Day 174

Day 174: September 23rd
Mile 2653.8 to Manning Park, BC

This morning I walked the final six miles to the northern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail at the Canadian border where I found Deb waiting for me. She had camped at the trail camp about 2/10 mile into Canada.

We celebrated briefly (along with a handful of other hikers who arrived at the same time), took a few photos, and drank a tiny bottle of Champagne that Deb carried in.

Deb and I then hiked eight miles to the Manning Park where we had a late lunch and checked into the lodge.

2,660 miles of continuous footsteps from the Mexican border to the Canadian border are done. The hike has been an amazing journey that I have thoroughly enjoyed.

Day 173

Day 173: September 22nd
Mile 2635.9 to Mile 2653.8

Today was my last full day of hiking and I ended up camping just six miles south of the Canadian border.

I encountered a surprising number of hikers returning to Harts Pass (nearly 20) walking southbound back to Harts Pass after reaching the northern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail. Hikers sometimes choose not to go into Canada for various reasons, but instead just touch the border and go back south for 30 miles and exit at the first road.

Everyone was in a happy mood as most hikers were hiking fairly easy low mileage days through beautiful country with lovely fall colors. Everyone was congratulating each other as they had just completed the PCT or were about to the next day.

Mileage: 17.9

Day 172

Day 172: September 21st

Mile 2617.6 to Mile 2635.9

Very pretty hiking today.

I arrived at Harts Pass around lunch time, where the staff at the Guard Station was very friendly. They had ice water for hikers and offered use of the staff trash cans.

I ended up camping with a large group of about 10 hikers camped tonight.

Mileage: 18.3

Day 171

Day 171: September 20th
Mile 2599.6 (Rainy Pass) to Mile 2617.6

We spent last night in Mazama at Ravensong’s Roost. Deb drove me back to Rainy Pass after breakfast at the Mazama store. The store makes a good breakfast and was packed with a mix of old timers and rock climbers.

The hike was very scenic today mostly traversing the sides of high mountain ridges. Excellent weather. A joy to be hiking even though the end is near.

Mileage: 18

Day 165-170

Day 165-170: September 14-19th
Mile 2476 (Stevens Pass) to Mile 2599.6 (Rainy Pass)

Tortuga’s wife drove me back to Stevens Pass along with hikers Tortuga, Princess, Mr. Sandals, Firecracker, and Tidy Camper and we were off to hike the Glacier Peak section of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Another hiker described this as the final exam of the PCT and on many ways this is true. It’s a very beautiful and scenic section of the PCT but in many ways it’s difficult too. I was taking six days so I needed to carry more food than any time since the Sierra. The section involves quite a lot of climbing, about 6,000 feet per day and about 8,000 feet on the third day after Stevens Pass. You definitely need to plan on fewer miles per day in this section.

Most hikers resupply in Stehekin, but I opted to go an extra day to Rainy Pass where I met Deb instead. It’s interesting to note that the North Cascades National Park does not honor the PCT thru-hiker permit, the only national park with this policy. The North Cascades National Park was otherwise very nice and the backcountry vacant, except for a handful of PCT hikers.

Day 163-164

Day 163-164: September 12-13th
Mile 2463.8 to Mile 2476 (Stevens Pass)

Just a short hike on the Pacific Crest Trail today to Stevens Pass where I met Deb. I will zero in Skykomish tomorrow, resupply, and then I will continue the final 193 miles to Manning Park, British Columbia on Sunday. If the weather remains good this should take about 10 more days.

Skykomish is a cute historic railroad town. We are staying at the Cascadia Inn which is hiker friendly and has a good restaurant.

Mileage: 12.2

Day 162

Day 162: September 11th
Mile 2444.1 to Mile 2463.8

I was surprised to find frost covered ground this morning when I woke up. It made a crunching sound with each step for several miles as I walked the Pacific Crest Trail.

Today was another day of big climbs, almost 6,000 feet. I decided to stop hiking and set up camp early. A little tired from the climbing and yesterday’s 25 mile day.

Mileage: 19.7