Day 7: Mt. Thielsen

PCT Mike 1840 – 1856

Miles Hiked = 16

After visiting Crater Lake yesterday and hiking the Crater Lake Rim Trail, Rex and I hiked down and away from the crater rim and rejoined the official PCT. After collecting some water at a water cache, we continued on for another mile or so and camped in the woods. This morning we were back on the trail by 6:20am. It was another beautiful morning in Oregon.


The first eight miles were slightly downhill on a smooth dirt trail through the forest. For two old guys, we were moving along pretty well.

After two and a half hours we crossed highway 138, a major highway through the Cascades.

We continued on for another half mile to a dirt road where there was a large water cache – again thanks to Devilfish. It was nine o’clock and we had already hiked the eight miles.

We took a short break, had a snack and drank some water. We got back on trail and soon entered the Mount Thielsen Wilderness.

The next six miles would climb steadily uphill. There were views back towards Crater Lake Rim.

Crater Lake Rim

There were also nice views to the west of Diamond Lake – a large lake that many hikers detour to for resupplies, restaurant food, camping or lodging, showers and laundry facilities. Rex and I continued northward.

Diamond Lake

The trail was now traversing around the western flank of Mt. Thielsen, a jagged and prominent peak.

Water availability was dictating how far and where we would be camping for the next few days. The next water source was in another two miles at Thielsen Creek. The next on-trail water source after Thielsen Creek was in sixteen miles. So the options were: 1) do we camp near water (wet camping) or 2) do we collect water and carry it X number of miles and make camp without nearby water (dry camping)???

Obviously if you dry camp, you have to collect and carry enough water (2.2 pounds per liter) for the rest of that day, dinner that night and the hike to the next water source the next day. Camping next to water is definitely the preferred option. So…. we decided to call it a day a make camp early at a Thielsen Creek. My tent was up by 2pm.

Here’s the Flower of the Day:

Giant Red Indian Paintbrush

Giant Red Indian Paintbrush is a perennial wildflower that attaches to the roots of other plants and takes the nutrients that it needs. It grows in meadows, forest clearings and woodland areas. I’ve started seeing this flower the last few days.

I enjoyed a lazy afternoon camped under the north side of the jagged Mt. Thielsen. That evening, I watched the moon set behind the jagged peak.

Day 7 Recap:

Thanks for reading.

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