Days 85 to 87 (Miles 1257.5 to 1328.8)

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From our campsite at Lookout Rock, we hiked 26.9 miles to a strange little place called Belden Town. This was record mileage for us! With the trail getting less rocky and somewhat flatter, we’re averaging well over 20 miles per day. The bad news is we are now sore like we were when we first started this trail.

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The PCT through the this section alternates between shaded forest and hot sunny manzanita covered hills. The weather has been really warm and the bugs are out in full force. Certain sections of the trail are really overgrown and somewhat jungly, but that hasn’t slowed us down too much.

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Belden Town isn’t really a town. It’s just a bar, a small general store, a restaurant, and some hotel rooms and cabins. They had no rooms or cabins available on the day we arrived. A pirate-themed motorcycle club was passing through and had booked all the lodging. The bartender told us we could camp by the river – free if we walked down past the national forest boundary! We bought shower tokens, snacks for the next several days, and burgers for dinner. We set up our tent between the Feather River and the railroad tracks, near some other hikers. The river was loud, but not loud enough to drown out the sound of freight trains coming through all night. We slept only a few hours before we were awake and back on the trail.

The first 12 miles out of Belden Town are all uphill – over 5000 feet of climbing. From Belden it took us two more days to reach Highway 36. The trail was still very overgrown in places. We followed ridge tops with views to Lassen Peak, but also walked through a lot of dense, shaded forest.

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When we reached Highway 36, we quickly got a ride into the town of Chester for a resupply. It’s nice to take a break from the bugs and heat, but with Lassen National Park and Burney Falls ahead of us, I’m looking forward to getting back on the trail tomorrow.

Our home for the night, with a view of Lassen Peak.
Our home for the night, with a view of Lassen Peak.
North to Canada!
North to Canada!
About 8 miles before Highway 36, we reached the halfway marker! It's located at Mile 1320.7. According to more recent measurements, the true midpoint of the PCT is about 4 miles past this marker. Either way, we passed the midpoint!
About 8 miles before Highway 36, we reached the halfway marker! It’s located at Mile 1320.7. According to more recent measurements, the true midpoint of the PCT is about 4 miles past this marker. Either way, we passed the midpoint!

21 thoughts on “Days 85 to 87 (Miles 1257.5 to 1328.8)”

  1. Great job! I think back there with the snow and the river next would have freaked me out…and dealing with the bugs all over…
    Keep it up! Looking forward to seeing pics and hearing about the rest of the trail from you.

    1. Thanks Keith! I much prefer the bugs and the heat over the freezing temps and snow we had in the Sierra, so it’s been good!

  2. I see by the progress map you are at Old Station/Hat Creek Rim now… drinking lots of water today in your honor and waiting to see how you do!

    1. This made me smile. And yes – we’re more than halfway through the 30 mile dry stretch! (The blog posts are a few days behind.) It is hot as hell out here, but we still have water… and we haven’t had to drink out of any cow ponds!

  3. Good to see your smiling face Christa!! There’s been way more pictures of Rob in recent posts. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

    1. Thanks Megan! Rob has been slacking and not taking any photos. He ends up in all the blog posts because they are mostly my photos. 🙂

  4. I just got a project that’s replacing the bridge on Highway 70 in Belden (right next to the PG&E powerplant). This time next summer the place will probably be full of construction workers, so at least you don’t have to deal with that!

  5. You’re in my neck of the woods! Sure wish I could “trail angel” you folks! But I just got back from the Grand Canyon and now headed out for a 3 day hike of my own! Dang! I have been eagerly waiting and watching, I had a feeling this would happen! Safe travels! My friend owns the gas station/resupply at Old Station!

    1. Aw too bad! We didn’t spend much time in Old Station, but it seemed like a great little spot. Happy trails!

      1. Im back in town if you need anything between here and mt shasta!! I leave for alaska on the 9th. Id love to meet you and help out!!

        1. Thanks so much Kristene! We’re actually in Mount Shasta but heading back to the trail this morning, and we’ve already arranged a ride. Have an awesome time in Alaska!

  6. My parents and I use to camp at Big Pine campground, just down the road from Old Station. We would go to the store to get our fishing licenses, snacks and gasoline. We even hiked to Lassen Peak when I was 12! I know exactly where you are! And yes, it’s freakin’ hot there this time of year! Burney Falls will be amazing! Keep thinking cool water!

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