The Pacific Crest Trail: Hiker’s Paradise
The Pacific Crest Trail is famously trekked by Cheryl Strayed in the memoir, Wild, and it truly is just that; wild, and hauntingly beautiful. Rugged and challenging, remote and filled with beauty, the trail attracts long-distance hikers and day hikers alike.
The awe-inspiring and stunning trail stretches 2,650 miles, with majestic mountains and lush forests along its way. The trail starts by the Mexico border, spanning all the way to Canada. Thru-hikers trek across the impressive amount of 25 national forests and 7 national parks, making the trail one of the most beautiful, wild hiking trails both in the USA and worldwide.
For an amazing day hiking, or just a few days camping, just pick an interesting area and go. There are so many awe-inspiring natural sights on this trail, that you can’t go wrong, even if you simply pick your nearest access point.
Still, some inspiration while planning your journey is always good. In Central California, the trail leading from Ebbetts Pass to Nobel Lake is fantastic for a short backpacking trip. The striking views over volcanic landscape is hauntingly gorgeous, and is suitable for day hikers and campers alike.
Day hikers may truly enjoy the four-mile climb from the The Pacific Crest Trail to the Mount Baden-Powell Spur Trail. The windblown, rugged and stunning landscape attracts adventurous souls to the area, and the summit offers some fantastic views.
For a family friendly hike, go to Klamath Range, and continue into the Deadfall Lakes Basin from Parks Creek Trailhead. The six-mile roundtrip is one of the easiest and most accessible trails, and it winds its way past wildflower meadows with mountain views.
Another family friendly option is the trail to Rock and Snag Creeks in Southern Washington. The hike is good for kids, and is hauntingly pretty with towering, old trees, overgrown with moss and ferns, and clear, rocky streams.
Spending days, weeks or even months on this stunning trail is an experience of a lifetime. The Pacific Crest Trail is a magical experience, though even a week may be strenuous so prepare in advance and travel sensibly, keeping your health and current fitness level in mind.
A thru-hike usually takes about five months to complete; though experienced athletes has managed it in two. Snow and weather conditions must be considered, as sections wil have snow until early summer. For northbounders that means a starting date in mid-April, and southbounders in late June, early July.
Preparing for your trip
Both day hiking and long-distance hiking require some preparation. Good hiking boots, water and food is the very essential for day hikers. Overnighters need to prepare according to the length of their journey, and be sure to remember a first aid kit and cooking gear.
Day hikers usually do not need permits, though overnight campers do. It is wise to check well in advance if the area you are visiting need permits, and if you are going long-distance, this may need some careful planning so you don’t miss important dates.