Hike the Pacific Crest Trail with a Cicerone guidebook
The Pacific Crest Trail
This handy pocket-sized guidebook contains detailed route descriptions for the 2650 mile Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail from the Mexico/California border, through Oregan and Washington to British Columbia. The route is split into 101 sections which each cover 2-3 days and is described for walkers who want to hike the PCT in relative comfort More...
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The 2650 mile Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail runs from Mexico to Canada through the mountains of California, Oregan and Washington. It was purpose built exclusively for backpackers and horse-riders and visits some spectacular scenery that’s usually explored under clear and sunny skies.
Many walkers choose to complete sections of the route but there is still a large number of thru’-hikers. The route in this guidebook is described in 101, 2-3 day sections with detailed maps and full information about facilities available all along the way. The Pacific Crest Trail starts in California at the Mexican border, about 50 miles east of San Diego, and passes through California, Oregon and Washington to reach the Canadian border about 100 miles east of Vancouver, British Columbia.
It is a well-engineered and, for the most part, well-maintained trail. The trail itself is easy to hike: it is well graded and never steep, as it is designed for horse riders as well as hikers. The PCT is for the exclusive use of both hikers and riders with only a few miles, on paved or dirt roads, shared with other users. Walkers must remember that the PCT is very much a wilderness trail that only occasionally touches civilisation. Wilderness camping is an integral part of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.
The PCT is very varied. You will hike through deserts, forests, over snow-covered passes and along alpine ridges. The trail starts in the arid hills and mountains of Southern California, and cuts across a corner of the Mojave Desert before heading into the Sierra Nevada, with its majestic mountains in a lake-studded landscape. The granite of the Sierra Nevada gives way to the volcanic rocks of the Cascade Mountains, with a succession of volcanoes that tower above the forests of Northern California, Oregan and Washington.
This guidebook is intended for those who want to hike the Pacific Crest Trail in relative comfort at a reasonably sedate pace. The trail divides naturally into five regions, each taking about a month to cross. These have been further divided into 11 parts to provide hikes of between two and three weeks each and then into 100 smaller sections for two or three day hikes. Where possible these sections end at roads but occasionally they end at trail junctions from which you could hike to a road.
This guidebook assumes that you are hiking from south-to-north since this is the way the vast majority of thru’-hikers travel, so that they can hike the desert sections in the relative cool of the spring and because snow in the mountains of Washington could make the Pacific Crest Trail impassable into July. Section-hikers will find the guide easier to use if they also travel south-to-north.