In This Article
Planning to thru-hike or section hike the PCT? I hope you will find this collection of Pacific Crest Trail resources useful for preparing. Please note that I am mostly including only PCT-related links here but I also have a more general long-distance hiking resources page as well that you should definitely check out. If you are also interested in someday hiking the A.T., check out my list of Appalachian Trail resources as well.
NOTE: All links will open in a new tab or window.
|Last Updated: May 15, 2023|
About the Trail: Organizations and General Resources
- A Quick and Dirty Guide to The Pacific Crest Trail
Paul Mags provides “a way to get an overview of this wonderful trail without being bogged down with lots of info!”
- ALDHA-West is ALDHA’s sister organization that focuses primarily on Western trails, including the PCT.
- (Almost) Every PCT Town, Ranked by J. Taylor Bell | The Trek
- Everything You Need to Know About Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail | Backpacker
- Heat, Water, Fire: How Climate Change Is Transforming the Pacific Crest Trail by Rowan Moore Gerety (photographs by Mason Trinca)
The already grueling 2,600-mile hike now includes the added challenges of global warming, which can mean a lack of shade and exposure to smoke and fire.
- Pacific Crest Trail Days is an annual summer festival where attendees can participate in activities, games, & presentations, win gear at the raffle, and get great deals on the latest outdoor products from sponsors at the Gear Expo. It is located in the Marine Park of Cascade Locks, Oregon…the heart of the Columbia River Gorge. PCT Days is free to attend, with a fee for overnight camping. All raffle proceeds support the American Long Distance Hiking Association-West and the Pacific Crest Trail Association. Vendors will be offering great food, coffee, beer and non-alcoholic beverages. No dogs, glass or alcohol may be brought to PCT Days and parking outside of the Marine Park is free.
NOTE: If looking for a ride to Trail Days, check out Get There Oregon, created by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), to find a carpool.
- Pacific Crest Trail Hiker’s Glossary by Scott Bryce
- PCTA – Home Page
- PCTA – Facebook Page
- PCTA – PCT Thru-hiker FAQ
- PCTA – Section Overviews: Southern California, Central California, Northern California, Oregon, Washington
- PCT Trail Wiki [REF: FB Class of 2021 Group Post]
- PCT Washington offers various useful information about the WA section of the PCT.
- Postholer.Com is a site with articles, trail journals, forums, a Trail FAQ (last updated 2017), a regularly updated Sierras snow report, printed maps, an online app, an online data book (PDF version), trail weather, historical trail fire information, a gear builder, a trip planner, trail animals, and more.
- The Trek PCT Page contains useful information, articles, and updates from PCT hikers. The section overviews (Southern California, Sierra Nevada, Northern California, Oregon, Washington) are also useful.
- Thru Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail Blog – A Complete Guide by Brad McCartney | Bike Hike Safari
- Washington Trails Association
- Wikipedia Pacific Crest Trail Page (English)
Advice, Tips and Observations
- 8 Things East Coast Hikers Must Know Before Hiking Out West by Kelly Floro | The Trek
- 17 Things Scarier Than Bears On The Pacific Crest Trail by Mac | Halfway Anywhere
- A Quick and Dirty Guide to The Pacific Crest Trail by Paul Mags
- A ton of advice for this year’s PCT hikers 🙂 by u/Night_Runner | Reddit
- April is the Worst Time to Start the Pacific Crest Trail. Here’s Why. by Daniel Winsor | HikerBeta
- Angels and Doritos: The Day I Quit the PCT by Alex Theis
- An extensive collection of random advice for new PCT thruhikers, from experienced PCT thruhikers by u/numbershikes | Reddit
- Guide to River Crossings for Nobo in the Sierra by u/recon455 | Reddit
- Hiker lingo and vocabulary for the PCT thru-hike by Isko Salminen
- Hitchhiking On The Pacific Crest Trail by Mac | Halfway Anywhere
- How much of an issue is Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)? | FB Post by Ned Tibbets
- How to react to wildfires | PCTA
- Pacific Crest Trail Photo Atlas is an alphabetical photo listing of locations and objects along the Pacific Crest Trail as chosen by Postholer.Com journalists. For each location you will find one or more links to photos of that location. Also, you may find a “Show Map” link next to the location description. Click the map link to show the location.
- Pacific Crest Trail Survey by Mac | Halfway Anywhere
An annual survey of PCT hikers. Over the years, the survey has grown to be more than the loose collection of a couple hundred hikers’ responses it began as. With thousands of would-be thru-hiker hikers hitting the PCT every year, the survey has grown to encompass a variety of topics relevant to thru-hiking (or section hiking) the PCT. Topics include: gear, resupply, demographics, horror stories, and advice.
- People You Meet On the Trail by Tony Ahn | PCT Class of 2021 Facebook Group
A long list of hiker types and stereotypes. Entertaining read. You may recognize yourself as one or more of the types.
Also posted on 2022 group asking for more feedback.
- Rock On, Rocket Llama by Alejandra “Rocket Llama” Wilson
Rocket Llama puts her artistic talents to use conveying life on the PCT in comic form.
