PCT Backpacking Trip Charlton Lake TH to Brahma Lake in Three Sisters Wilderness

Hike Distance: 10.6 miles      Yearly Hike Distance: 1050.8 miles

Elevation Gain: 1842 feet      Yearly Elevation Gain: 132741 feet

This is the first day of my PCT backpack, and I’m planning to go from Charlton Lake (south of Three Sisters Wilderness) to the Youth Camp (just outside of Mt. Washington Wilderness).  Today I planned to hike from the Charlton Lake trailhead (TH) to somewhere in Three Sisters Wilderness.  My wife drove me out to the TH and dropped me off, which is a 4 hour drive from our home.  Thank you Carol!!!

The first thing I did was to hike from the Charlton Lake TH out to Charlton Lake.  When I got there it was on the busy side, with kayakers and many people camping.  I took pictures and then left to hike the PCT.  It seemed that everyone was busy and I didn’t bother stopping to talk and interrupting them.

So I headed north on the PCT and noted that the trail appeared to be empty, at least for a while.  It wasn’t long before I reached a large, and old, burn area.  There was a nice breeze, and thankfully minimal mosquitoes.  Little did I know that this area would be the only one without hordes of mosquitoes.

Within this burn area I got glimpses of the volcanoes but they were too far away for any good pictures.  I met quite a few section hikers, and they were very friendly, and talked for a while.  I also met four thru-hikers in this burn zone, and they were in two groups.  The first thru-hiker I met was “Squeeks”, and she was a very nice person.  The second group I met consisted of three guys named: “Smokey, Aquaman and Twister”.  A great group of thru-hikers and they stopped to eat and talk for a while!  Twister was extremely animated and it was hysterical that we were wearing almost the same clothes!!!  We had the same hat, similar pants and shirt, bandana, watch, backpack and gloves. 🙂  Spoiler, I met this group everyday during the backpack and we camped together tomorrow.  They also conveyed to me that they would be camping at Irish Lake, so I was determined to head there so we could talk and camp together!

So I continued hiking and once I got past the burn area the hordes of mosquitoes arrived. 😦  I finally reached Waldo Lake Rd, which is the southern boundary of the Three Sisters Wilderness.  Irish Lake is just north of Waldo Lake Rd, but I couldn’t find the three Thru-hikers I met earlier in the day.  I searched everywhere, and checked out all the camping areas that were on Guthooks, but no luck.  So….I ended up hiking an additional two miles to Brahma Lake, where there were NO people camping.

The mosquitoes have been horrible for many miles before Brahma Lake.  I was tired and decided to camp alone tonight.  Scared of being alone is a mild way of stating how I felt, but I sucked it up and set up my tent.  Thankfully, I had stayed hydrated and had plenty of food on me.  I ate outside the tent, while briskly walking around, while the mosquitoes tried to drain me of blood.  I was wearing a head net, Insect Shield clothing and Picardin on my exposed skin, but the mosquitoes didn’t seem to care.  😦  Ugh.

I will admit that this lake was gorgeous, and I took pictures to remember it.  Well, I survived the first day, and tried to get some sleep.  We’ll see what tomorrow brings?

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