“The mountains are calling and I must go.”
With a total elevation gain of about 489,418 ft hiking the Pacific Crest Trail equals climbing Mount Everest more than 16 times. What a challenge!
The Pacific Crest Trail is a long distance trail in the western United States running from the Mexican border up north to Canada. On its entire length of about 2,650 miles a hiker has to face six of North America’s seven ecozones – all but the tropics. The first 700 miles belong to the Californian desert which means several waterless stretches sometimes 20-30 miles long. After that comes the snow in the High Sierras. The trail crosses nine passes of more than 11,000 ft including Forester Pass, with 13,153 ft the highest point of the trail. The lowest Point is the Columbia River Gorge at 140 ft. The PCT passes America’s deepest lake Crater Lake (1,932 ft) and while hiking the trail you can take a short side trip to Mount Whitney (14,505 ft), the highest mountain in the 48 contiguous states…
I have chosen the Pacific Crest Trail among others because of its diversity and the resulting challenge. A few years ago I watched a documentary about thru-hiking on the Appalachian Trail (another long-distance trail in the USA) and somehow the topic thru-hiking lingered in my mind. But at that time I thought I could never do that on my own. Times have changed and more than one year ago I read the book “Wild” (Yes, I am a “victim” of wild, somehow!) and it got me.
I have changed my life to hike the Pacific Crest Trail in 2016 and so far this epic hike has been the greatest adventure of my life!
While hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail I maintained a daily hiking journal. Furthermore I also wrote a blogposts about planning, books to read and lately updated my PCT gear list and PCT gear review. I hope it will be helpful to other thru- or section hikers.
Latest posts about the Pacific Crest Trail:
Planning & Resources
Let’s get started – traveling to America
Daily hiking journal of the Pacific Crest Trail
The Californian Desert
2019: Paradise Valley Café (mile 150) to Hiker Heaven (mile 450)
2016: everything else…
In 2019 my hike on the PCT in Washington was rather short due to a record snow year not only in the Sierra Nevada but also in Washington. Having been the first hiker to hike through Indian Heaven Wilderness this year I was confronted with a snow-covered trail, no footsteps and the fear of a dying smartphone. Therefore I decided to leave the rest of the PCT for another time and I skipped to my next – not less challenging – adventure: the Pacific Northwest Trail!