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Pacific Crest Trail Day 128 – Mt. Thielsen Wilderness

Last updated Apr 13, 2021 | Published on Aug 28, 2017

PCT Day 128 – Saturday August 19
Grouse Hill Camp to Thielsen Creek Campsite Mile 1853.5

PCT Miles Hiked Today: 16.7
Crater Lake Rim Alternate Trail Miles Hiked: .5
Total PCT Miles Hiked: 1384.6
Feet Ascended Today: 2012
Feet Descended Today: 1376
Current Elevation: 6978
Steps: 46070

I slept in this morning since I was up so late hiking last night. I woke up thirsty, but was hesitant to drink very much water. Since I hadn’t filled up at Lightning Spring last night, I was running low on water. I heard that some water caches were coming up, but it’s always a bit risky to rely on those unless you have good intel from a trusted source. The next verified water source wasn’t for another 16 miles.

There’s Water in that Bear Box! Too Bad my Food Bag isn’t in there…

I hiked another half mile to the intersection of the Rim Trail with the PCT. I heard there was a water cache around here but couldn’t see anything. I checked Guthook and read the comments for this waypoint, which suggested the water was stored in a bear box at a parking lot .1 mile on the PCT in the opposite direction that I intended to travel. I backtracked on the PCT and, sure enough, I found the cache!! Oh happy day!

Uninspiring Hiking

I lucked out as the cache was almost completely empty. The water tasted a bit stale but that was ok by me! I added some Gatorade powder to cover the taste. The parking lot was empty, save for a couple who were unpacking (or repacking – I couldn’t tell) bikes into their car. The female half of the couple looked like she was having some sort of major meltdown. I felt awkward and got out of there as quickly as I could.

It was good to be on the PCT again. The next 9 miles led to the northern boundary with the park, and weren’t very interesting. The path travelled through a sparse and uninspiring forest of trees. The trail was flat and soft and I made good time.

I hit the northern boundary of Crater Lake National Park around midday and crossed Highway 168. I saw some other hikers at the road hitching to Diamond Lake Lodge. I felt rested from my zero at Crater Lake and decided to keep hiking. These hikers had stealth camped at Lightening Spring Trail and watched the sunrise from Watchman Tower. I felt a little jealous but what can I say – I’m a risk averse person who likes to follow the rules. Such is life.

Another Cache! Yaaaasssss!!!!

I passed a group of Americorps volunteers on the other side of the road who were doing trail maintenance. They all looked to be fairly young and were taking a break in the shade, with helmets and tools scattered around. I thanked them and kept hiking another half mile to an intersection with a dirt road where I found another water cache. This was much bigger than the one I found in the bear box earlier today.

Entering Mt. Thielsen Wilderness

All You Need is Love

The path continued through some trees and then began to ascend into more interesting terrain as I neared Mt. Thielsen. The trail crested a ridge and ascended to Thielsen Creek on the other side. I found a campspot with a nice view of Mt. Thielsen directly overhead – albeit partially obscured by smoke- and decided to stop for the day. I could have hiked a few more miles but I didn’t want to push it as I was still recovering from my stomach bug. I was feeling better, though, and ate a full dinner. It was good to have my appetite back.

Mt. Thielsen, Slightly Obscured from Smoke

I camped with a section hiker named Hoops who is traveling with – you guessed it – Hula Hoops! It was nice to have company again after traveling alone so much.


Mt. Thielsen at Dusk

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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. susieant

    Glad you found water. Whew. Glad you are feeling better too. I am a rule follower too. 😬😬

  2. Brian Lotze

    haha, “I’m a risk averse person who likes to follow the rules. Such is life.” I am sure many of us who have known you for a couple decades could tell stories that would put this statement into question.


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