Pacific Crest Trail (2018) 43: Rim Walk

Tuesday, July 10, 2018 – 8.60 miles

I rushed around doing last-minute chores before catching the shuttle at 9:00 AM. The official (stock-friendly) PCT is closed, but the Rim Walk alternate that follows the rim of the caldera is more scenic anyway. The negative is a 27-mile water carry, but that’s not going to faze this AZT thru-hiker. I filled my water containers at the cafeteria in Rim Village and started along the caldera. The views were much better along the trail than from the village – something to consider if you visit as a tourist.

I slackpacked up The Watchman, which didn’t offer many views unavailable from the Rim Walk, but it was a short hike so I would recommend it. The skies were clear today and Mt. Shasta was visible in the distance along with closer volcanoes like Mt. Bailey, Diamond Peak and Mt. Thielsen.

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My mind had difficulty absorbing the whole of Crater Lake, maybe because of its size or because I have trouble visualizing Mt. Mazama as a mountain. The caldera looks more like Wilpena Pound filled with water. A gorgeous, incredibly blue Wilpena Pound filled with water.

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Snow, but no streams

Sometimes I think that it would be nice to thru-hovercraft the PCT, but at other times I feel that walking is an important medium for connecting with the landscape.

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Largely because of my misconception about how far from the trail one needs to camp within the park, I chose to camp at the established Grouse Hill campground. It’s pleasant with plenty of space though, albeit the mosquitoes are back after being 97% absent since my arrival in Mazama Village.

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