Here are some of the most common questions we’ve been asked about the hike.
For more info please visit the Pacific Crest Trail Association Website.
What is the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT)?
The PCT is a 2,663 mile long-distance hiking and equestrian trail that spans from Mexico to Canada, and goes through California, Oregon, and Washington. It follows along the highest portion of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges. The trail doesn’t go along the coast, but actually about 100-150 miles to the east of it. It passes through 25 national forests, and 7 national parks!
What’s the difference between a section hike and a thru hike?
A thru-hike is where the entire length of the PCT (from Mexico to Canada) is hiked in one trip. Section hiking is where just parts of the trail are hiked at any given time. There are designated sections of the trails, and each section could be completed in 1-2 weeks.
How long does it take?
It will take us about 6 months. The length of time it takes varies from person to person depending on how experienced they are, and how many miles they hike each day along the trail.
How many miles will you hike each day?
We are planning on hiking about 20 miles each day. Depending on the weather, and how we’re feeling that number might change. I’m sure we will have days where we take it easy and do less than 20, and days where we feel like we can conquer a lot more.
What is a “zero-day?”
A zero-day is a day where zero miles are hiked. These days are usually spent while in town. When in town we might want to take a zero day to do laundry, stand under the shower for hours, gorge ourselves with food, and sleep in the comfort of a soft bed.
Where does the trail start?
The trail starts in Campo, California, near the Mexican border.
Where does the trial end?
The trail ends in Manning Park, Canada. It is about 7 miles in passed the Canadian border.
Who will you be going with?
It will be just the two of us. There is a hiking season (from April-October) where hundreds of other people are also thru-hiking the trail, so we won’t be hiking entirely alone. We will also have friends and family meet us and hike with us at points along the way!
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How do you carry enough food?
We will be strategically resupplying every few days when we get to a town, whether that be picking up a pre made package shipped to us, or going to the local grocery store. We would leave town with enough food to last us until the next resupply location.
What is a resupply?
A resupply is a box of food that we have made and send ahead to the post office (or other locations in town.) Resupply boxes usually contain goodies such as food, new socks, shoes, toiletries, etc. We will have a mix of boxes we made before starting our thru-hike, and boxes that we will have made while on the hike itself.
What does “trail magic” mean?
Trail magic is any good gesture from a person along the trail. This could be as simple as a ride into town, a person handing out water and snacks at a trailhead, or a place to sleep. There are well-known trail-angels along the trail who house thru-hikers, feed them, do their laundry, and let them crash for the night. Pretty cool!
Do you need any permits?
Yes. Required are the PCT Long Distance Permit, Canada Entry Permit, and California Campfire Permit. Information about the permits needed can be found here.