A year ago I joined writer and author Steve Friedman at Hiker Heaven, an “angel” rest stop at mile 454 on the 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail.  The assignment: create beautifully real portraits of the hikers coming through and  capture the feel of this unique rest stop on the PCT.  Mr Cup, backpacker on the Pacific Crest TrailHiker Heaven is legendary on the trail.  Thru-hikers arrive to hot showers, soft cots, laundry service, shared kitchen, boxes and boxes of gear and clothing to swap, bikes to check out, laptops for check-ins and a general ambience to enjoy a “zero day” or two or three before heading back into the mountains.   Run by Donna Saufley and her husband Jeff in the small town of Agua Dulce at the base of the San Gabriel mountains and at the beginning of the long climb into the Sierras, this angel stop sadly closed it’s doors for this 2015 season.   Donna and Jeff are hiking the trail themselves this year – and giving Hiker Heaven a break. Possibly it grew too successful? Was it creating a bottleneck on the increasingly popular PCT? Just this past year the number of hikers increased 50%, many spurred on by Reese Witherspoon in the movie Wild.Hiker Heaven on the Pacific Crest TrailHiker Heaven on the Pacific Crest TrailWhatever the future holds for Donna and Jeff and the army of volunteers that supported all hikers, no questions asked, I feel lucky and honored to have spent days with this motley crew of amazing people: teachers, students, drop-outs, doctors – all walks of life walking a hell of a long way.kevsteele_140514_D8_6402 kevsteele_140514_D8_6668 kevsteele_140514_D8_6374 kevsteele_140514_D8_6393 kevsteele_140513_D8_6121 kevsteele_140513_D8_6038 kevsteele_140513_D8_5981kevsteele_140513_D8_5982kevsteele_140513_D8_5787kevsteele_140513_D8_6035kevsteele_140513_D8_6156Hiker Heaven on the Pacific Crest Trail kevsteele_140513_D8_5737 kevsteele_140513_D8_5903 kevsteele_140513_D8_5904 kevsteele_140513_D8_5702 Hiker Heaven on the Pacific Crest Trailkevsteele_140513_D8_6115kevsteele_140513_D8_6244kevsteele_140514_D8_6504Hiker Heaven on the Pacific Crest TrailCheck out the June 2015 issue of Backpacker magazine for over 60 of my photographs and a very well written story by Steve…

UPDATE Here’s a link to the Hiker Heaven Backpacker feature online

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