Pacific Crest Trail Women's Backpacking

Trip Length3 Days
Group Size4-10
Activity level
Starting from
$1,149 for REI Members
$1,264 for non-members
DeparturesJun 2024-Oct 2024

Discover the peace and power of wild places on this three-day backpacking trip on one of the world’s longest hiking trails.

Perfect for women who want to try backpacking, advance their backcountry skills or get a taste of life as a thru-hiker, this trip is a learning journey that touches a spectacularly scenic portion of the Pacific Crest Trail. The PCT stretches 2,650 miles along America’s west coast, through some of the country’s most rugged and dramatic terrain. Our trail section is accessible to those who want an incredible backpacking experience but don’t have a lot of time.

By day, we hike through mountain meadows, along open ridgelines and by the shores of gemlike alpine lakes, with Mount Shasta towering on the horizon. Our expert female guides share their knowledge of wilderness travel and the fauna, flora, geology and history of the land. We camp near lakes, allowing plenty of time to swim and relax. By night, we savor star-filled skies and remote solitude. Our final, optional adventure is an ascent of Mount Eddy, the highest of the Klamath Mountains, providing a literal pinnacle to our wild journey.

Our backcountry guides provide valuable insight into the flora and fauna of the high alpine wilderness.

Trip Highlights

  • Disconnect from everyday life swimming in a crystal blue mountain tarn
  • Enjoy a cup of hot cocoa while sitting under a blanket of stars
  • Create lifelong memories exploring the quite corners of pristine wilderness
  • See the world through the eyes of a thru-hiker along a remote alpine ridge
  • REI Women’s Adventure—designed for women, guided by women

Activities

This trip is rated Moderate [3]. Participants will be carrying their own backpacks weighing 35 to 40 pounds, distances of 4 to 7 miles daily over varied terrain. To maximize your enjoyment of the trip, we strongly encourage participants to be involved in a training regimen before the trip. Most important to your enjoyment of the trip is your overall fitness level. Nearly all hikes take place at elevations between 6,500'-7,500' with Mt. Eddy reaching 9,026' above sea level.

  • Backpacking
  • Hiking

What's Included

Professional instruction and guiding; meals as noted on the daily itinerary; 2-person tents; group cooking gear; group first aid kit, water filter; campsite and permit fees; transportation between trail heads and Cold Creek Inn.

This trip is conducted by Shasta Mountain Guides, llc. Shasta Mountain Guides operates under a Special Use permit of the Shasta Trinity National Forest.

Accommodations

Backcountry camping, two nights

Your Adventure Itinerary

Itinerary map for Pacific Crest Trail Women's Backpacking
Day 1

Begin your Pacific Crest Trail journey by heading north to Porcupine Lake

Our adventure begins this morning in Mount Shasta, California, where we meet our guides and fellow travelers. After a brief orientation, pack check, and equitable distribution of group gear, we depart in our group transportation to Gumboot Saddle Trailhead to start our adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail. Hiking along the flanks of Gumboot Mountain, our trail is nearly level and we are surrounded by tranquil open country with the impressive Mount Shasta in view. Along the trail we find a scenic spot for a picturesque lunch. Our campsite tonight is on the shore of Porcupine Lake beneath Porcupine Peak. After setting up camp, there is time to explore the area, swim in Porcupine Lake, venture off to nearby Toad Lake, scramble on boulders along the lakeshore, or enjoy one of the many short hikes around the area free from your backpack. Tonight we enjoy a tasty meal prepared in camp by our guides and go to sleep under a blanket of stars. Lunch and dinner included.

Backpacking: 6.2 miles; elevation gain: 750'.

Day 2

Backpack to Deadfall Lake and camp under Mount Eddy

We’ll wake to the smell of brewing coffee and take our time to enjoy a hearty backcountry breakfast. With our boots laced, we’ll then hit the trail to continue our journey on the PCT towards scenic Deadfall Lake. Today’s stretch of the trail will find us hiking through lovely mountain meadows and taking in the sprawling views of the majestic southern Cascade Range. This afternoon we will arrive at Deadfall Lake which is situated at the base of Mount Eddy and almost entirely ringed by great mountain peaks. After making camp we again have plenty of time to take a dip in the lake, participate in a short hike to other nearby lakes and ridge tops, or just take time to reflect on the day’s journey along the serene lakeshore. After a delicious dinner prepared by our guides we go over the next day's optional hike, the challenging summit of Mount Eddy. All meals included.

Backpacking: 6.4 miles; elevation gain: 400' elevation.

Day 3

Enjoy incredible views from Mount Eddy and return to Deadfall Lake

Mount Eddy awaits! At 9,026' and the highest summit in the Klamath Mountains, Mount Eddy provides hikers with remarkable views that, on a clear day, reach all the way to Mount McLoughlin in Oregon. We'll hike 1.8 miles and gain 1,800' elevation up to the summit where we'll enjoy lunch with a view and reflect on all we've accomplished and learned over the last three days. On our way back down we'll pick up our packs at Deadfall Lake and hike back to the trailhead, where our shuttle to Cold Creek Inn awaits. Depending on trail conditions, weather, and other factors, we estimate arriving back to Mount Shasta in the late afternoon. Breakfast and lunch included.

Hiking: 3.6 miles; elevation gain/loss: 1,800'; Backpacking: 2.1 miles; elevation loss: 750'.

Itinerary map for Pacific Crest Trail Women's Backpacking

Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. Try to bring only what is necessary—this will help you and the field staff.

Already booked this trip? Sign into your online traveler profile for a more detailed list of what you'll need.

REI members can shop for gently used gear online or at most REI stores. Members can also trade in pre-loved used gear online or at any REI store in exchange for REI gift card credit. Check out Re/Supply at REI to learn more.

We provide

  • All Group Cooking Gear
  • Group First Aid Kit
  • Stoves and Fuel
  • Tent(s)
  • Trekking Poles
  • Water Filter

What to pack

Contact Us

Feel free to give us a call at 1 (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales ( 1 (800) 426-4840 ) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out REI Expert Advice , which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.

Trip specifics may change over time. Reviews reflect the version of the trip that was active at the time the reviewer took it. Please review the itinerary as described above and call our team for any additional details.