Pacific Crest Trail Thru Hike

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 18, 2013 5:44 PM GMT
    Has anyone here completed it as a thru hike or another trail equivalent to it? I am seriously considering a thru hike sometime in 2015; either solo or with a partner. I will admit this will be a very different challenge, considering the longest trail I ever thru hiked was in Minnesota (Superior Hiking Trail). I've been doing extensive research into the trail and its resources.

    Anyone have advice, stories or experiences they'd like to share?

    pacific_crest_trail_1.jpg
  • pandx970

    Posts: 357

    Oct 18, 2013 8:12 PM GMT
    I had friends -- a couple -- that did the pacific crest trail. I don't remember their exact travel time -- it was back in 2006 or 2007. But, I think they were able to do it within 3 months -- maybe a bit more than 110 days. They're both experienced hikers and had the good health and preparation. Their 'spring break' was often hiking/camping for 10 days in the Colorado Rockies.

    Of course, he proposed on the hike (somewhere near the CA/OR border). She said yes! :-) Like we all knew was going to happen. icon_biggrin.gif

    But, I think probably you'd want to have a good partner to go with you on the trip. when they got back we had a potluck dinner for them and they definitely said it was best to do the hike in a small group or at least with a partner.
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    Oct 21, 2013 4:42 AM GMT
    crazyrunnerguy saidHas anyone here completed it as a thru hike or another trail equivalent to it? I am seriously considering a thru hike sometime in 2015; either solo or with a partner. I will admit this will be a very different challenge, considering the longest trail I ever thru hiked was in Minnesota (Superior Hiking Trail). I've been doing extensive research into the trail and its resources.

    Anyone have advice, stories or experiences they'd like to share?

    pacific_crest_trail_1.jpg


    I'm very interested in doing this as well, and 2015 might be far enough away that I could plan for it.

    I've hiked many sections of the trail through the Sierra, which is probably the longest sustained period at high elevation along the trail. In general I found it to be exceptionally well-maintained and nice for hiking. Snow fields were all solidly boot-packed, making for pretty quick travel.

    Did you read "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed? It's more about her personal journey than the trail, but I still thought it was a good read.

    Oh, and you're the guy who's also trying to improve his 5K! Honestly, I think distance running is the best, most time-efficient training for backpacking that there is.
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    Oct 21, 2013 5:11 PM GMT
    I have only done it in 50 - 200 mile per year segments, mostly in the 70's and 80's. So I don't really know about the logistics of a thru-hike. I can note that a couple of things have really changed since then.

    The bad thing is that there are far more users now - anytime you are within a day's drive of PDX or SEA, you will encounter a lot of people - including commercial horse pack trains. This means that some sections of the trail, for miles, are covered with a couple of inches of finely-powdered dust and horse-shit - and swarming with flies. You'll now find garbage - tin cans and the like, along the trail. And due to over-use, camping is now restricted to designated camp sites in some areas. Sometimes you get there and all of the sites are full - meaning you have to climb one or two more ridges that you hadn't planned for, as it's getting dark.

    The good (?) thing is that there have been a lot of trail improvements. Most notably bridges. Where you used to ford streams - a sometimes dicey proposition - now you just walk across. And the afore-mentioned designated camp sites. Access roads into the mountains that used to be rough dirt tracks are now paved all the way - bringing more users in, but also making it more convenient for friends to meet you for a resupply.