Sierra Nevada: Thru Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in the Summer of COVID-19

June 20th to July 11th, 2020
388 miles, 22 days
Kennedy Meadows South to South Lake Tahoe

Brace yourself because I'm about to utter high heresy. Are you ready?

The Sierra wasn't my favorite section of the Pacific Crest Trail. In fact it was the least memorable.

I know, I know. Pitchforks down please. Let me explain. 

I've done quite a bit of backpacking and climbing in the Sierra. I have countless remote little corners that I absolutely adore and I can jaw your ear off about all the underappreciated areas and how nothing can compete with the feeling of sitting on top of some remote peak looking out across the high sierra.

Me in my happy place

So why didn't I enjoy this section as much as the usual punching bag sections like SoCal or NorCal? 

First off I'd done most of the Sierra section just last year. In June 2019 I went from Kennedy Meadows to Horseshoe Meadows grabbing multiple peaks along the way and then I did Yosemite Valley to Whitney southbound on the John Muir Trail. in August That meant that I knew what to expect around every corner or on the far side of every climb which ended up taking me out of the moment a bit.

I was committed to the idea of a continuous footpath from Mexico to Canada so I wasn't about to skip anything but I did find myself constantly thinking of what was ahead vs just being in the moment.

Also after enjoying solitude for long sections of SoCal the Sierra was where things started to feel busy. There still weren't near as many thru hikers as the last few years but we did start to see a lot more section hikers jumping on and we hit a massive flood of JMT'ers fleeing the lockdowns.