The Pacific Crest Trail
Hiking the PCT from Mexico to Canada
Guidebook to the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), an epic 2650 mile hike from California's Mexican border to Canada's British Columbia. One of the world's best hikes, the route passes through California, Oregon and Washington State, taking in the Mojave desert, High Sierras, Cascades and countless more wild mountains.
SeasonsThe PCT is designed to be hiked when it is free of snow; Southern California is best in the spring or autumn and the High Sierra, Northern California, Oregon and Washington are best from late June to early October. Through-hikers need to start in mid-May.
CentresMost hikers access the PCT from San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle or Vancouver, all of which are about 50 miles west of the trail.
DifficultyThe PCT is a well-engineered trail taking the hiker easily through the mountains but it is a wilderness trail, often a long way from road access, and you will need to carry food for several days; there is little accommodation so you will need to camp or bivouac.
Must SeeThe High Sierra of California with Mount Whitney, the John Muir Trail and Yosemite National Park; Crater Lake in Oregon; the towering volcanoes of the Cascade Mountains: Lassen Peak, Mount Shasta, The Three Sisters, Mount Washington, Mount Jefferson, Mount Hood, Mount Adams, Mount Rainier and Glacier Peak.
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After taking early retirement from his career as a physics and sports teacher, Brian Johnson found time for three thru'-hikes of the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2700-mile round-Britain walk and a single summer compleation of the Munros (Scotland's 3000ft mountains), as well as climbing all of the Corbetts (Scotland's 2500–3000ft mountains) and Grahams (Scotland's 2000–2500ft mountains). He also completed a 2200-mile cycle tour of Spain and France and multi-week canoe tours in Sweden, France, Spain and Portugal. A keen climber and hiker, he led school groups in Britain, the Alps, the Pyrenees and California and completed ten traverses from Atlantic to Mediterranean on the Pyrenean Haute Route, GR11 and GR10. As a fanatical sportsman and games player, he competed to a high standard at cricket, hockey, bridge and chess. His crowning achievement was winning the 1995/96 World Amateur Chess Championships. Sadly, Brian passed away in 2021.View author profile
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