Now that you know a little bit about our back-story regarding the trail (if you haven’t read it, here’s our Decision post) I’ll try to describe the PCT.
The Pacific Crest Trail is approximately 2,650 miles long and connects the California/Mexico border to Canada following the Sierra Mountains in California and the Cascade Range through Oregon and Washington.
Hence the “crest” in the name.
The elevation of the trail ranges from around sea level to over 13,000 feet as you can see from the elevation chart I snagged from Postholer.com.
The distance of the trail changes depending on trail conditions from year to year, and the accuracy of the “ascent” and “descent” values shown above varies depending on the equipment used and who’s measuring, but I think it’s safe to say that it is a long walk with plenty of ups and downs.
The trail passes through a multitude of national parks, state parks, and Bureau of Land Management wilderness areas as it winds its way through the mountains, but the Pacific Crest Trail Association is the steward of the trail.
The PCTA’s mission is “to protect, preserve and promote the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail as a world-class experience for hikers and equestrians, and for all the values provided by wild and scenic lands.”
If you want to help them in their endeavor you can become a member for 35 bucks. Doooooo it. You’ll get a sticker.
As far as the history of the trail goes, the PCTA has a great page on their website outlining key milestones of the PCT as well as information on who was involved in the creation of the trail.
There are a million other ways to describe the PCT besides what it consists of physically. A journey, a life changing experience, a chance to disconnect from the rest of the world for a time and reconnect with yourself. I’m sure Rt and I will be able to describe it in our own words and give you all an earful soon!
If you have questions about the trail then send us a comment and we’ll answer them for you.