NOTE: she originally published on Tumblr but seems to have abandoned the effort after she covered the first 250+ miles or so (click here to find all the original entries). On the last page in the comments she says she does hope to finish it someday, but not any time soon. [REF: PCTA article]
- The Beginner’s Guide To Desert Hiking by Colleen Goldhorn | The Trek
- The PCT Thru-Hike Checklist: 29 Things To Do Before You Start by Kelly Floro | The Trek
- The Ultimate Guide to Cowboy Camping by Eloise Robbins | The Trek
- Thru-Hike the Pacific Crest Trail: Gear List & Strategy by Mike Unger & Liz Thomas & Naomi Hudetz | Treeline Review
A gear strategy based on 18,000+ PCT miles of trial and error.
- Thru-Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail with a Hammock by Chris Guynn | The Trek
Snow Conditions and River Crossings
- 2017 Sierra High-Water Crossing Advice From Someone Who’s Hiked Through by Daniel Winsor | The Trek
- Episodes 3 and Episode 5 of the THRU-r podcast features Ned Tibbits offering some useful advice for snow and water crossings!
- Follow Ned Tibbits snow travel expert and instructor. His posts will address how to use snow gear (go to his FB page and scroll back to find some very informative, lengthy posts on the subject)
- High Sierra Hazardous Creek Crossing – Updated Skurkas version with mile marks by Paul Croxton | Facebook
- How to Attach an Ice Axe to a Backpack | FarOut Guides
- How to cross a river safely by Adventure Professional Publications | YouTube
- How To Size Ice Axes For Mountaineering by Next Adventure PDX | YouTube
- How to Use an Ice Axe for Mountaineering | REI
- How to Use and Carry and Ice Axe for Beginners – Try This at Home First by ALinsdau | YouTube
- Ice axe arrest / self arrest and Ice Axe self belay by Glenmore Lodge | YouTube
- Ice Axe Tethers by Steve Eckert | Climber.org
- Safe River Crossings | National Park Service
- Stream crossing safety while hiking and backpacking | PCTA
- The Steep Snow Essentials by Ned Tibbits
- What Size Of Ice Axe Do I Need? by Shawna Newman | Active Weekender
- What to Expect in High Snowpack Years by Ned Tibbits | Facebook
- The Winter recreation and snow information page on the PCTA website has a useful list of links.
- Adventure & Avocados (PCT 2015) by Alex (“Puff Puff”)
- Free Freaks Hikes are Alex Fogt and Jacob Ireland. Two hikers based out of Brooklyn NY. Find detailed coverage of their 2018 PCT hike here. Also includes their lighterpack.com gear lists.
- From Campo, by land. is Ryan Petit’s chronicle of his 2021 PCT thru-hike in 5 sections.
- Hiker Beta (2017) by Daniel Winsor
- James Lamers documents his 2019 PCT thru-hike with daily writing and photography and some after-hike blogging (gear, timing, cost, etc.).
- Just Two Hikers (2014 SOBO)
If you shop on Amazon, I have attempted to save you some time by adding all of the following PCT-related books to an Amazon idea list.
- 130 Days: Musings and Shenanigans of a PCT Thru Hiker by Sasha Stolasz
- 150 days: The true story of how I lost 88 pound and became a mountain goat on the Pacific Crest Trail by Lise Kristine Viken
- A Blistered Kind of Love: One Couple’s Trial by Trail by Angela and Duffy Ballard
- Adrift on the Pacific Crest Trail: A Thru-Hiking Story by Clay Bonnyman Evans
- A Good Place For Maniacs: Dispatches From The Pacific Crest Trail by Chuck McKeever
- Along the Pacific Crest Trail by Bart Smith, Karen Berger, and Dan Smith
- A Thru-Hiker’s Heart: Tales of the Pacific Crest Trail by Ray Echols and Alice Tulloch
- Bliss(ters): How I Walked from Mexico to Canada One Summer by Gail M. Francis
- Bombs to Trails: Interweaving Heritage, Life, and PTSD on the Pacific Crest Trail by Jessica Pekari
- Cascade Summer: My Adventure on Oregon’s Pacific Crest Trail by Bob Welch
- Crossing Paths: A Pacific Crest Trailside Reader by Rees Hughes and Howard Shapiro
- Crunch: A Million Snowy Steps Along the Pacific Crest Trail by Daniel Winsor (Photo companion site)
- Dances with Marmots by George Spearing
- Everything You Ever Taught Me by Person Irresponsible
- Free Outside: A Trek Against Time and Distance by Jeff Garmire
- Hikertrash: Life on the Pacific Crest Trail by Erin Miller
- Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: Mexico to Canada by Bruce “Buck” Nelson
- Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: Northern California: Section Hiking from Tuolumne Meadows to Donomore Pass by Philip Kramer
- Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: Oregon: Section Hiking from Donomore Pass to Bridge of the Gods by Eli Boschetto
- Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: Southern California: Section Hiking from Campo to Tuolumne Meadows by Shawnté Salabert
- I Promise Not To Suffer: A Fool for Love Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail by Gail Storey
- Journey On the Crest: Walking 2600 Miles from Mexico to Canada by Cindy Ross
- Journeys North: The Pacific Crest Trail by Barney Scout Mann
- Mile 445: Hitched in Her Hiking Boots by Claire Miller
- Moon Drive & Hike Pacific Crest Trail: The Best Trail Towns, Day Hikes, and Road Trips In Between by Caroline Hinchliff
- Pacific Crest Trail Pocket Atlas: Complete 3 Book Set by Erik Asorson (Erik the Black)
