Part 1 was the up / down South Sister to Moraine Lake Trail- post.
Starting from Moraine Lake trail, getting to the PCT starts with more alpine meadow views of South and then into burnt forests until Middle Sister appears.
Much of this section was a blur given the fatigue and need for water! I original planned to camp at Mesa Creek where I did finally get good water, but it was too early to stop ~2:30pm. I talked to a PCT thru guy who told me about a pond / lake that would be a great camping spot about 2 miles further … off I went with good water, and what a decision!
The pond was a bit busy – about 6 parties camping but there was sufficient distancing / space with us all around the pond. My campsite had this perfect flat big rock to sit, cook, rest and take it all in looking up at South.
Morning was another treat with stars, mountain, sun and clouds. First was South.
Then Middle and others
Along the way and it seemed the closer I got to Obsidian Creek, the more the flowers remained late into August.
This was my turning around point … Obsidian Creek / Trail. The best water I found. Reminder: Obsidian requires permits and only PCT thru hikes are allowed w/out permit.
Heading back, I retraced my steps, as I find it revealing to see what I missed going the other direction. There is this one alpine meadow that holds these views – all in the same spot.
There are also these huge plains / meadows / open spaces that goes for miles (exaggeration?). While I was going back, I encountered a stock party of 3 horses and about 8 mules. I figured out the rocks on side of trail are to keep stock in the trail and prevent twin track creation.
The path continues around lava flows until the familiar appears.
This was the most challenging 2 day hike in decades. I was treated with great weather, spectacular views, and some of the kindest people. As a buddy of mine says, “the trail takes care of you if you let it!” A fabulous outing!
Factoids per All Trails recording
- Day 1 – 19 miles & 6,132 ft elevation gain
- Day 2 – 21 miles & 2,802 ft elevation gain
Day 1 Recording
Day 2 Recording