After completing our Appalachian Trail thru-hike in 2011, we mused about finding another adventure. Turns out, even with all that time in the woods, we still love to walk. It took us a long time (I think) to admit to ourselves what we’d known since we descended from Katahdin: that, given the chance, we’d take the plunge and attempt another thru-hike out west. So, after lots of will-we-won’t-we, some (understandable) anxiety, and, finally, a long bout of pure excitement, we find ourselves just a few weeks away from our next adventure: the PCT.
Despite the popularity that came with Wild, the Pacific Crest Trail has possessed a best-kept-secret status; well-known (and well-loved) by few thousand people each year, but, to the masses, mostly undiscovered, especially for us folks back east. Frankly, all of the National Scenic Trails have this “hidden treasure” status in varying degrees, which is either a perpetual disappointment or a precious gift, depending on who you ask. While the cat’s still not entirely out of the bag, more hikers seem to be waking up to the idea that the PCT is almost too good to be true. Count us among them.
In a nutshell, The PCT stretches approximately 2,660 miles across California, Oregon, and Washington. Its southern terminus is in Campo, CA, just a few paces from the border with Mexico. Its northern terminus is in E.C. Manning Provincial Park, BC (that’s in Canada, yo!). In between, the route passes through 25 national forests and 7 national parks, and through or near dozens of towns. Biomes include, but are not limited to, desert, alpine, and temperate rainforest. The highest point on the trail is at Forester Pass in the sierras at 13,153 ft. The lowest point is near Cascade Locks, Oregon, at just above sea level.
And you can walk all of it on a contiguous footpath. If you find this idea enticing, wait until you see the pictures.
We plan to begin our hike in late April. We understand that many unforeseen obstacles can drive even the hardiest hikers off the trail, but, if we’re lucky enough to remain injury free and in good spirits, we estimate it’ll take us about 4.5 months to hike the PCT in its entirety. We invite you to follow along.
It’ll take us a few weeks to post from the trail itself, but, in the meantime, check back for updates about food, gear, and logistics. As always, we’d love to hear from you with any questions, words of wisdom, or book recommendations. Contact us!