- Pacific Crest Trail Data Book: Mileages, Landmarks, Facilities, Resupply Data, and Essential Trail Information for the Entire Pacific Crest Trail, from Mexico to Canada by Benedict Go
- Pacific Crest Trail: Northern California: From Tuolumne Meadows to the Oregon Border by Jordan Summers
- Pacific Crest Trail: Oregon & Washington: From the California Border to Canada by Jordan Summers
- Pacific Crest Trail: Southern California: From the Mexican Border to Tuolumne Meadows by Laura Randall
- Pacific Crest Trials by Zach Davis
- Six Months With Three Pairs Of Undies: The Pacific Crest Trail by Andre and Lian de Jel
- Skywalker: Highs and Lows on the Pacific Crest Trail by Bill Walker
- The Cactus Eaters: How I Lost My Mind—and Almost Found Myself—on the Pacific Crest by Dan white
- The Great Alone: Walking the Pacific Crest Trail by Tim Voors
- The High Adventure of Eric Rybeck by Eric Rybeck
- The Last Englishman: Thru-Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (Thru-Hiking Adventures Book 2) by Keith Foskett
- The Last Season (P.S.) by Eric Blehm
- The Pacific Crest Trail: A Hiker’s Companion by Karen Berger and Daniel R. Smith
- The Pacific Crest Trail: A Visual Compendium by Joshua M. Powell
- The Pacific Crest Trail: Hiking the PCT from Mexico to Canada (International Trekking) by Brian Johnson
- The Pacific Crest Trailside Reader, California: Adventure, History, and Legend on the Long-Distance Trail by Rees Hughes, Corey Lee Lewis, and Amy Uyeki
- The Pacific Crest Trailside Reader, Oregon and Washington: Adventure, History, and Legend on the Long-Distance Trail by Rees Hughes, Corey Lee Lewis, and Amy Uyeki | Related Website
- The Pacific Crest Trailway by Clinton C. Clarke (free scanned copy online by Daniel Craig Giffen)
- The Thousand Mile Summer by Colin Fletcher
- The Trail: a novel by Ethan Gallogly
- The Trail Provides: A Boy’s Memoir of Thru-Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail by David Smart
- Thirst: 2600 Miles to Home by Heather “Anish” Anderson
- Through Hiking Will Break Your Heart by Carrot Quinn
- Walk, Hike, Saunter, Seasoned Women Share Tales and Trails by Susan Alcorn
- Walking Thru: A Couple’s Adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail by Michael Tyler
- Walks Far Man: In Step with History on the Pacific Crest Trail by Jim Ostdick
- Whistler’s Way: A Thru-Hikers Adventure On The Pacific Crest Trail by William “Whistler” Monk
- Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
- Yogi’s PCT Handbook by Jackie “Yogi” McDonnell
- Zero Days: The Real Life Adventure of Captain Bligh, Nellie Bly, and 10-year-old Scrambler on the Pacific Crest by Barbara Egbert
Costs & Hiker Reports/Statistics
- 2022 PCT Roster
- Detailed Data From My sub-100 Day, 2022 PCT Hike by u/metrick_hikes | Reddit
- Halfmile’s projected PCT hiker schedules by date and speed is a little dated (2011) but still a great source to review as you plan your trip and thinking about start/end date.
- Maria Kaufman’s 2021 Thru-Hike cost summary (FB post)
- My PCT Thru-Hike: By the Numbers by Carl Stanfield | The Trek
- Our PCT Thru Hike By the Numbers by Maggie and Russel | Distance Over Time
- PCT Hiker Composed Rosters (2021, 2022)
Freddy Vdm put together this Google Spreadsheet for the classes of 2021 and 2022 (I’m not sure if he will continue in future years). It is actually much more than a roster as it has resupply sheet, tracks popular gear, has a mileage planning tool and includes useful links.
- The Cost of a Pacific Crest Trail Thruhike by James Lamers
- The NEW Cost of Thru-Hiking by Sam and Moriah | YouTube
- Total Cost of my 2022 PCT Hike Broken Down by Sierra Peters-Buckland | The Trek
Facebook Groups, Forums & Subreddits
Facebook has various Class of 20xx PCT groups to join. They can be good for sharing information and staying in touch fellow with “class” members, though some posts end up intense discussion and some people feel that these groups are often less supportive than they wish. Also note that I have listed the various trail angel groups separately in the Trail Angels section.
- Hammock Camping on the PCT (374 members)
- Help an Injured Hiker (PCT) [by Blaze Physio] (143 members)
A group to connect injured hikers with trail angels and resources to deal with injuries.
- Loved Ones of PCT Hikers (396 members)
- Pacific Crest Trail (40.6K members)
Group by Pacific Crest Trail Association
- Pacific Crest Trail Association
- PCT Class of 2022 [Planning, Information, Trail Reports, powered by Yogi] (2.1K members)
- PCT Europe (2.0K members)
- PCT Hikers (5.4K members)
- PCT NORDIC (Pacific Crest Trail) (102 members)
- PCT SOBO 2021 (1.1K members)
- PCT SOBO 2022 (218 members)
- PCT SOBO North Cascades Rides (803 members)
- PCT through hiker Parents (37 members)
- PCT Water, Fire, Passes, Fords Update Group (6.2K members)
- Trail Angels (see Trail Angels section for some relevant FB groups)
- Vegan PCT Hikers and Supporters (490 members)
Flora and Fauna
- Poodle-Dog Bush warning! by Jack “Found” Haskel | PCTA
- Poison oak pictures | Santa Barbara Hikes
- Spotted on Trail (iOS, Android) is an app guidebook on the flora and fauna that live along the Pacific Crest Trail and Appalachian Trail. There are mammals, birds, reptiles, insects, trees, and flowers. Included, are summaries of each species and the app allows you to document where you were when you found the species.
