The Pacific Crest Trail (aka the PCT) is a long-distance route that spans 2,650 miles (4,265 kilometers) from Mexico to Canada. The trail cuts through the states of California, Oregon and Washington and closely follows the highest parts of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges. Being such a long trail, it’s extremely diverse. You’ll walk through arid deserts, glaciated valleys and thick forests as you take in the most stunning landscapes The West has to offer.
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT is one of the world’s great trails, and it passes through many of the finest landscapes that the North American continent has to offer.
If you start from the north, it begins at the Canadian border, crosses the Colombia Gorge, and weaves its way down through the northern Cascade Range.
In Oregon, the inclines of the Cascades make way for relatively easy walking through lush, old-growth forests punctuated by volcanoes, ridgelines, and lakes. The southern Cascades see a turn in the trail as you enter the solitude of Northern California and enter into the famous Sierra Nevada Mountains with their iconic peaks and valleys, one of the world’s great trail hotspots.
Finally, you emerge from the mountains south of Mount Whitney and come to the beginning of the trail’s final 700 miles, through the deserts of Sothern California, having passed through six of North America’s seven ecozones, almost sixty mountain passes, and seven national parks.
Around 300 people attempt the through-hike each year, and of those, less than two-thirds succeed. Spending between five and six months of your life conquering this acknowledged ‘beast’ of a track is not to be taken lightly.
The trail began in the 1930’s as a series of unconnected walks in various states, and even those humble beginnings may well not have happened for decades, had it not been for the valiant petitioning for a continuous border-to-border trail by two indomitable backcountry pioneers, Clinton Clarke and Warren Rogers.
Now the PCT is known the world over, and while it will demand everything you have, the memories will last a lifetime.
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