I had so much fun on my recent PCT hike from the Parks Creek Trailhead (link), it seemed time to try another section. I’m lucky to have multiple access points within a couple hours of my home base. I hiked south on this day. Note: I believe this is the only KM sign on the PCT.
There’s Mt Eddy in the distance, near where I was the previous week. It’s about 15 trail miles between the Gumboot and Parks Creek Trailheads.
This is Gumboot Lake, the namesake for this trailhead. It’s accessible via a nearby road and might be worth a stop for a swim at the end of a hike.
The view of Gumboot Lake from near the trailhead.
The highlight of my day was finding Scott mountain phacelia aka Howellanthus dalesianus.
Near the beginning of the hike, the Mumbo Lakes become visible to the west. Once again not all the easily accessible.
A couple miles from the trailhead you reach the junction to swimmable lakes.
Lake Helen is probably the most visited with it’s easier access. Shown here are Upper and Lower Seven Lakes. Someday I want to explore the basin and make my way to all seven lakes.
Although not considered one of the seven lakes in Seven Lakes Basin, Echo Lake is on private property and doesn’t welcome trail visitors. It’s backed by Boulder Peak at 6,968′, not part of the private parcel. I’m sure the PCT Association would be interested in purchasing this property if it ever goes on the market.
A nice view showing perspective of the PCT in relation to Upper Seven Lake. The trail down looks to have been recently groomed. I remember access use to be quite dicey cutting through a lot of overgrown manzanita combined with rocky terrain.
Monkeyflowers were a tiny alpine variety.
The paintbrush was brilliant red.
Bladderpods of Astragalus whitneyi var. siskiyouensis.
The most prevalent bloom of the day was Mt Eddy Lupine, named for this mountain range dominated by serpentine soil.
As is typical for hundreds of miles along the PCT you are granted views of Mt Shasta.
I love this trail image.
I believe these are Torrey’s Blue-Eyed Mary, Collinsia torreyi. These are tiny plants at only a few inches tall. The flowers are less than 1/4″. I can’t believe they are recognizable as the wind was blowing and I figured I’d get a big blurr.
What makes Jan happy? Cool geology, views and blooms. Oh and maybe hiking on the PCT! The terrain was a little rockier with more rolling hills than I remembered but I had a fun day tromping a few miles. I met several hikers out for multiple nights, one gal who was hoping to make it a few hundred miles before returning to her teaching job in late summer. There were also a handful off to the lakes for a swim.
Previous jaunts in this area:
I’m surprised I haven’t blogged more about this section of the trail as it was where I walked my first steps on the PCT. The year was 2008. I’ve been on this section many times with one of my most memorable getting to visit Echo Lake on a snowshoe trek.
It was a magical day where I saw my first and only Circumhorizontal arc.