For most gear related issues you are better off using Google or asking online groups or knowledgeable friends, but here I list a few useful sites and articles I think are relevant to PCT hikers.
- How to Open a BearVault by pbattler | YouTube
Guidebooks, Trail Conditions, and Waypoint Information
- As The Crow Flies PCT Town Guide
This is a bit old (it says last updated in 2019 but I think most of the information is actually much older than that; 2017 at the latest).
- FarOut (formerly Guthook) PCT Guide is by far the most popular PCT app available. There are five PCT sections you must purchase and download separately and you get a discount if you buy them as a bundle. If you are planning ahead, they usually have a sale around the holidays and sometimes at other times of the year also.
- FatMap contains every mile of the Pacific Crest Trail from a northbound perspective, divided into digestible segments between reasonable access points. This makes the information useful for section hikers making loops or shuttling, and also for distance hikers planning for resupply. Key information like water sources, possible camps, and notable scenery are included, as well as requirements for permits and other tips for logistics. This is by no means an exhaustive resource, but it should serve as a guideline for planning and navigation. Whether or not your goal is to piece together every step of the PCT, this guidebook can be a starting point to get you on the trail.
- Halfmile’s Cell Phone Reports
Hiker reports about cell phone reception and WiFi along the Pacific Crest Trail.
- Halfmile’s PCT App (Android)
No longer supported and may not be available to download by the time you read this (according to this post, was last updated 2015)
- Halfmile’s Pacific Crest Trail Notes (Lon “Halfmile” Cooper) include trail mileage (northbound and southbound mileage that closely match the FarOut app), resupply and other essential information, elevation, and references to National Geographic map page numbers for more than 3000 landmarks. Halfmile’s Trail Notes can be printed in compact data booklet format using Acrobat Reader (4 pages per sheet of paper), your duplex printer, or a booklet printing app. The notes are optimized for booklet printing and formatted without extra white space around the borders. If you are printing single pages it may be necessary to use the “shrink oversize pages” or “custom scale” functions to avoid cutting off text.
- Halfmile’s PCT Maps GPS Data is available in .GPX file format for hiker’s personal use. Many smartphone GPS apps such at Gaia GPS, TopoMaps, MotionX GPS, etc. will import this data using the smartphone web browser. If you are using a desktop computer or Garmin GPS, there are .ZIP links for those.
- Pacific Crest Trail Distance Calculator
This tool calculates the approximate walking distance in miles between two points along the Pacific Crest Trail.
- Pacific Crest Trail Closures provides the latest information on trail closures as updated by the PCTA.
- Pacific Crest Trail Report (Interactive Google Map)
PCT Report (also called the PCT Water Report) is a Google Map that presents a user-friendly, graphic interface to various PCT reports (Water, Fire, Trail Conditions, Closures, Alternates, Water-Crossings, Photo Archives, etc.) in one digital document accessible from your cell phone or tablet. These reports have historically been contained in Google Sheets documents (with PDF format available) but in 2021/22 a switch to an interactive map was initiated. Both will be maintained in 2022 but after that the sheets may be abandoned (TBD?). This report is a crowdsourced document, relying upon hiker and trail angel updates (you can email updates from the trail to [email protected] or phone/text 619-734-7289 or 619-734-PCTW [voice mail/text only, no one will answer]; with your updates, please reference the Mile Markers or Waypoint Names used in this map and include your trail name). The report also has important safety information, like bear reports, bee hive and poodle dog locations, and trail closures).
- PCT Lodging Highlights: Hostels, Motels, Campgrounds, and Trail Angels by Alexandria Cremer | The Trek
- Postholer.com has an online version of a PCT Data Book (with a PDF version) and an app. My understanding is that has been replaced by Halfmile’s information but it may still be of interest.
- PSA | Hazardous High Sierra creeks: List, map & alternates by Andrew Skurka
- Yogi’s PCT Handbook
The PCT equivalent of the ALDHA Companion with information about resupply, desert hiking, gear, and more.
Journals and Hike Tracking
- HikerFeed is a mobile app you can use to write daily journals in a simple yet intuitive editor, view your photos on a map, and track your daily distance and step count each day. No need for cell service. HikerFeed saves everything locally to your device and syncs up when you have service.
- Postholer Journals
- Trail Journals is a popular website for all kinds of on-line hiking journals, including ones for the PCT.
- Thru-Hike Tracking Info is a Google spreadsheet I put together to track my 2019 Appalachian Trail thru-hike and later expanded to include more options and be useful for any long distance hike.Land Management Organizations
Land Management Organizations
- Cleveland National Forest (NoBo PCT Mile 14 – 125)
- San Bernardino National Forest
- Angeles National Forest
- Sequoia National Forest
- Inyo National Forest
- Sierra National Forest
- Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest
- Stanislaus National Forest
- Eldorado National Forest
- Tahoe National Forest
- Plumas National Forest
- Lassen National Forest
- Shasta-Trinity National Forest
- Klamath National Forest
- Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest
- Crater Lake National Park
- Fremont-Winema National Forest
- Umpqua National Forest
- Deschutes National Forest
- Willamette National Forest
- Mt Hood National Forest
- Gifford Pinchot National Forest
- Mt Rainier National Park
- Mt Baker National Park
- North Cascades National Park
- Okanogan – Wenatchee National Forest
Palm Springs Management
Ridgecrest Field Office
State Recreation Areas
- Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains
- San Gabriel Mountains
- Devils Postpile National Monument
- Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument
- Gaia GPS features the entire trail via the NatGeo layer.
