(Legend: Red – hiked; Gray – not hiked)
In 2016 we attempted to hike the entire 2,650-mile length of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in one season. Over 4 1/2 months we completed 1,828 miles of the trail in California and Oregon. Although we did not reach our goal of finishing the entire trail, we still had a great experience hiking in the California desert, the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Cascade Range.
Watch a short overview of our hike:
Read more about our journey below:
On April 17, 2016 we will begin hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). It runs 2,650 miles from the Mexican Border in California to the Canadian Border in Washington.
Sandy details some of our preparation for the Pacific Crest Trail trek.
We are at Cajon Junction, mile 342 on the Pacific Crest Trail, and at the end of four weeks of trekking. Already in that time we have hiked through a variety of weather, including rain, gusty winds, a snowstorm, and temperatures in the 90s.
Since our last post we have arrived in Tehachapi, CA, located about 35 miles southeast of Bakersfield.
The past segment of the PCT from Tehachapi, CA has had a little of everything: heat, scarce water, fire worries, treacherous trail, snow, and finally, torrential rivers and streams. It also marked the end of our desert hiking and the beginning of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
It had been a traumatic experience for us to leave the PCT in the High Sierras, due to the raging river crossings. As we rejoined the trail in South Lake Tahoe, we weren’t sure whether we would encounter other issues that would force us to make a similar decision. We knew that we would still face some snow, but weren’t sure to what extent it would affect our hiking progress.
The Cascade Range of mountains extend about 700 miles from British Columbia, Canada to Northern California. The Cascades differ from the Sierra Nevada Mountains in their series of volcanic peaks dotting Northern California, Oregon and Washington. In fact, all of the volcanic eruptions over the past 200 years in the contiguous United States have taken place in the Cascades.
The Pacific Crest Trail spans three states as it travels from Mexico to Canada: California, Oregon and Washington. The Oregon portion of the trail is the shortest of the three states, covering a distance of 455 miles. After over 1,300 miles of hiking in California, we were ready to tackle a new state.
Darren writes about five mistakes we made last year while hiking 1,828 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in California and Oregon.
Darren writes a companion story to the post about our Pacific Crest Trail mistakes, detailing the things that went well for us, and other factors for potential PCT hikers to consider.
In 2016 we attempted to hike the entire 2,650-mile length of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in one season. Over 4 1/2 months we completed 1,828 miles of the trail in California and Oregon. Although we did not reach our goal of finishing the entire trail, we still had a great experience hiking in the California desert, the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Cascade Range. Take a look.
With our goal of finishing the entire PCT in 2019, we decided to complete a missing piece of trail that we needed to detour around three years ago. It is a challenging section, climbing over 7,000 feet in elevation from the desert sand to the forest snow.
As we prepare for our Trekking the U.S. West adventure this summer, we have been focused on our gear. Taking into account the lessons we learned from hiking the PCT three years ago, we have strived to review every backpacking item to lighten our load. If we aren’t going to use something extensively, it stays home.
In April 2016 we began hiking the Pacific Crest Trail north from the Mexican border. Our goal was to hike the entire trail in one year, but after 1,828 miles we stopped at the Columbia River in Oregon. A little over 1,000 days later, we stood at the same location, ready to pick up where we left off.
After 82 miles of hiking and a rest day in Trout Lake, Washington, we were ready to continue our journey along the Pacific Crest Trail. The next section would take us alongside the iconic mountains of Adams and Rainier, as well as through the Goat Rocks Wilderness, considered one of the most scenic portions of the entire 2,650-mile trail.
In the last two weeks and 246 miles of hiking, we gained over 45,000 feet and lost over 43,000 feet in elevation. While my heel had been hurting since we left the Columbia River and Darren had occasional calf issues, we both felt rested after spending a day and a half in Seattle.
This year we undertook our latest adventure: hiking in California, Arizona, and Washington in what we called Trekking the U.S. West. During our three treks, we hiked 550 miles. At the conclusion of each hike we made short summary videos.