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Pacific Crest Trail

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions for first timers and old timers.
Planning Synopsis - A short and simple hike planning guide.
Resupply - All the major resupply locations along the PCT.
Gear Lists - Complete gear lists of those that walked the walk.
Plans - Actual, complete plans/schedules used by thru-hikers.
Register - Sign the register! The virtual trailhead register for section or thru-hikers.
Stockmen - For those who travel the trail with their 4 hooved friends.
Join a Trail Crew - For a day or week, learn more about the joy of giving back.

PCT Pocket Maps - the most current PCT maps available!
Pacific Crest Trail Google Map - trail trace, mileages, elevations, resupply, etc.
JMT Map & Data Book - Free online map set and data book (available in PDF).
Fire Perimeters - Interactive map of active fire perimeters.
Earthquake Map - 30 day interactive earthquake map along the PCT.

Data Book - Old online version, before 5th edition maps/data book.
Elevation Profiles - from the 5th edition maps. The most current available.
Photo Atlas - 7,000+ flora and landscape photos geo-referenced.

Links - A plethora of PCT links for all of your needs.
News - Trail news specific to the PCT.
Report Bikes on the PCT - Document bike encounters along the PCT.

Trail Conditions
Snow Depth - daily update of NOAA snow depth map.
Snow Conditions - Current and historical conditions. Weather, too!

Recent Forum Posts

Did You See Wild Yet?
stillroaming - Sat, Dec 20, 2014
Sooo, I went and saw the movie last night. It was very well done, albeit very dark. Definitely an 'R' rating, not for the family...

2015 CDT Map Set & Data Book Available Now!
postholer - Mon, Dec 8, 2014
The first, complete, free CDT map set and data book are finished and available. This is the only free map set available that fol...

Re: CDT Data Book & Elev Charts (free)
postholer - Wed, Dec 3, 2014
The CDT data book is now available as a free 143 page PDF file. Go to the page to download it. -postholer...

Arizona Trail To Great Divide Trail
Richard K Jones - Wed, Dec 3, 2014
I'm very interested in hiking the Utah section of the AZT to GDT; however in searching for journals or written reports about thi...

CDT Data Book & Elev Charts (free)
postholer - Tue, Dec 2, 2014
Over the last week I've been putting together the data book and elevation charts so I can finalize the CDT maps. Finally, it's...

Re: Don't Go WILD!!!
HikeOfALifetime - Mon, Dec 1, 2014
Nice to see the movie getting a bunch of good reviews already... hope it at least inspires more people to get out of the office ...

Re: When To Hike?
stillroaming - Tue, Nov 18, 2014
You want to leave June 1st and you have 71 days. Say you want to average 15 miles a day, that excludes averaging in zero days, i...

When To Hike?
kelsoaasness22 - Tue, Nov 18, 2014
Hello! I am looking for some advice from those who are experienced in PCT hiking conditions. My friend and I are planning to hi...

CDT Map Project (free)
postholer - Fri, Nov 7, 2014
Now that accurate data of the CDT has become more available, it's time we took a serious pass at creating a set of free maps for...

Recent Journal Entrys

Gear Ponderings
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PCT - limigibri - Sat, Dec 20, 2014
Fortunately, I have the majority of my gear in place already. I could hit the trail with what I've got, but, inevitably, I am th...
Journal Entry
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PCT - cascade_eric - Sat, Dec 20, 2014
Hey ya'll, I'm excited to get going on the PCT this spring, yet there is still a winter to weather before my trip begins. I have...
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AT - jimmyjam - Thu, Dec 18, 2014
So I have my shuttle arranged for an April 1 start from the NOC. A nice challenging start with a 6.7 mile straight up the mounta...
Journal Entry
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AT - Gorp-Gobbler - Thu, Dec 18, 2014
Sorry I've not been keeping this journal updated, for those of you that have been reading it, if in deed there is anyone rea...
Walking The Path
GHT - maddog murph - Wed, Dec 17, 2014
Today I'm nearly completely prepared for my trip to Mt. Rainier in January, one of my training trips for Nepal. Hyperlite's (hyp...
Winter Reading
PCT - KimH - Mon, Dec 15, 2014
If anyone is looking for a book to get their hiking literature fix during the winter, I recommend "Hold For Hiker Trash," by K.M...
PCT - somendn - Fri, Dec 12, 2014
Osiyo The number one question and the most difficult to explain about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is WHY? For me its be...
Promises Promises
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PCT - KatScratch - Thu, Dec 11, 2014
I spent two hours in REI on Tuesday just chatting with the workers about gear. My uncle Tony is amazing and got SWEET knives for...
Research And Planning
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PCT - perrybros - Wed, Dec 10, 2014
I've been busy researching the trail and preparing my gear. Those little sew/repair jobs really do provide a sense of accomplish...
Pre-trip Planning
GET - ryandax - Thu, Dec 4, 2014
Just decided a few weeks ago that I want to hike the Grand Enchantment trail (G.E.T.) The idea came while brainstorming what to ...
Major Gear Items
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PCT - larrenmerriman - Wed, Dec 3, 2014
OK - let's talk about gear. I've made a few entries on the gear list page, all of them things I already own & use, and am consid...
Final Decision
PCT - hikerlulu - Mon, Dec 1, 2014
I have been dreaming of doing this trail for almost 5 years and 2015 is finally the year I am going to accept the challenge. I c...

