log on the right. It was a big log so the walk across was easy but I was stayed focused as the log was maybe 7-8 feet above the quickly flowing water beneath.

There was a wooden walkway through a delicate marshy meadow. There were a few mosquitos so I applied some repellant to my exposed arms and face.

And then a large pheasant-like bird crossed the trail just in front of me. It was the size of a large chicken and probably would make for some good eatin!

Later in the morning I passed another lovely mountain meadow and then passed by an area with many downed trees.

I passed by Swan Lake to the right of the trail.

A mile later I came to Lower Twin Lake – this was my last water source for over ten miles.

I collected and filtered a couple liters, “cameled” up and then enjoyed the view before getting back on the trail.

As I reached the northern edge of the lake I saw a gaggle of geese waddling their way towards the lake.

In a few minutes I passed by a back-country ranger cabin – it was unoccupied.

The next eight to nine miles were mostly through previous burn zones – 2009 and 2012 according to my NatGeo map.

I had another view of Mt Lassen – this time from the northeast – I had finally passed to the north of the volcano.

At 2:35 and after hiking fifteen miles I exited the northern boundary of the National Park

I continued north along the PCT in search of my next water source.

Late in the afternoon I finally exited the burn zone and walked through an obvious man-planted forest. The trees were all in a row, equally spaced and about the same size.

Finally I reached Hat Creek where I set up my tent along the side of the creek. I even had the opportunity to rinse off all the dust and dirt on my legs and feet – well, maybe not all… but most.

Thanks for reading!

4 thoughts on “Day 11: Out of Lassen Volcanic National Park

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