One of our goals of this trip was to do a few short day hikes on the PCT. After hiking all these years in the Sierras, I’ve come to the conclusion that the most scenic trail is by far the Pacific Crest Trail. Every time we’ve hiked a segment of it, I get blown away by the beauty of the wilderness. This time was no exception. Summer wildflowers were dazzling, adding to the already comforting aroma of sunbaked ponderosa pines that carpeted the trails.
This was our second camping trip of the season, and by some miracle we were able to reserve a spot at the Mt. Rose campground. Camping at this campground felt like a 5-star hotel compared to our first trip, where we and three other families drove around for hours and finally ended up guerilla camping at a mosquito-infested site. The silver-lining of that trip was that the kids were mostly unaffected and had a ton of fun forming their little wolf-packs and getting covered in dirt.
Ellie was such a little trooper on this trip. She hiked walked the whole 2.5 miles of our hike the first morning, then 2 more miles out of 3 in the afternoon. That’s 4.5 miles at 9000 ft elevation. That’s more miles than she is old. The second day she hiked about 3 miles of the challenging Donner Summit segment of the PCT. She did it all with minimal whining but instead was very interested in the wild flowers and asked very good questions such as “Why don’t ants get sunburned?” and “Why aren’t there Venus fly traps growing in this forest?” We had some great trail conversations.