[pct-l] new to PCT

Julia julia at haskinphoto.com
Fri Apr 29 13:56:43 CDT 2016

Hello Alice -
I hiked the section from Snoqualmie Pass to Stevens Pass last summer, as a solo female hiker. I never felt in the slightest bit threatened. All the hikers I met, going both directions, were nothing other than nice, supportive, and friendly. Many of them were surprised that I was backpacking by myself, but it was impressed surprise, rather than patronizing or condescending surprised. I can't speak to interactions at road crossings or in towns, because I didn't have to navigate that, but I think that "bad eggs" are pretty rare, and that as long as you trust your instincts, you'll be okay. There are many solo female thruhikers out there who have no problems.
Definitely treat your water - as Marmot Marmot said, you really don't want giardia, and although the chances of you catching it are slim, it's better to just avoid the possibility entirely. If you don't want to carry a filter, you can use treatment drops (eg, Aquamira). They take longer to take effect, so you have to plan your water use a little better, but not obnoxiously so. I would recommend having something like a bandana that you can use as a "keep out the big bits" filter if you have to use water from a pond. I had to do that only once during my hike, near the top end by Stevens Pass, but I was also hiking in early August in a drought year, when many of the smaller streams weren't running. Still, if you're not going to carry a full filter but don't want to maybe have to drink brackish water, a bandana is a useful addition.
As far as transit goes, Amtrak does run a bus service from Stevens Pass to Seattle, from where you can then travel on the train to Portland (it's a gorgeous route down the side of Puget Sound). I just did a quick search on the Amtrak site, and it looks like the bus departs once a day from quite near the Stevens Pass resort (where the PCT spits out). Departs at 1:55 pm, arrives Seattle near 5 pm, and then connects to a 6 pm train to Portland. Cheapest ticket for the final week of July is currently running at about $60. (About $40 of which will be the Seattle to Portland train fare.) So that's an option.
You are such a supportive community! Thank you all so much!
I've got a lot of useful and interesting information, and continue to
prepare my hike.
I hope you don't mind another question:  what is the best point in the
north part of Washington section to get of the trail and to come back to
Portland? (by bus or hitch hike).
With respect.
Glad you are doing the trail. Please do not drink the water without treatment. There are cheap easy filter systems (Sawyer Squeeze and many others)   You do not want giardia. Most long distance hikers do not use freeze dried food. They buy dried along the way in regular stores or they send boxes to themselves at POs,hostels or motels. Look for food suggestions on line. Look at Yogis books or on line for the resupply spots.  I used Trout Lake, Cracker Barrel Store(White Pass) Snowqualimie,Skycomish,
Stehegan. If you want to buy freeze dried and send it to yourself you could do that in Portland at REI
You might look at the snow level. July might be a bit early to go through Washington unless you are used to snow travel. Going south from Cascade Locks (fly into Portland)takes you through wonderful Oregon. Around Mount Hood,Jefferson Park ,the Sisters. It's lower not as rugged but beautiful. And there's nothing like Crater Lake. Of course ,depending on the timing of the snow melt you might have to deal with mosquitoes. 
There are bad actors out there ,of course. I've never had any trouble. But I do not tell anyone what I am doing or where I am going. No one knows where I am sleeping or how many miles I am doing. I do pay attention at road crossings to avoid being seen by traffic --especially at dirt roads. I do hitch hike into resupply towns. I am always ready to turn down rides that feel iffy. My favorite rides are in the back of of pickup truck. Many single women or families pick me up who say they never pick up hitch hikers. Have a big sign that says PCT hiker needs ride. I very obviously send a text with the car license plate number and state that I am doing thatPeople now know what means. 

Sent from my iPhone

> On Apr 28, 2016, at 11:58 PM, Alice P <aaz210672 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hello everyone!
> I'm a woman from Israel whose dream is to hike a PCT. Since a have only a
> month I plan to make a Washington section, starting at the Bridge of the
> Gods and going north. I'll begin my trip in the beginning of July.
> I am not a complete newbie in hiking, I've used to hike solo for two
> –three weeks in Alps in Europe, but have never done it in US. And I
> guess it may be different there. I would really appreciate some
> advices and I have a few questions:
> 1.      If the water along Washington section is drinkable without
> treatment? (I used to drink water from rivers in Alps without any
> treatment.)
> 2.      If there is a way to buy freeze-dried food at least ones in a
> week at some points along Washington section?
> 3.      How save is it for women to walk alone, or I should be aware
> of some suspicious people?
> Sorry if I ask dumb questions and I'd appreciate any information.
>   Alice


More information about the Pct-L mailing list