PCT Mile 2553 – 2573
Miles hiked = 20
Sydney and I were up early this morning. We had twenty miles to hike by 3pm. The following photo was taken at 6:20am as we left our camp. As you can see, we were treated to a beautiful sunrise.
Our goal today was to get to the little town of Stehekin, on the shores of Lake Chelan – a 50-mile long skinny lake in northern Washington. It’s the largest lake in Washington. The PCT passes by north of the lake. There’s a shuttle that takes hikers from the PCT (at High Bridge) to the little town of Stehekin. Our shuttle was at 3pm. So we had eight-plus hours to hike the twenty miles. We were motivated by the thought of restaurant food, beer, showers, beer, etc.
Luckily for us, today’s walk through the woods was primarily downhill. Last night’s campsite was at an elevation of 5800 feet. We would finish our hike at 1600 feet – over 4000 feet lower! Here’s an elevation profile of today’s hike.
A few minutes after hitting the trail, we had a nice view looking down the valley in the direction we were headed.
About forty-five minutes later, we enjoyed another nice view down the valley.
The trail crossed through rock fields
through forests with dead trees
across small streams
and through areas overgrown with lush green vegetation
and then through more forests
As the day progressed we were constantly aware of how far we had hiked and what time it was and how much further we had to go. We entered Lake Chelan National Recreation Area at 1:30pm. We only had about two more miles – I think we’re going to make the shuttle!
We also entered North Cascades National Park.
We crossed over the Stehekin River at 2:10pm. We would be at the shuttle stop in five minutes.
It’s about an eleven mile shuttle drive from the trail to Stehekin. On the outskirts of town is the Stehekin Pastry Company – probably the most famous bakery on the entire PCT!!! I have read about and heard about this bakery for many years. The shuttle makes a fifteen minute stop at the bakery before heading into town. I couldn’t pass up on the ice cream. Yum!!!
It was Thursday September 2, right before Labor Day weekend. All the cabins and hotel rooms were booked. ☹️ But there was a campground for PCT hikers to set up their tents. We could still have dinner in the restaurant overlooking the lake and we still had access to a shower. 😊
After we got into town, we picked up our resupply boxes that we had mailed to the post office. We took showers. We set up our tents in the campground. And then we headed to the restaurant for a nice dinner. It was a great evening!
The lake was beautiful as the daylight slowly disappeared and the night took hold.
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