After day 1 filled with surprises and the morning covered in ice, expectations for PCT north were mixed. I knew the trail would be flat and viewless until the Wickiup Planes, but was really looking forward to Mesa meadows. Heading north from Elk Lake TH, the PCT was quiet thru the trees – a long on-ramp to higher elevations.

Once to Wickiup Plains, the scenes and trail are repeat though the snow changed the views. Some snow hidden in the shadows remained even at this elevation.

Today’s destination was lunch at Mesa Creek / meadows, a magical spot looking up at S Sister. Another party of 3 were also in the meadow and almost every ‘looper’ was planning on either lunching or camping at Mesa.

Right to the south of Mesa Cr on the way back, the wind picked up and the air was filled w/ fireweed seeds (like milkweeds). From there, it was straight back down along the Devil’s – Elk Lake trail to the car; this trail is both an old wagon road and a popular horse trail (met 2 horses) and can be very boring so just go fast! Then, it was back to Elk Lake for a wonderful sunset.


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