Day 20: Castle Crags State Park

PCT Mile: 1501.2 to 1518.9

Miles Hiked = 17.7

This morning I was picked up at my hotel in Mt. Shasta at 6:30 and driven back to the trailhead. I was on the trail and hiking before 7am.

My pack felt heavy because I had just resupplied with 4+ days worth of food to get me to my next resupply in the small town of Etna. I felt like I hadn’t been eating enough calories on the trail so I brought additional food which made my pack seem even heavier.

There is something called “hiker hunger” that kicks in for most hikers after several weeks of hiking. I think it happens when your body has depleted most of your fat reserves – maybe that was happening to me???

My hike today started where the PCT crosses under Interstate-5 near Castle Crags State Park.

The elevation at the interstate is about 2100 feet. As is typical after town stops, the first day back on the trail will be uphill. Today I would go up over 4000 feet! And my pack was heavy! But it started out with a slow ascent through the forest.

The first mile or two was in Castle Crags State Park then the trail entered the Castle Crags Wilderness.

The trail was traversing below and around the Castle Crags – occasionally I would get glimpses of the Crags.

The elevation gain was only about 1000 feet in the first nine miles.

Then it got steeper and more serious! The next nine miles went up over 3000 feet. There are times on this trail when I can tell I’m not a “young buck” anymore! Today was one of them!

As I slowly increased in altitude I enjoyed more views of the Crags.

I had good views of Mt. Shasta also

My plan was to camp at mile 1519 – there were hiker comments on my PCT app about this campsite having great views of the Crags and Mt. Shasta as well as good sunset and sunrise views.

When I arrived at my campsite there already was a tent set up. It was a young lady by the name of Daisy – I had met her back at Burney Guest Ranch . She is a section hiker also and started her hike at Lake Tahoe. She is planning on hiking to the Oregon-Washington border. She starts law school at Temple University in Philadelphia in late August.

A short while after I set up my tent PopTarts and Quotes (the newly engaged young couple) showed up. It was good to see them again.

As the sun got lower I took a few more photos of the Crags and Mt. Shasta from my tent.

Castle Crags from my tent
Mt. Shasta from my tent

Thanks for following!

4 thoughts on “Day 20: Castle Crags State Park

  1. Hi Todd! Curt and I have been following your blogs along the way and are feeling like we are right there with you! Our vacation plans for this summer are cancelled so we love following your adventures and seeing all the beautiful pictures! We’ve been busy cancelling wedding planes for our kids, but Stephanie did manage to get married this past weekend at her “micro” wedding in my cousins backyard in Shady Canyon, and will have her big wedding next summer! Seems like Sydney and her were just in Kindergarten together! Happy to see you are finding some good food and a little wine along the way! Stay safe and thanks for sharing! Carrie


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