- Google PCT Map is broken into 48 sections (not sure of the source).
- GPX tracks, mile markers (every half mile), and other points of interest (free download)
- Halfmile 2015 KML files excluding waypoints
- Hiker Trash Haven PCT Topographic Maps provides topo maps in PDF format (a bit dated but still useful)
- James Lamer’s Google Map
The three types of locations found on this map are:
- On-Trail Points of Interest: notable landmarks visible from or on the PCT;
- Towns and Other Resupplies: towns or other locations where hikers can go to eat, rest, and acquire more supplies either in a store or by mail; and
- Photo Ops: Beautiful locations on trail where he shot images in 2019.
- NatGeo Maps (typically $14.95 per map)
- Offline Maps by Noam Gal for the AT, PCT, and CDT that makes use of the Backcountry Navigator app.
- Overview maps, created by Magellan (PCT 2018), are available from Halfmile (Complete trail, California, OR & WA)
- Pacific Crest Trail Map by Kelly Hodgkins | Greenbelly
An interactive map of the Pacific Crest Trail complete with a state-by-state breakdown (length, highest elevation and highlights).
- Pacific Crest Trail | LongTrailsWiki
Options include: Topo 2D, Terrain 3D, Satellite 3D, Transit layer
- Pacific Crest Trail Metro-style Resupply Map (PDF)
@chatter_hikes on Instagram created this cool visual overview of the most common stops on the PCT and their distance to the trail. [REF]
NOTE: @chatter_hikes also created a table with approximate travel times per resupply town.
- Pacific Crest Trail Pocket Atlas: Complete 3 Book Set by Erik Asorson (Erik the Black)
- Pacific Crest Trail: The Complete Map Set
This map bundle includes the PCT with mile markers on 197 GPS maps (KMZ file format) and a 1:24k topo map base layer. Use the maps to track your location on the trail, or to plan your hike. Download the maps in one file, 1.2 GB total. Pay once, just $7.
- PCT Elevation Profiles. The pickatrail.com website provides elevation profiles and metrics for each section of the trail that is depicted on every map. NOTE: the page isn’t titled well or provide an explanation but just click on any of the listed sections and you’ll see the relevant elevation profile. The Seattle Times article, “A thru-hiker collects friends, memories — and lots and lots of observations — along the Pacific Crest Trail” includes a PCT elevation profile image. [REF]
- PCTA Maps page
The PCTA has an interactive topographical map along with links to overview maps, paper maps, digital mapping and GIS data, and tips/resources for generating a Google Earth map of the PCT.
- The PCT interactive map, created by the PCTA (listed on the main PCTA maps page) lets you see useful trail info via map layers (e.g., mile markers, permit areas, forest administration boundaries, weather radar, satellite imagery, snow analysis data, fire reports and perimeters, air quality readings, and weather warnings).
- PCT Interactive Virtual Reality Map by Tom and Maddie Bartlett (NOTE: VERY slow when I tried it)
- PCT Key Stops map (PDF)
After finishing the trail in 2019 Peter Kalina created the kind of overview map of the PCT that he would’ve liked to have had with him. [REF: FB Post]
- PostHoler.Com Pacific Crest Trail Pocket Maps and Google Map
- Topographical Maps for California (Southern, Northern) provided by David (of Best on the Crest). The southern California maps are individual JPG files and the northern California maps are split into two PDF files.
A set of maps at 1:24000 provided by David
- United States Forest Service offers four different spatial files (Google Earth KML, Google Earth KMZ, Shapefile, and Geodatabase) plus ten paper section maps.
- Unofficial archive of Halfmile PCT maps
The free PDF Halfmile maps are no longer available, from Halfmile or OLT or any other “official” source, although they’re still floating around the community. When David and Lon sold the rights to NatGeo, one of the conditions was that they stop distributing the PDFs. Smokebeart Hikes has made them available on his site though.
- Kidnapped on the Pacific Crest Trail by Bill Donahue | Backpacker
A would-be thru-hiker hit the trail to change her life. She knew about the natural hazards. It was the human threat she never saw coming.
Permits and Regulations
- A Complete List of Individual Permits Needed to Hike the PCT by Kelly Floro | The Trek
- California Campfire Permit
- Canada Entry Permit
- Don’t Stress About Permits. Here is Why. by Yogi Jackie McDonnell | Facebook post
- Half Dome Permits for Day Hikers
- How To Score a PCT Long-distance Permit on November 9th by Kelly Floro | The Trek
- Pacific Crest Trail Permits: Reality Check | Postholer.Com
- PCTA.org permit info page
- PCTA list of local permit requirements
- PCTA Long Distance Permit page
- Triple Crown Outfitters local permits page
Bear Canister Requirements and Tips
- Bear canister requirements and protecting your food | PCTA
- Bear Canisters: Which Fit in Which Packs, Where You Need Them, and How to Pack One by Owen Eigenbrot | The Trek (NOTE: a sponsored post but still helpful)
- IGBC Certified Bear-Resistant Products | IGBC Online
- Where are Bear Canisters Required? | SierraWild.Gov
- Backpacking Planning Worksheet (PDF) by John Allen (related video)
- Craig’s PCT Planner aims to simplify your thru-hike planning process by: choosing resupply locations, determining how many days of food are needed between resupply points, projecting arrival dates at each resupply location, and adjusting your hiking time based on terrain. This program bases its calculations from trail data derived from the 2005 PCT Data book and Halfmile’s PCT Trail Notes (for the resupply locations).
- Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) Planner | Postholer.Com
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) Hike Planner is designed to help you dynamically create a realistic hiking plan. This tool negates hours of effort in creating an accurate plan. Adjusting your plan is painless. Use the ‘Hiking Style’ slider to adjust your plan to your style.
- PCT NOBO – Export
Bob Green created this big planning spreadsheet (see his FB post). You’ll need to be a member of the PCT Class of 2021 FB group to access it.
- Reformatted Skurka’s creek crossing notes
Redditor StellaTerra was frustrated with Andrew Skurka’s trail crossing notes, so he duplicated the spreadsheet, removed the non-PCT crossings, and marked each crossing with its Far Out mile marker number. [REF]
- Alex’s 2009 PCT resupply schedule (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)’s 2009 PCT resupply schedule Pt. 1, pt.2, pt 3 is old (obviously) but might give some decent ideas as a start and uses a pretty cool format that might be inspiring for your own efforts.
- All Pacific Crest Trail Resupply Points | Plan Your Hike
This is a bit outdated but still somewhat useful, especially for entries where users have contributed comments with updated information.
NOTE: I included all the information from this source in my Pacific Crest Trail Thru-Hike Planning Tool spreadsheet (listed separately).
- Best on the Crest: Food and lodging along the Pacific Crest Trail is a bit dated but has interesting, detailed notes and commentary not found elsewhere.
- Breweries along the PCT | NorCal Hiker – PCT 2016
They also list their resupply plan, which included 10 mail drops.
- FB page make up time in NorCal and Oregon by Yogi Jackie McDonnell | PCT Class of 2022 [Planning, Information, Trail Reports, powered by Yogi]
A plan for hiking Northern California and Oregon, 646 miles from Mount Shasta CA to Cascade Locks OR, without going into any towns.
- Getting Supplies on the PCT is from a 2003 thru-hike so probably not worth reading today unless you are the kind of person that wants to read anything and everything you can find.
- Halfmile’s Pacific Crest Trail Resupply & Town Notes
- How To Begin lists all the resupply points Lani Advokat used for her 2017 thru-hike.
- How to Hike the PCT Without Sending Yourself Resupply Boxes by Cosmo
- Pacific Crest Trail Mailing Labels | ALDHA
- Pacific Crest Trail Resupply Guide by Maggie Wallace | The Trek
- Pacific Crest Trail Resupply Locations | LongTrailsWiki (LTW)
- Pacific Crest Trail Resupply Locations | Postholer.Com
- Pacific Crest Trail Resupply Strategy | PCTA
- Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) Self-resupply by The Weathercarrot
While some of the information may be outdated, most of it is still relevant for hikers. Please check current information sources for availability of specific resources.
- Pacific Crest Trail Stove Fuel Resupply | LongTrailsWiki (LTW)
- Pacific Crest Trail Survey by Mac | Halfway Anywhere
I have listed this resource above already, but click on the Survey Review link to see the latest year’s data on resupply options and strategies.
- Pacific Crest Trail Thru-Hike Planning Tool is a free, public Google spreadsheet I put together, drawing on various sources of information. There are a lot of features designed to make your hike planning process easier, whether you are trying to plan the entire hike ahead of time or you want to use it on trail to make a daily or section plan. There are also sheets with useful information, like a list of trail angels by location, a list of links to online maps, and notes for each state. You can also view all waypoints or filter them to quickly see what’s available and where. A dedicated filtered sheet is available for water, since it is so critical to planning a hike. Other filtering options include: bathrooms, campsites, bear boxes, charging outlets, food/drink, a hiker box, laundry, lodging, outfitters, points of interest, resupply options, shelters, and towns. You can mark the post offices and mail drop locations you want to use and a separate sheet will generate all the mailing labels you will need for them to print out. You can also mark places you think you would like to sleep, get water, resupply, charge your devices, grab a shower, and take a nearo/zero.
- Pacific Crest Trail Towns | HikerFeed
- PCT Fuel List (2016)
Created by Paul Bodnar (Author of the Pocket PCT and co-creator of the FarOut app).
- PCT Resupply Guide 2021 by Brad McCartney | Bike Hike Safari
- PCT resupply towns and locations | PCTA
- PCT SOBO Ready to Use Resupply Plan (Google Spreadsheet) by Zach “Relish” Hoopes
- PirateShip has a service that lets you take advantage of discounted corporate package shipping rates for USPS and UPS.
- Plants’ Vegan PCT Guide (includes a modified version of the vegan resupply spreadsheet listed separately below)
- Resupply Packages Made Easy: PCT Edition is an online course by Wojciech Zurek (Vortex) and his wife offers thru-hikers and their resupply persons a simple system for planning resupply packages: how to effectively plan on the trail and communicate with your resupply people, what to mail and how to save money on shipping the packages.
