PCT – Hat Creek Rim 2018
Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild, called the PCT on the Hat Creek Rim “A legendary stretch on a trail of legends.” Indeed, for Cheryl, these are trail miles she will likely never forget. Having neglected to bring enough water for 100-degree temperatures and extremely dry terrain, Cheryl became dangerously dehydrated and overheated.
“I knew this was the most serious situation I’d been in so far on the trail,” Cheryl writes, “more threatening than the marauding bull, more harrowing than the snow. I needed water. I needed it soon. I needed it now.”
But despite her dire situation, Cheryl found solace in her surroundings. (She also – spoiler alert – found a solution, but we don’t want to give it all away!) “I was a big fat idiot,” Cheryl writes, “yes, one who might die of dehydration and heat exhaustion, yes, but at least I was in a beautiful place – a place I’d come to love, in spite and because of its hardships – and I’d gotten myself into this place on my own two feet.”
Many recreational backpackers (not to mention day hikers) might be scared off by Cheryl’s experience on the Hat Creek Rim, but it is possible to use your own two feet to safely explore the Hat Creek Rim and revel in its stark beauty and expansive solitude. Please just carry lots of water, avoid hiking in the heat of the summer, and check conditions in advance. Read on for more details and advice.
Day hikers scroll down for shorter jaunts to explore Subway Cave, the Hat Creek Rim Overlook, and Burney Falls.