2,650 mile hike from Mexico to Canada

The Pacific Crest Trail stretches 2,650 miles from Canada to Mexico along the crest of the Cascades, Sierras and a handful other mountain ranges. It dips down through the Mojave desert, and weaves in and out dense temperate forests, high alpine meadows, crackly dry lodgepole pine stands, snow fields, sagescrub, dense chaparral, past dramatic waterfalls, glaciers, and chilly mountain lakes. The trail is well graded, the walking is smooth & navigation is straight forward when it’s not under a blanket of snow.

On July 1st 2009 I walked south out of Manning Park, Canada to start the PCT. It took me the whole state of Washington to realize I was going to be able to actually hike the PCT, but I had to come off the trail for 20 days of work down in the sierras. By the time I arrived back on the trail it was mid-August and I had to learn to hike bigger days if I was going to stand a chance of getting through the Sierras before winter happened. 30 mile days became normal, and I discovered I enjoyed walking all day and into the night on the PCT. The trail was usually fun to follow in moonlight, taking on a whole new character with darkness.

The Sierras froze me out with two large dumps of snow in early and mid October, and forced me to route creatively. I wound up only missing about 8 miles of the PCT because of the snow, and my crossing of Forester Pass (the highest point on the PCT) was one of my happiest moments of the hike. I was so thankful to have been given the window to walk the length of Range of Light (my favorite mountains).

I arrived in Campo at the Mexican border on November 14th, just 5 days before my 30th birthday, meeting my goal of hiking 3,000 trail miles before turning dirty 30. The PCT was where I realized I not only was capable of thru-hiking, it filled me with a deep sense of satisfaction and joy. I discovered that spending months on a trail was my favorite way to live.

View a map of the route here!