The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a hiking trail that runs 2,650 miles (4,265 kilometers) from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon, and Washington. The PCT covers the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountain Ranges and includes deserts, glacial valleys, forests and more.
Pacific Crest Trail Stats
- Length: 2650 Miles
- Traverses: 24 National Forests, 37 Wilderness Areas and 7 National Parks
- Southern Terminus: Campo, CA (32.589733, -116.466965)
- Northern Terminus: Manning Park, British Columbia, Canada (32.590603, -116.468033)
- Number of Hikers Per Year: 500 – 1000
- Length of Time to Complete: 4 to 6 months
- Managed By: The U.S. Forest Service, in partnership with the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, California State Parks and the Pacific Crest Trail Association.
- When the Shit Hits the Fan – The trail will provide.
Pacific Crest Trail Usage Stats
General Overview Resources
PCT Resupply and Planning Resources
Resupply strategies include having someone mail pre-prepared supply boxes to yourself, purchasing supplies on the trail or a hybrid combination of the two.
- PlanYourHike.com – A well rounded resource with planning, map, resupply and related helpful information.
- Craig’s PCT Planner – A unique trip and resupply planning tool.
- PlanYourHike.com – Cohesive collection of 101 resupply points along the Pacific Crest Trail. Be sure to contact any resupply destinations before sending to confirm they are currently receiving packages.
- Postholer Planning Page – Provides a wealth of helpful data related to weather, routes and planning.
- Backpack45.com – Planning and resupply information.
PCT Maps and Mapping Resources
- Halfmile’s PCT Maps – Downloadable maps, smartphone apps and GPS Data & Waypoints .
- Postholer Pocket Maps – These maps include land cover, climate, elevation charts, resupply, road crossings, lakes & creeks and terrain features in an easy to digest format.
- Wilderness Press Guidebooks – In addition to directions for water, campsites, and exits to resupply points, these books have more detail than most options. They are heavy, however and you will want to take the front and back covers and tearing out sections as needed for different segments.
- Official USFS PCT Maps – These are printed on waterproof, tear-resistant paper but scaled at 1:63,360, which may be too small for some. You can purchase them at the National Forest Service Map Store or at the PCTA Map Store.
- Pacific Crest Trail Pocket Atlases – Erik the Black’s atlases include water sources, elevation profiles, GPS grids, town maps, resupply info, data tables and more and come in a set of 5.
- Google Maps – Postholer’s awesome Google Map with resupply points, snow reports, bear boxes, water reports and more!
- Pacific Crest Trail Data Points By Section – This collection of data points includes geology, roads crossed, land cover, historic temps and more.
- Pocket PCT – Pocket sized maps for PCT.
- HikerTrash.com – Free PCT topo maps.
- Bearcant Pacific Crest Trail Elevation Profiler – Online elevation profile for PCT by segment.
- OnTheTrail.org – Free PCT topo maps by segment.
PCT Permit Information
- Long Distance Permit > 500 Miles : If you are hiking more than 500 miles of the trail PCT in a single continguous trip, you will need a long distance permit, there is no additional fee for peaking Mt. Whitney.
- Short Distance Permit < 500 Miles: National Forest Wilderness Areas, National Parks and California State Parks may require an overnight camping permit. Some of these permits can be found at Recreation.gov.
- California Fire Permit – Required for open fires, such as campfire, barbecues and portable stoves on federally controlled lands and private lands that are the property of another person.
- Canada Entry Permit – In addition to an accepted entry permit, if you are a U.S. citizen, a passport is not required, but you will need evidence of your citizenship in the form of a birth certificate, passport card, enhanced driver’s license, or NEXUS card. Questions can be directed to the Canada Border Services Agency at [email protected] or via phone at at 1-866-496-3987, then press “0” and ask for the Pacific Crest Trail Coordinator.
PCT Cell Phone Reception Resources
PCT Fire Closure Resources
- Halfmile’s Fire Closure Notes
Pacific Crest Trail Books
Pacific Crest Trail Books – Amazon has a large number of PCT related books worth checking out.