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  1. #1

    Default Start Date: Late July... Do the Sierras NoBo or Sobo?

    Hey all. I have been playing with many ideas here being a first time hiker and also being restricted to start in July, most likely late July.

    At this point I believe I just want to do the Sierras at my own pace and see how it goes after 2-3 months.

    What are the pros and cons of starting NoBo and SoBo to do the full extent of the Sierras. I am doing the hike solo.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Define Sierra. I think the Sierra Nevada Range is a much larger area than what most think it is especially those largely unfamiliar with it like east coasters.

  3. #3

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    I suppose from Walkers Pass to Barney State Park?

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    If you knew that without looking it up touche. Tehachapi/Walker Pass to near Lassen NP/Susanville/Susan River.

  5. #5

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    I kind of knew haha. Lot of research these last few days. Maybe a coastal Cali kind of thing would be great too. But I definitely want to experience wilderness.

  6. #6

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    One advantage of hiking south is you gradually build to the highest passes and longer stretches between resupply. That's why I did the JMT southbound. The advantage of hiking north is you have more flexibility as to how far you go, depending on how fast you're moving.

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    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Rybir,
    You've been reading my mind.
    I was going to suggest carefully selecting a 2 month chunk of the PCT based on this year's conditions.
    Then, "Just DO it".
    Cheers.

    Wayne


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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    Rybir,
    You've been reading my mind.
    I was going to suggest carefully selecting a 2 month chunk of the PCT based on this year's conditions.
    Then, "Just DO it".
    Cheers.

    Wayne


    Sent from somewhere around here.
    "Just DO it!"...wonderful.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spirit Walker View Post
    One advantage of hiking south is you gradually build to the highest passes and longer stretches between resupply. That's why I did the JMT southbound. The advantage of hiking north is you have more flexibility as to how far you go, depending on how fast you're moving.
    That sounds about right. I am thinking of starting North. And then depending on when and how I finish, maybe travelling to the Pacific coast. Oregon Coastal Trail looks beautiful. I have never seen Redwoods.

    Maybe going SoBo would provide a little more of a solo experience?

    It looks the weather all around from late July-September in the Sierras is 80's during the days. I am sure this deviates based on elevation. But it seems the summer is on average a good time for the Sierras. Correct me if I am wrong.

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    The PCT has no monopoly on Wilderness.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    The PCT has no monopoly on Wilderness.
    What exactly do you mean?

  12. #12

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    Suppose that means there are plenty of options to experience wilderness. However the ability to comfortably stay out there 2 months and have a more remote experience is definitely an attractive element of the PCT as opposed to the AT. Plus I haven't experienced any of the NP's/SP's of the PCT, specifically the Sierras and it looks amazing.

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    I thrued the JMT twice previous to a PCT thru. Glad I did. Made doing the PCT through the Sierra very early as one of the first three PCT NOBOers to do so a snap in the snow.

    Lots of things to consider beyond just the trail itself that provides a deep feeling of remoteness. Itinerary, season, camping in non high use human habitation areas, night hiking, etc all play into a feeling of remoteness too.

    A PCT thru or long section hike does provide outstanding NP, SP, and Wilderness Area opps. It's what you often get walking continuously for 1000's of miles anywhere.

    I only suggested other NON PCT hikes because you said you immensely enjoyed a Pacific Ocean coastal headlands hike. That's what you said. BTW, IMHO walking some or all of a coastal route/trail like along the WA, OR and CA coast is about as comfortable logistically as a LD hike gets!

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    I thrued the JMT twice previous to a PCT thru. Glad I did. Made doing the PCT through the Sierra very early as one of the first three PCT NOBOers to do so a snap in the snow.

    Lots of things to consider beyond just the trail itself that provides a deep feeling of remoteness. Itinerary, season, camping in non high use human habitation areas, night hiking, etc all play into a feeling of remoteness too.

    A PCT thru or long section hike does provide outstanding NP, SP, and Wilderness Area opps. It's what you often get walking continuously for 1000's of miles anywhere.

    I only suggested other NON PCT hikes because you said you immensely enjoyed a Pacific Ocean coastal headlands hike. That's what you said. BTW, IMHO walking some or all of a coastal route/trail like along the WA, OR and CA coast is about as comfortable logistically as a LD hike gets!
    Awesome. Thank you. It looks like my goal as of today and much thought and research is to: Start at Walker's Pass and go North to at least Lassen State Park. Check in with my self, timing, finances, etc and see how I want to proceed from there.

    Looks like my major challenges in the beginning will be high elevation and resupply/water issues... but with two months to plan for that and mentally prepare I feel better about those challenges than what could be in a dangerous snow situation or something of that nature.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rybir View Post
    Awesome. Thank you. It looks like my goal as of today and much thought and research is to: Start at Walker's Pass and go North to at least Lassen State Park. Check in with my self, timing, finances, etc and see how I want to proceed from there.

    Looks like my major challenges in the beginning will be high elevation and resupply/water issues... but with two months to plan for that and mentally prepare I feel better about those challenges than what could be in a dangerous snow situation or something of that nature.
    Or start at Lassen State Park and go SOBO into the desert. Think I am going slightly crazy, but once I get an actual plan down it'll subside.

  16. #16
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rybir View Post
    Or start at Lassen State Park and go SOBO into the desert. Think I am going slightly crazy, but once I get an actual plan down it'll subside.
    Do you mean Lassen Volcanic National Park? And by SOBO into the desert, you mean attempt to reach the border?
    How does one get to Lassen NP anyway? Looks kinda remote. I know about Reno or Mammoth for access to Tahoe-Yosemite-JMT, etc. Lassen seems remote. Perhaps I am mistaken.
    Good luck and have fun.

    Wayne
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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Venchka View Post
    Do you mean Lassen Volcanic National Park? And by SOBO into the desert, you mean attempt to reach the border?
    How does one get to Lassen NP anyway? Looks kinda remote. I know about Reno or Mammoth for access to Tahoe-Yosemite-JMT, etc. Lassen seems remote. Perhaps I am mistaken.
    Good luck and have fun.

    Wayne
    Good question on the access point. Was beginning to think about that. Not sure end point yet.

  18. #18
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Either way, you have to either get to Lassen or back home from Lassen.
    2 months hiking north from Lake Tahoe sounds nice. I have no idea where you might be in 2 months. That would be an added bonus to your adventure.

    Wayne


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    There's connecting bus service from Reno through Quincy, Chester, Susanville, etc on Plumas Transit, Sage Stage and Lassen Rural. I've never bused directly into Lassen NP though so don't know if that's even possible. I usually hitch from Chester or hike the PCT NOBO from near the town of Chester where the PCT crosses Hwy 36. Inquiring at the hiker friendly Seneca Motel in Chester, Drakesbad Guest Ranch, and in the PCT Help Forums you'd have a good chance at connecting with a PCT friendly Angel in Chester or Susanville.

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    In two months on even a moderately paced schedule with clear PCT terrain underfoot he'll be well south of Lake Tahoe. He'll be hiking by himself though going against the PCT NOBOers already in full thru-hiker mode and too early for that far south to connect with PCT SOBOers. He'll have his hot dry solitude. Cross your fingers you don't encounter snow at the highest elevations if going too early and trail closures due to forest fires if too late. That area has been rife with fires the past ? yrs.

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