Day 1 of 3 … Drove straight to the trailhead – North Crater Trailhead which is very close to the northern entrance road to Crater Lake National Park.
This was my first experience on Thielsen, and the PCT southern approach in August was not the best choice … dusty, dry and hot. There some thru hikers going south, but for the most part, I had the trail to myself until I reached the climber trail.
The trail starts off in the now familiar ‘bent knee’ forest.
As the PCT climbs higher to the ridge that intersects the climbers’ trail, more views of Bailey, Thielsen and Diamond Lake appear and one gets a good idea of what is ahead.
Going up the climbers’ trail is not a picnic. It’s a scramble pure and simple. I did not go all the way to the rock spire, but just to the point where the scree scramble was no longer worth the risk or energy. Several climbers passed me coming down, one w/ ropes … they did not seem too happy w/ their rock experience.
Thielsen’s rocks are weird and it seems like the volcano’s core was a split personality with all the different rock colors; there is also a thought that because Thielsen gets hit by lightning often that things are a bit different at the peak.
Once up high, views to Crater Lake are interesting as only the rim shows … the size of it is very hard to grok, but suffice it to say Crater Lake is one BIG hole!
I was disappointed with this hike, but I returned to Thielsen for another hike on Day 3, and found Thielsen more welcoming.
All Trails recording paused about 2/3 complete. The total was 15.6 miles and 2,600 ft elevation gain. Here’s the first part recording ….