Explore The Pacific Crest Trail - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) spans 2,650 miles, traversing from Mexico to Canada via California, Oregon and Washington. It's open to pedestrians and equestrians. Most thru-hikers go South to North, starting in Campo, California and finishing at Manning Park, British Columbia. The trail encompasses 25 national forests and 7 national parks, crosses over 57 mountain passes, dips into 19 major canyons, and passes by nearly 1000 lakes. In terms of terrain the route passes through desert, forests, and mountains including the Sierra Nevadas and Cascades. Permits are required for some but not all of the PCT. You can read more about how to obtain permits here: https://www.pcta.org/discover-the-trail/permits/

The Pacific Crest Trail Map

I love this trail. Many thru hikers in the Spring. I’ve hiked it in the summer and spring, and winter; and each season offers its unique challenges. In the summer, bring lots of water as almost every spot is dry. In te spring and fall, bring a camera as the beautiful colors are amazing (and water, but you might find some running water at high elevations) and winter, layer up! Temperatures can drop to the twenties! I see more hikers in the Spring and Fall than any other season.

We started at the PCT junction with the Tehachapi Willow Springs Road and went south for 5.5 miles. Uphill for about 1.5 miles straight, then levels off. About 2 miles in, one fully is washed out 8 feet across and 6 feet deep. It is the PCT, so a path down and out of the gully is there, so it's crossable. Didn't see anyone else while we were out.

Moderate difficultly from the 15 to Swarthouse Canyon rd unless you dislike ridgelines/dropoffs. The PTC is always pretty easy to follow, there are trail markers at every junction you come to. I love losing myself on this trail and I plan to piece together section D over time. I went west from the 15, under the freeway, under a road (old 66 maybe), then under the railroad tracks. You pass right by Mormon Rocks, one of my favorite geologic sites in SoCal.

bridge out
over grown
2 months ago

Monday 11/18/19 ( 9.63 miles with 1968ft elevation gain.) attempted PCT North via Rock Creek Pass TH to Mowich Butte (all downhill on the way in with some narrow trail areas. First creek, Rock Creek has a bridge, but all the rest I a came across did not have bridges. Some blowdowns as well as overgrown in places with lots of leaf debris on trail. After FR 2070 the PCT north from what I saw minus one blowdown is in great condition.) but I think it would have been 16+ miles RT so I went close to 5 miles in on the PCT North from Rock Creek Pass and hiked back via Forrest roads 2070, 2000 and 2090. Also took Snag Creek trail (Snag Creek/PCT trail junction) to Forrest road 2070 (trail is very faint in spots with lots of debris but you can still see tread in the distance). On the pct north in this area there was a large creek crossing with slippery rocks so I opted for snag creek trail instead after getting my boot wet. After the 2070 road crossing the pct north is in good condition with one blowdown and I turned around at a creek crossing. Decided to come back another day and park closer to Snag Creek/PCT north to do Mowich Butte. Rock Creek Pass TH to Pct North to Snag Creek trail junction to FR 2070 to PCT North .5 miles, back to FR 2070 to FR 2000 to FR 2090. Saw one car as I was within feet of my vehicle. Saw no one else from 4am to 11am. No pass needed to park here and no bathrooms here.

Loved this section of the PCT. nice and easy. 25-30 mile days are easy to do. Easy water access for most of it. Incredible

dogs off leash

Bring a couple quarts of water from Cold Spring because it’s a long way in between sources. November sundown comes early and a cool breeze blows. Beautiful view at this camp site. Should sleep well tonight. Not used to the altitude. Lassen peak is visible from here.

I parked off the 15 Freeway near McDonalds and enjoyed a taste of PCT! I have no plans of serious long distance hikes along this famous trail, but it was nice to spend the whole morning taking in a piece of it. Great views of the Cajon Pass and the freight trains weaving their way through this historic area.

Great trail good trail marking but since by myself had to turn around. Quail scared the crap out of me. Amazing!!

Just did a few miles, out and back, SOBO from Sonora Pass. A stellar section!

Great time on the 75 mile stretch. Views were outstanding. Pretty hard hike, but well worth it.

Did this section from Stevens Pass to Snoqualmie Pass. Many epic tenting areas along the way. Would love to do this as a several day hike in the future. As it was, I ran it. The views were incredible and the trail in great shape. The climbs/descents are very reasonable. I think most of them stay around 500ft/mile. The only downside to this is that you will spend 5-8 miles climbing, which seems to take forever. Distances between water can be rather long this time of the year. Most streams were in the lower parts of the valleys. Plan accordingly.

McCall Basin to Camp 20 below Hogback Mtn, via Shoe Lake where we got water. Shoe Lake wonderful. Not too difficult day. Lovely day, nice camp. Room for 6 tents. No water.

Snowgrass Flats to McCall Basin. Tough trail, much of it Alpine with Ricky loose trails and lots of up and down. Took alternate PCT loop to Old Snowy. Spectacular but added a lot of difficulty. Gorgeous views today.

Went south to north in 3.5 days. Benefits: Lots of campsites available along the way. Neither bugs, snow, nor wet water crossings in late August. Saw lots of SOBO thru hikers, generally seeing about one hiker every couple hours. Very nice views along the way and a pleasant route. Four stars due to some sections being quite rocky/windy/exposed, but overall very nice route.

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