The Pacific Crest Trail is a National Scenic Trail that runs 2,663 miles from the United States-Mexico border through California, Oregon, and Washington, where it reaches its northern terminus at the United States-Canada border. The Pacific Crest Trail is known as a challenging thru-hiking and backpacking route through some of the country’s most spectacular wilderness ranges. The trail generally follows the high route through the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges.
The PCT (an acronym that many use to refer to the Pacific Crest Trail) passes through seven national parks and 25 national forests. The PCT was designated a National Scenic Trail in 1968, but was not officially finished until 1993.
Thru-hiking, or hiking a long trail in its entirety in one season, is a popular pursuit on the Pacific Crest Trail. A PCT thru-hike is a long-term commitment that usually takes several months of plans as well as 4-6 months of hiking. Thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Crest is the topic of many books, memoirs and documentaries, including a recent best-selling memoir titled “Wild,” written by Cheryl Strayed and promoted by Oprah Winfrey.
Together, the Pacific Crest Trail, the Appalachian Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail, are known as the Triple Crown of long-distance hiking in the United States. Someone who successfully thru-hikes all three trails is known as a Triple Crowner.
The PCT doesn't just have some of the country's best scenery—it has some of its best brews, too.
California's monster blizzards were good news for skiers—but thru-hikers will need to be on their toes.
The hardest part of hiking from Mexico to Canada? Coming home.
Wend beneath sugar pines, Pacific yews, mountain hemlocks, and Shasta firs on this remote section of the Bigfoot Trail in Northern California. BY LAURA LANCASTER
Now in Washington, our hiker tries to make miles while the sun shines.
With resupply options few and far between, our correspondent has plan ahead.