The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is one of America’s great long-distance trails stretching 2,650 miles from the southern terminus at Campo, CA on the Mexican border to the northern terminus at Manning Park in British Columbia on the Canadian border. The PCT passes through three western states: California, Oregon, and Washington.
The Triple Crown of hiking is the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) to the west, the Appalachian Trail (AT) to the east and the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) in the middle. If you thru-hike all three long-distance trails of the Triple Crown you are said to be a “Triple Crowner.”
Here are some quick facts about the Pacific Crest Trail from the PCTA:
- It starts near Campo, CA and ends on the US border at Manning Provincial Park in British Columbia.
- First proposed by Catherine Montgomery in 1926 and championed by Clinton C. Clarke in the 1930s.
- Designated as one of the first National Scenic Trails in 1968, along with the Appalachian Trail.
- Crosses 26 National Forests, 7 National Parks, 5 State Parks and 4 National Monuments.
- Approximately 200 miles of the PCT are on private land.
- Hundreds of thousands of people use the trail each year.
- It takes the average thru-hiker about five months to walk the entire trail. They leave Mexico in April or May and reach Canada at the end of September. Fewer than 5% of hikers go southbound.
- The trail is a hiker and equestrian trail. A small number of hardy horseback riders have ridden the entire trail.
You can visit the PCTA website for more info on the trail: https://www.pcta.org/
Here’s a few stats about hiking the PCT:
The first person to thru-hike the entire trail was Richard Watson in 1972.
The fastest time was set in 2011 by Scott Williamson who hiked north to south in 64 days 11 hours, averaging 41 miles per day.
A few “power-walkers” have finished the so-called “yo-yo” hikes, reaching the end, then turning around and walking the entire PCT again in the opposite direction.