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PCT Day 112 – Swimming in Lower Deadfall Lake

Last updated Apr 7, 2021 | Published on Aug 10, 2017

I’m laying on my foam pad next to Lower Deadfall Lake watching the ripples in the water. I just went swimming in Lower Deadfall Lake to wash off the sweat and grime that has coated my body for the past two days. There were a few day hikers here when I arrived, but they’ve hiked out and I’m by myself.

Lower Deadfall Lake

Yay for Swimming!

It was another hot day today. The weather forecast was for over 100 degrees in Dunsmuir, although I don’t think it got quite that hot up here in the mountains. It was still really hot, though, and I struggled in the morning as the trail continued to climb in elevation – although thankfully the incline wasn’t nearly as steep as yesterday. I kept thinking about Deadfall Lake and that kept me motivated to keep going. I wanted to go swimming in Lower Deadfall Lake!!

Sunrise on the Trail

When I got to the lake I jumped in and washed the dirt off my feet and legs. The water was warm and felt heavenly. I noticed that a cloud had moved in front of the sun and the temperature had dropped a little. It was a welcome change from the high temperatures of the past few days but now that I was swimming in Lower Deadfall Lake, it was the one time I would have actually enjoyed the warmer temperatures.

Early Morning Panorama

The sky darkened and started rumbling. I could see the splash of the occasional raindrop into the lake. I finally occurred to me that I might get rained on. Ruh roh. Guess who is currently hiking without rain gear? In the three months that I’ve hiked so far, I have only gotten sprinkled on once or twice (although I did get snowed on once) and I’ve carried my rain gear every single day. Given the heat wave that was forecast I decided to bounce my rain gear forward to Ashland. I was trying to lighten my load as the medication I’m taking for my ulcerative colitis is cumbersome and heavy. It seemed like a good idea at the time.



Thankfully the storm passed quickly and the few sprinkles never really developed into rain where I was at. Another hiker who was only one or two miles behind told me he got hailed on.

When I arrived at the lake it was mid-afternoon and I had already hiked 15 miles. I *really* wanted to hit 20 miles today so I soldiered on around 5:00 pm. The clouds cleared up and the sun came out as I hiked away.


These are interesting plants

When I hit 20 miles I looked around and saw that there was no place to camp. The trail hugged the side of a ridge and the hill sloped steeply both above and below the trail. My map did not show an established campsite for another 4 miles, but I’ve stealth camped in plenty of spots before that were not on the map. So I kept going. I was dead tired and was almost ready to lay down on the trail when I finally found a sort of level spot another mile along the trail down the hill. I had to clear out all the sticks and brush and my tent is super slanty but I can make it work.

Hiking Past the Parks Creek Trailhead

As I set up my tent I noticed that ants were *everywhere*. Ugh. I got inside the bug netting of my tent as quickly as possible and spent the next 10 minutes hunting down the ones that made it inside my tent.

I checked the weather forecast on my DeLorme and was surprised to see that there was a 10% chance of rain overnight and for the next few days. Tomorrow’s high temperature was forecast to be 79 degrees and the day after only 69 degrees. That’s a far cry from the 100+ degrees that I was expecting. It will be much easier to hike with the cooler weather, so that’s a relief, but I wish I had my raingear. I reluctantly set up my rainfly – the first time in months – and reminded myself that if it does rain while I’m hiking I could always drape my tent fly over my head. It was strange to sleep with the rainfly blocking my view of the moon and stars. It felt unnatural after so many months of looking at the sky as I fell asleep.

It’s hard to tell from this photo but my tent is super slanty

PCT 2017 Stats

PCT Day 112 – Thursday August 3
Mile 1518.6 to Mile 1539.7

PCT Miles Hiked Today: 21.1
Total PCT Miles Hiked: 1152.2
Feet Ascended Today: 2575
Feet Descended Today: 2318
Current Elevation: 6905.8
Steps: 59524

For more on my experience hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, visit my Pacific Crest Trail 2017 page:

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Hi, I'm Unicorn!

I am an avid hiker, traveler, and adventurer who is on the mission to explore hiking trails around the world.  I’m also obsessed with National Parks, long-distance trails and other outdoorsy things.

I hope to share this knowledge with you and inspire you to explore new hiking trails too!


  1. Christy Michell

    Hi lovely! Great photos. Here comes your local naturalist, Professor Awesomesauce (that’s me). That is a ground squirrel, not a chipmunk. These guys live in holes in rocks and the ground. The way you can tell is that they do not have stripes on their head (chipmunks do), they have those cute little eye circles (chipmunks generally don’t) and they are much larger than chipmunks. They are super cute! I had no idea what that weird seed pod flower was. I’ve never seen it before so I looked it up… (I swear I’m like Number 5… more information!!) It seems to be a Balloon Pod Milkvetch which is an amazing name and is part of the pea family. Huh.

    • Unicorn

      Aha! Thanks Professor Awesomesauce!


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