- Resupply Strategies by Mike Lavine | PCT Class of 2021 FB Group (REF)
This is a six-page document with various pieces of useful resupply information (websites, apps, resupply companies, thoughts on costs, and various tips and strategies to consider).
- Sample Resupply Plan Campo to Kennedy Meadows by Yogi Jackie McDonnell | Facebook
- The Kennedy Meadows To Vermilion Valley Resort (VVR) PCT Resupply by Mac | Halfway Anywhere
- The PCT Resupply Guide: Class of 20xx Survey | Halfway Anywhere
- Vegan PCT Resupply, SoBo is a Google spreadsheet created by four vegan hikers, Bug, Mud, Harpo and Groucho, who all hiked south. Seems to be from 2014/15 so some information may be outdated.
- Northbound vs. Southbound | PCTA
- PCT Southbound: A Guide for SOBO Thru-Hikers
- Shrinks Sobo PCT Guide
- Southbound thru-hike guide | PCTA
- Why go southbound on the PCT? Go south, young man by Francis Tapon
- The Southbound Scoop: What You Need To Know About Hiking The Pacific Crest Trail Southbound by Dormouse | Just 2 Hikers
- Hiker Shuttle Services
A list of businesses are permitted to shuttle hikers to and from trailheads in the Inyo National Forest (April 2021).
- List of Sierra Nevada Shuttles (transportation for trailheads)
- Pacific Crest Trail Angels (Facebook, 11K members)
- PCT Trail Angels (Facebook, 12.6K members)
- TrailAngelList.org: Pacific Crest Trail
- Your Guide to Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) Trail Angels by Laura Johnston | The Trek
- PCT Hosting in San Diego (Barney and Sandy Mann / “Scout and Frodo”)
- PCT Southern Terminus Trail Angels (Facebook, 1.1K members)
- Julian PCT Trail Angels (Facebook, 590 members)
- Wrightwood PCT Trail Angels (Facebook, 554 members)
- Walker’s Pass Trail Angels (Facebook, 1.2K members)
- Tehachapi Pass (Tehachapi and Mojave) PCT Trail Angels (Facebook, 1.3K members)
- Tehachapi-WalkerPass-Kennedy Meadows PCT Angels (98 members)
- eastern sierra trail angels (Facebook, 85 members)
- Chester PCT Trail Angels (Facebook, 382 members)
- Quincy CA PCT Trail Angels (214 members)
- Burney PCT Angels (Facebook, 572 members)
- Southern Oregon / Ashland Trail Angels (PCT) (1.6K members)
- Central Oregon PCT Trail Angels (1.9K members)
- Columbia Gorge Trail Angels (PCT) (Facebook, 210 members)
- Trout Lake, Washington Trail Angels (includes information on a seasonal shuttle service they provide)
- Washington PCT Trail Angels (1.6K members)
- Getting to and from the Northern Terminus | PCTA
- Getting to and from the Southern Terminus | PCTA
- How to Get to the Southern Terminus by Marmalade Outdoors | YouTube
- How to Access Each PCT Terminus For Your Thru-hike by Homemade Wanderlust | YouTube
- PCT Public Transit Map on LongTrailsMap.net
- The Manning Park web site is an excellent resource for travel to and from with schedule, destinations, travel times and general travel information.
Most of these are freely available on YouTube. These are just the ones I have either watched personally and enjoyed, or saw recommended by others. It would be impossible to list all the channels created by hikers each year and I don’t want to try, but if I hear about more that are popular I will add them.
To make things easier, I have collected the YouTube videos into a public PCT Videos playlist so you don’t need to click through each video below separately. For entire playlists, I have just added the first in the playlist so if you like that video you will want to click through to the channel to find the rest of the videos.
- 2 Saunterers (2021) | YouTube
- 2015 PCT Class Video by Ratatouille | Vimeo
- A Journey To Be Present – A Pacific Crest Trail Documentary by Paul Borash | YouTube
- Applying for a PCT permit? See the ACTUAL process here! by Jon Allen Outside | YouTube
- As It Happens | Pacific Crest Trail by Andy Laub Films | YouTube
- Darwin on the Trail (PCT 2018) | YouTube
- Do More With Less – A Conversation About The Pacific Crest Trail by Travis Barron and Eric Timmerman | Vimeo
- Elina Osborne | YouTube
- Fish Tank Treks | YouTube
- Heading Somewhere (2021)
- High Sierra – A Journey on the John Muir Trail by Pete Bell TV – Films | YouTube
- Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail by BikeHikeSafari | YouTube
- Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail In Seven Minutes by David “Obi Wan” Hill | YouTube
- Just Passing Thru – A Pacific Crest Trail Film by Courtney Eve White | YouTube
- WalkingWithPurpose (PCT 2021 Thu-Hike) | YouTube
- Homemade Wanderlust (Dixie’s PCT 2017) | YouTube
- How to Access Each PCT Terminus For Your Thru-hike by Homemade Wanderlust | YouTube
- How to cross a river safely by Adventure Professional Publications
- How to Hike The Pacific Crest Trail Video by Lynn Wheldon | YouTube (free) or DVD ($20)
- How To Plan a Thru-Hike – PCT Logistics, Tips and Tricks by Courtney Eve White | YouTube
- HRC on the PCT (2021) | YouTube
- It Is The People | A Pacific Crest Trail Film by Elina Osborne | YouTube
- Jay F Hikes (PCT 2021) | YouTube
- Jon Allen Outside (PCT 2021 playlist) | YouTube
- John Muir Trail 2013 – A Journey through the Range of Light by John Amorosano | YouTube
- Kinda Nomadic (Pacific Crest Trail 2021) | YouTube
- Magnetic North, A Pacific Crest Trail Thru-hike by Magnet Northbound | YouTube
- Mari Johnson (2019 playlist) | YouTube
- Marmalade Outdoors (YouTube) documented his thru-hikes in 2019, 2020 and 2021. His How to Get to the Southern Terminus video also provides good info.
