A taste of Wild
If you read Wild by Cheryl Strayed or watch the movie starring Reese Witherspoon, then you know there’s a place called Kennedy Meadows. This idyllic spot marks the southern end of the Sierra Nevada. The hiking trail here at Kennedy Meadows is part of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). I went for a short day hike just to get a feel of this wild setting. With plenty of time and a good backpack, you can hike over 40 miles and climb to 10,500 feet at Trail Pass. For a day hike and far less miles, you get to enjoy a diverse landscape, and you get a glimpse of the PCT. I met several hikers that were hiking the entire Pacific Crest Trail. Some of them looked worn out, but who wouldn’t be wasted after having hiked all the way from the U.S.-Mexican border.
To visit Kennedy Meadows, you’ll have to turn off Highway 395 and drive 26 miles on the paved 9 Mile Canyon Rd (later Kennedy Meadows Road). The road is scenic with slopes of Joshua trees, desert wildflowers, and some steep over-the-edge drops. Driving this stretch is an attraction itself. There are several hiking trails in the area, but head for Kennedy Meadows Campground and you’ll end up at the Pacific Crest Trail.
About the Pacific Crest Trail
The Pacific Crest Trail spans 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon, and Washington. It takes most hikers between 6 and 8 months to plan their trip. Completing the trip can take between 4 and 6 months. Most hikers cover about 20 miles per day. More info at www.pcta.org.