Mike’s Place – Ghost Town or Community Relic

I felt like I had just walked onto the movie set of a Rob Zombie horror film. There was random junk scattered everywhere; a mixture of antiques and modern commercial appliances covered the landscape. Everything was dirty and or rusted. Random broken objects and remnants of what looks like a youth summer camp gone wrong can be found everywhere. This is Mike’s Place… a nice piece of property that looks to have been abandoned and long forgotten about.

The Last Hiker to Visit Mike’s Place 😂

There were a few comments being shared on FarOut that would lead one to believe that Mike’s Place was not worth the trip. Reports of rodent infestation and piles of garbage were being reported by hikers ahead of us. From the sound of it, this was not the type of place I would normally frequent, nor does it sound like it was a place I wanted to go.

Bird attempted the Pacific Creat Trail in 2016 but was not able to complete it due to time constraints. Despite not having completed the full thru hike, Mike’s Place was one of the stops on Bird’s hike. He had fond memories of Mike’s Place. Bird shared wonderful stories of pizza being made by hikers, for hikers. He recalls there being many people hanging out… stoked to be on trail… all sharing in the killer vibes. Mike’s Place was a representation of the best that comes from the hiker community.

The Hiker Mobile

Bird insisted we stopped at Mike’s Place on our way through the area, despite the derogatory comments being made by others. Rachael, Bird, and I made it to Mike’s Place as thick, ominous clouds began to roll in. We had a big decision to make… do we stay here in this trashed ghost town or do we take our chances with the weather and find a different camp site.

I wasn’t sold on Mike’s Place at first. I was very intimidated by the outward appearance of this place. The ghost town feel was not giving me good vibes.

Bird made a good case for staying. We had a nice sized porch with an overhang that we could sleep under, guaranteeing we stayed dry for the night. On the other hand… there was the supposed rumor of a rodent infestation that we needed to keep in mind. Our options… stay dry and fight off rodents, or keep moving? Maybe I should walk around and check this place out before I make a final decision.

Water Tank at Mike’s Place

I explored the Mike’s Place property for a good thirty minutes. There was so much to see: half completed projects, hiker built toilet facilities, a makeshift commercial style kitchen, and even a hiker bunkhouse. I also found the etchings and signatures of hundreds of hikers that had passed through years prior. In a box under the porch was a ziplock bag full of composition notes books. These notebooks contained the signatures and messages of every hiker that had passed through Mike’s Place for nearly a decade.

I began to realize that Mike’s Place meant something truly special to many hikers before me. The evidence of a once thriving community trail destination was everywhere.

Last Years Hikers!

If you look beyond the piles of junk, you will see art murals and words of inspiration everywhere. Wall after wall was decorated in bright colors; paintings and drawings depicting aspects of thru hiker culture. So much history…

The three of us decided together that we would cowboy camp on the porch. This would at least provide us cover from the rain. Plus, I hadn’t seen a single sign of this supposed rodent invasion anywhere: no traps, no droppings, and not even a single unwanted critter was spotted anywhere on the property.

Cowboy Camping in the Porch

I woke up the next morning with a new appreciation for Mike’s Place. Like so many before me, this trail stop helped me. I could have camped out in the elements, but instead remained warm and dry.

We left Mike’s Place leaving the property the same we found it. I regret not leaving my mark among the already massive historical collection, but I wanted to respect the property. I didn’t know what the rules were, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable leaving what some might considered to be graffiti on someone’s home.

I would love to see Mike’s Place become what it once was. There is so much potential for this property in terms of being a support location for thru hikers. What I thought was junk at first, is really just the left over relics of a community I am desperate to embed myself within. There is a massive amount of beauty and inspiration to be found… you don’t even have to look very hard.

Class of 2017 was a huge inspiration for me!

If you’re a PCT hiker, I suggest you stop by Mike’s Place. Don’t get caught up by the initial appearance. I would also like to see someone properly document all the history that has been left behind. Mike’s Place really is a museum of the PCT hiker community. It should be cherished.

If you have a good Mike’s Place story… please feel inclined to share. I would love to hear it!

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Comments 2

  • Greg Ford : Mar 24th

    Thanks for documenting this, Smiley. I am a section hiker planning on hiking this section next month and your write-up has convinced me to stop by.

  • Ian : Apr 28th

    I hiked the PCT in 2023 and had a similar initial experience with Mike’s Place. The difference was when I arrived, I was the only hiker there. I sat around by myself, charging my phone on the porch for about an hour, but no one came. It was getting later in the day and I honestly didn’t want to stay there by myself overnight. It was just too creepy with no one else around. It felt like the yard of the psychotic kid next door in Toy Story. Of course, just as I had packed up and was hiking out by the water tank, two other hikers showed up (who I ended up hiking with for the next two weeks), but I was already on my way out, so I went another 5 miles to the next campsite before the sun set.

    If I had been with other hikers, I think I would have stayed, but Mike’s Place solo is just too weird.


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