The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a long-distance hiking trail on the Western Seaboard of the United States. The trail runs for 4280 km (2660 miles) from the southern terminus at the U.S./Mexican border near Campo, California, to the northern terminus in Manning Provincial Park in British Columbia, Canada. The trail follows the highest portion of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges, through California, Oregon and Washington. It passes through 24 national forests, 7 national parks and 3 national monuments. The Pacific Crest Trail was designated a National Scenic Trail by the U.S. Congress in 1968.
Each year around 300 hikers attempt to hike the full length of the trail. This is referred to as thru-hiking. Most hikers choose to start at the Mexican border and hike north, a.k.a. north-bound or nobo. The hiking season generally stretches from late April through October, all depending on the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada and the onset of Winter in the northern Cascades. The “typical” thru-hiker takes 4-6 months to complete the trail.
- Length: 4280 km (2660 miles)
- Location: California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia
- Southern terminus: Campo, California
- Northern terminus: Manning Provincial Park, British Columbia
- Highest point: 4.009 m (13.153 ft), Forester Pass, California
- Lowest point: 43 m (140 ft), Cascades Locks, Oregon
- Elevation change: 128.284 m (420.880 ft)
- Record time: 64 days, 11 hrs, 19 minutes – set by Scott Williamson in 2011
Map of the Pacific Crest Trail