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Week long hike informational help requested

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Week long hike informational help requested

Postby myedicius » Thu Aug 25, 2016 4:41 pm

Hi all! I have some questions that I am hoping some of you can help me with.

So. . .A little bit of information to describe the situation first. I read a lot of info on the PCT last summer when I was trying to get my things together to do about a month on the trail, that didnt work out as things turned out,but it did end up with me reading quite a bit and having something of a knowledge of the basics of things. This summer has been a different story with about a million things going on,so I havent read much lately. The premise of what I want to do is that on September 5th I want to leave Eugene, OR and make my way to the PCT, hike until the september 13th and be picked up from wherever that leaves me. Basically I only have a limited window of time before life calls back,but would love to spend some time on the trail in that window.

My questions are, what would be the easiest place to pick the trail up out of Eugene, what kind of things would I need to have for such a short trip, and what would be my most likely destination to get out/get picked up from.

I am a 30 yr old male in pretty close to peak physical shape,lots of experience hiking,but never more than a day hike. endurance wise I cover around 20 miles a day biking,5 miles a day running, 5 or 6 days a week, plus extracurriculars. So as far as mileage I plan to cover a lot of ground quickly.

I have a large pack to work with, a decent sleeping bag and a too large tent. I was thinking about a lighter smaller tent but last year when I looked they were all to expensive for me. . .any ideas on good deals for one would be helpful,however the extra weight I feel like wont kill me on such a short trip,but maybe I am wrong?

Any help,advice, encouragement or just plain silly thoughts is appreciated!

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Re: Week long hike informational help requested

Postby ochocowalker » Fri Aug 26, 2016 9:35 pm


The closest common trailhead to the PCT on a highway from Eugene is either 1) the crossing at McKenzie Pass, highway 242 on the way to Sisters (PCT mile 1981) near where the Dee Wright Observatory is. You could hike south from there around the Sisters to Elk Lake, which is the next usual resupply point and is right on the Cascades Scenic highway that goes N to Bend or S towards Willamette Pass.

Or 2) the crossing at Odell Lake / Shelter Cove at Willamette Pass SE from Eugene on HW 58. You could start there around PCT mile 1905 and either go N to Elk Lake or to HW 242 OR you could go S from there towards Diamond Lake and/or on a bit more to Crater Lake National Park.

If you have someone to pick you up, then McKenzie Pass and Odell Lake are both very easy drives from Eugene, and Elk Lake being between them is not much further.

If you don't then, you are at the mercy of whoever happens to be where you end up to give you a ride back. In that case, you want to end up in a place that has more people driving from it or through it. Picking a place where more people are visiting makes it more likely (statistically anyway) to get a ride. Both HW 242 and 58 will obviously have many people driving toward Eugene. Often in summer, the area around Dee Observatory is packed with day sightseers gawking and selfieing at the Sisters.

Elk Lake Resort often has people from Bend area staying there and you may be able find a ride to Bend from there or you may even find a person going west to Eugene. I imagine there must be some sort of bus service from Bend to Eugene. (There is from Bend to Portland: call these guys and I bet they will know if there is something from Bend to Eugene:

It helps to make a sign saying you are a PCT hiker, so you won't look like just another hitchhiker. I always carry one. (And personally I always stop for people around here in Portland with "PCT Hiker" on their signs.)

Here are other tips for getting rides: ... est-trail/

Also, check out the Trail Angel list for people near where you may end up: - you may be able to schedule a ride.

It's ~76 trail miles from HW 242 McKenzie trailhead to HW 58 Odell Lake, so if you hike 12 miles a day average, you can do that whole stretch in a week with the ability to do some resupply at Elk Lake (you can mail yourself a package there).

It depends on what you want to see in a way. And how far you want to go. If this is your first trip out on the PCT, my suggestion is to go lower miles and have fun with it as you learn how to do things as you go along. 10 miles a day is a good starting rate, and you can see a lot & this gives you time to learn your gear and spend four or five days at it the first time.

My suggestion for this time of year in that area is to go as light as you can on gear, since it will be dry and you will need to carry more water than usual. Many small streams and seasonal water sources will have dried up. Water is heavy. Take as light a tent as you can get away with, or even a tarp, since the weather will be mostly still good, except for possible thundershowers. But do take something in case of rain. (I hiked from Cascade Locks down to Mt Jefferson area earlier this summer and only had to put my tarp up twice in the Gorge on the first two cloudy days, and never again.)

If you don't have a copy of the PCT maps made by HalfMile, then get them immediately before doing anything else. They are free online to print out: and take note of the water sources marked there and use that to calculate your trip.

See also the current Oregon PCT trail conditions over at esp regarding water.

Also, Goodwill is your friend for gear. You can get a lot of good info on getting good gear cheaply from PMag's site : and

Also, be aware that much of this area now has strict fire burn bans in effect. Outside of limited established campgrounds, you can't have fire of any kind. Check the situation where you may go, but don't plan on ever making a campfire or cooking with an open fire. Canister stoves are legal and are your best choice ( ... stove.html) if you opt for a stove at all. See:

I myself will be hiking southbound the Elk Lake to Crater Lake section soon and will end up in CLNP the weekend of the 10th/11th. If you see me on the trail, say hi.

Good luck.

Randy aka Ochocowalker
"Once a bear gets hooked on garbage, there's no cure." - Gary Snyder
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