PCT Section Hike Backpack – North Crater TH to Thielsen Creek Camp

Hike Distance: 9.5 miles         Yearly Hike Distance: 1123.4 miles

Elevation Gain: 2002 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 151258 feet

I had to start north of Crater Lake due to the horrible smoke in Ashland, and very unhealthy air quality.  I’ve Started the first day of backpacking at the North Crater trailhead and after a while have finally stopped climbing in elevation.

Saw fire at NE Crater lake from the PCT but smoke not headed toward me.  The smoke got bad later in the day though.

Pack weight didn’t seem too bad until 2 miles out but now it’s a lead weight!   I’m hoping things will get better in the coming days?

Fantastic view of Mt. Thielsen from where I’m sitting on a rock! So peaceful and amazing here! I must be using cell tower from Diamond Lake, far below me, but the lake is completely covered in thick smoke!  Even Mt. Thielsen is in a haze.  The smoke sucks and it’s a bit scary wondering where the fire has spread.

It turns out that the Thielsen Creek camp is about 26 miles from the Crater Lake Rim Village.  Without the water caches it would be almost impossible to make this distance without huge amounts of water.  I carried 4.5 liters for the 9.5 miles I hiked today, and drank almost all of it!

Arriving at the Thielsen Creek camp I’m amazed at how subdued the thru-hikers are.  I expected to do a lot of talking but everyone is in there tent and getting ready for bed, and it’s only about 7pm.  The mosquitoes aren’t great but I’ll just spend most of my time in the tent.  I’ve been feeling nauseous and have a headache, and feel a bit dehydrated.  I really didn’t think this is what thru-hiking was going to be like, but then, I’ve never backpacked it before.  My perspective is from a Trail Angel point of view, and the thru-hikers are usually very friendly and receptive and willing to talk.  Oh well, live and learn!

I originally overshot the camp area, as the people there pointed me to another camp further up the trail.  I’m surprised that they weren’t more receptive and inviting me to stay.  I got the last tent site, as a result.  I met this couple from Germany that were fed up with Oregon and were going to exit the trail.  They said Oregon wasn’t very impressive, due to limited visibility from the smoke.  It sure is when there isn’t smoke!