PCT – Hat Creek Rim

HOT, hellish, horrific . . . are but a few terms used by hikers of the PCT to describe the Hat Creek Rim. June and July are prime time for those hiking the entire 2,650+ miles, from Mexico to Canada, in a single season (April thru September).

There are many reasons not to hike this section, including the fact that it’s rocky, dry, hot and barren, but for those who dare venture out on a clear, cool, blue-sky day, you’ll be treated to 360-degree views, interesting geology, plenty of scat and tracks to identify, and possibly even some aeronautic entertainment (hang gliders and birds soar the thermal drafts).

The view to the west includes Burney Mountain and several peaks in the Thousand Lakes Wilderness.

Mt Shasta to the north. On a clear day Mt McLoughlin and the Crater Lake Rim are also visible.

To the northwest is the parade of wind turbines along Hatchet Ridge

Looking south toward Chaos Crags, over Lost Creek Canyon, and onward to Grassy Lake and the southerly section of the Hat Creek Rim.

From Lost Creek Canyon looking west into Hat Creek Valley and toward Burney Mountain and the Thousand Lakes Wilderness.

The “high” spot along the rim is this communications tower and former home to a fire lookout, which paradoxically burned down.

This is a water cache, maintained by local volunteers, to help the long-distance hikers who may not have carried sufficient water. Please do not leave food or garbage nor take water unless you are in desperate need.

Welcome to hell on earth!

Jan’s Tips:

  • For day hikes, consider accessing the Rim from the Overlook (to hike north) or  Road 22 near the Lookout (to hike south).
  • For day and multi-day access points along the PCT, I recommend the book, “Day Hikes on the Pacific Crest Trail – California” by George and Patricia Semb.
  • For details about the Hat Creek Rim section of the PCT, I recommend the book, “Lassen Volcanic National Park – A Complete Hikers Guide” by Mike White.
  • Information about the PCT can be found on my PCT Love page.
  • Additional blog postings about related hikes I’ve taken can be found in my PCT Hikes category and the Lassen National Forest category.

Hiker Stories:

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5 thoughts on “PCT – Hat Creek Rim

  1. Lol, “disparate need.” I think you mean “desperate.” The former means “different,” whereas the latter means “extremely bad, serious, or dangerous.” 😛

    • I best go check my wording, as I’m very picky about getting things right. Sadly my brain seems to have lost its ability to easily and quickly spell and punctuate correctly. Stress and the aging process has not been kind in this regard. I’m hopeful that I’ll regain these skills with my lengthy sabbatical come October. Thanks again for the feedback!

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