Journal Entrys Past & Present

PCT photo

687 A Joshua tree illuminated by a predawn sky

Split & Two Step - PCT - May 21, 2013 - Walking The Mohave Desert, Trail Mile 549.0, Day 37
Walking the Mohave Desert, trail mile 549.0, Day 37

We both woke up in the middle of the night to the sounds of coyotes calling to one another and admired the stars, most of which were bright and clear above us, but a few streaked across the sky, trying to reach us here below. Eventually the show was not enough to prevent us from slipping back to sleep. I woke from a sound sleep at 4:15 am to an alarm, and had to wake Two Step who was oblivious to all noise at this early hour. We again admired the stars for a time that were even brighter above us after moon set. Just before Two Step's safety alarm went off at 4:30, we had started our morning ritual of preparing for the trail.

We left camp at 5:20 and continued our walk on and along the aqueduct. The flat trail and our strong morning legs allowed us to quickly move through the miles, stopping only to take pictures of the Joshua trees outlined against the predawn sky. In two hours we had traveled seven miles and began a slow climb towards the mountains ahead. In addition to the scrub and Joshua forests, giant wind turbines sprung from the desert sands in front of us. With hardly a hint of wind, these behemoths, much larger than the ones I am used to seeing on the Altamonte Pass east of San Francisco, stood passive in the rising sun.

We took a break to filter water from a cache, the last water we would have for the next six miles, and sat in a small patch of shade cast by the four foot tall plastic water container as the temperature continued to climb. We again left with four liters of water apiece, uncertain that the next source, a small stream, would prove useful as a water source. As we again headed gradually uphill, the wind began to pick up, and the first wind turbines began to slowly turn. The turbine looked close, but it took about twenty minutes to reach the wind farm. We entered through a gate that stated "No entry. Underground high voltage cables. Electrocution hazard. PCT HIKERS OK (!)". With some trepidation we continued forward, and soon were surrounded by wind turbines, now all turning in the increasing wind, and nearly silent with one revolution every five seconds.

We climbed the six miles to Tylerhorse Creek, the expected small stream, at a much slower pace, gaining nearly 2000 feet. The desert had become even more devoid of vegetation as we gained altitude, and shade was nonexistent, so we were happy to find a small tree growing adjacent to Tylerhorse Creek. Our fears were unfounded, and the water flow was small but steady. Two Step sat under the tree and cooked two days worth of dinners as I filtered twelve liters of water to drink, make dinner, and carry to our next source. We spent nearly two hours eating, drinking, and just resting in the shade before finally moving on at about 2:00pm. As soon as we emerged from the shade, the heat of the day enveloped us. We soon sweated out the water we had consumed as we struggled up a number of canyons into the hills and mountains on the far side of the Mohave Desert valley we had spent the last two days walking down to and across. We had about 3000 vertical feet to climb to reach our next cache, and the sun and heat would have been brutal if not for a growing cool wind that continued to increase in intensity as the afternoon wore on. The scenery continued to degrade as we reached the top of our hill at a peak of 6300 feet after climbing almost a vertical mile. In addition to the desiccated undergrowth, what small trees and shrubs that had grown had recently burnt in a forest fire. But we had reached our next water cache and our stopping point for the night after covering nearly 24 miles. As we sat in chairs provided in this desolate landscape by Larry and Daniel, the maintainers of the cache, Larry showed up and added cases of new water bottles. It was great to be able to thank this trail angel in person for maintaining this critical hiker resource.

We set up our tent near the cache. This may prove foolish since the wind is now growing so intense it threatens to blow over our tent. Before retiring for bed I had a conversation with a fellow hiker, Scott, and we discovered we both had worked at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on the National Ignition Facility. We both had memories to share of this project at the cutting edge of science and the talented and dedicated scientists and engineers that constructed and operate the facility. It is indeed a small world.

From the PCT,
Split and Two Step

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