PCT Day 52 Pinchot Pass

pinchot pass

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you. Please read full disclosure for more information.

Download the Ultralight Hiking Gear List

Add your name and email to download the Ultralight Hiking Gear List

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Sharing is caring!

7th June 2015

Mileage 16.7 

Upper Rae Lake (793.7) to Kings River Camp (811.4) via Pinchot Pass

Pinchot Pass

Despite the ice layer on the inside of my tent I forced myself out of my sleeping bag. It was still early, maybe 5.30am. Hot coffee and Oats warmed my insides as zippers on other tents started to signal the start of the hiking day. I was first on trail with the deer and birds. The grassy meadows were covered in frost. It had been a cold night. Pinchot Pass was our goal today.

The several miles of downhill trail followed a clear mountain stream with huge rock walls on either side of the valley. Glaciers had once been in this valley, polished granite slabs complete with scouring marks is all that is left. Some sections have large boulder, other sections have enough soil for pine trees. After crossing a swinging bridge we passed the 800 mark of the trail. Oh yeah, I got this.

The climb over Pinchot Pass is 3500 feet of elevation gain over 7 miles. For me that was the hardest 7 miles of the whole PCT to date. I am almost embarrassed to say that I averaged a little over 1 mile an hour for the climb. I think I suffered from the altitude. I found climbing Mt Kilimanjaro easier than this pass. At one point I checked inside my backpack to see if anybody had put rocks in there as some cruel joke. No rocks, it was just tough. I was first to start in the morning and last to the top of the pass. Everyone was waiting for me. I received a round of applause. Everybody knew I was doing it tough. I was somewhat heartened to know that everybody else struggled on the climb today. The climb up Mt Whitney was much easier for me!

The descent from Pinchot Pass was snow covered as usual but we covered the 4 miles to camp fairly easily. As usual the 8 of us made our way to our designated cooking place, away from the tents. We discussed the day, make fun of each other, laughed and as it gets dark we are in our tents. This is the time I sit in my tent each night and write up these blog posts and review the days photos. It’s my quiet time of daily reflection. Before long it’s dark, cold and my eyes refuse to stay open. Good night.

800 miles on the PCT
Early morning reflections
Deer on the PCT
Morning mountains
frozen ground in the morning on the PCT
Ice on the JMT / PCT
On Route up Pinchot Pass
Bridge before the start of the climb up Pinchot Pass
On route up Pinchot Pass
The hard 7 miles up to Pinchot Pass
Near the top of Pinchot Pass
Looking down from Pinchot Pass
Frozen lakes near Pinchot Pass
Afternoon light on the descent from  Pinchot Pass

Next : Day 53 Mather Pass

The Best information about the Pacific Crest Trail:
Complete Guide to the Pacific Crest Trail
Resupply Guide for the PCT
PCT Gear List

PCT Gear Review

Sharing is caring!

Photo of author
About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Chile.

Download the Ultralight Hiking Gear List

Add your name and email to download the Ultralight Hiking Gear List

Invalid email address
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.

14 thoughts on “PCT Day 52 Pinchot Pass”

  1. Great pictures, great job! I too love the evening quiet time of editing pictures and journaling…a great way to finish each day.


  2. Oh…and not criticizing….I know it’s tough on the trail but it’s Pinchot Pass…not Pinchet. It’s named after Gifford Pinchot the first head of the U.S. Forest Service.


Leave a Comment