- Mile, Mile and a Half (JMT) by Jason Fitzpatrick and Ric Serena | Amazon Prime Video
- Northbound Now – A Walk on the Pacific Crest Trail by SeanDotEarth | YouTube
- Northbound on the Pacific Crest Trail | PCT Short Film by Calvin Weibel | YouTube
- Nothing is Off Limits – A Pacific Crest Trail Film by Julie Zweng | YouTube
- Old Man and the PCT | YouTube
- Once a dream, now a memory -Pacific crest trail 2022 by Kelvin Balder | YouTube
- Only the Essential: Pacific Crest Trail Documentary by Wild Confluence | YouTube
- Our 2015 PCT thru hike (The whole 2.5 hrs) by The Holeshoes | YouTube
- Pacific Crest Trail: Southern California by Lindsey Gordon | YouTube
- Pacific Crest Trail 10 Minute Thru-hike by Dixie (Homemade Wanderlust) | YouTube
- Pacific Crest Trail 2021 – A Quiet Meditation by G.S. Rinehart | YouTube
- Pacific Crest Trail 2022 by Arielle Shipe | YouTube
- Pacific Crest Trail 2022 by JupiterHikes | YouTube
- PCT Thru Hike – Guide to the Sierra, 2020 and beyond (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5) by Restless Kiwi | YouTube
- PCT ‘Walk’ Series (“Walk”, “Still Walking”, “Even More Walking”, “Walked”) by Scott “Squatch” Herriott | DVD
- Tell it on a Mountain – Tales from the Pacific Crest Trail (Trailer) | Amazon Prime Video or Direct
- The Art of Walking | Pacific Crest Trail Documentary | Full Film by Austin Seder | YouTube
- The Entire Pacific Crest Trail in 5 Minutes by Craig M – Spielberg | YouTube
- The Fellowship of The PCT: A Pacific Crest Trail Story by Bird and Sage Hike | YouTube
- The Ghost explores Heather Anderson’s personal journey from unknown hiker to the holder of some of the most coveted records in the hiking world. | Vimeo
- The Hiking Rev | YouTube
For a condensed look check out his My Pacific Crest Trail Thruhike in 20 Minutes video.
- The Pacific Crest Trail (Three Second Thru-Hike) by Halfway Anywhere | Vimeo
- The Trail by Scott Jackman | YouTube
- The Whimsical Woman (2018) | YouTube
- This is not a beautiful hiking video | A Pacific Crest Trail Thru-Hike by Peter Hochhauser | YouTube
- Thru Hiker by WildStray by Mikkel ‘Biz’ Mandrup Fogt | YouTube
- To Measure a Mile | A Pacific Crest Trail Documentary by Chris Carter | YouTube
- To Wander: A Pacific Crest Trail Short Film by Sarah Halvorson | YouTube
- Trail Dork (2019) | YouTube
- Walking On A Dream – A Pacific Crest Trail Film by Jack Keogh | YouTube
- Walking the West. Hiking 2600 miles from Mexico to Canada (Trailer) (Part I, Part II) | Amazon Prime Video, Website
- Walking with Purpose | YouTube
- Which PCT Towns Should You Send A Resupply Box? by Dixie (Homemade Wanderlust) | YouTube
- Wizards of the PCT (trailer) by Shane “Jester” O’Donnell | DVD/Download
- Year of Fire and Ice by Dixie (Homemade Wanderlust) | YouTube
Weather, Fire and Snow Conditions
- Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trail Weather
- AirNow Fire and Smoke Map shows fine particle pollution (PM2.5) from permanent AirNow monitors, temporary monitors deployed by agencies for smoke events, and low-cost sensors made by PurpleAir. Users can click or tap on the layer icon on the upper right of the map to select/de-select map layers showing the different data sources. To see other pollutants, visit the AirNow interactive map, which shows ozone, PM2.5, and PM10 data that official outdoor air quality air monitoring stations report to AirNow.
- Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab
The Central Sierra Snow Laboratory (CSSL) has a consistent record of precipitation, snowfall, snow depth, and air temperature for the periods of 1946-1952 and 1957-present. Check out the Snow Lab’s recent snowfall and real-time weather data on the ‘Recent Snowfall’ and ‘Recent Conditions’ tabs.
- Mountain Weather Forecasts provides mountain weather forecasts for more than 11,300 (and growing) major summits for up to 8 different elevations.
- Pacific Crest Trail Snow Report | Postholer
The Pacific Crest Trail snow report is designed to aid hikers in determining the best time to head into the mountains based on snow conditions. It uses SNODAS modeled snow data and MODIS reflectivity data. SNODAS gives us a good idea about the quantity of frozen water sitting on the ground, denoted by SWE (Snow Water Equivalence) in inches. Coverage is often poorly represented by SNODAS where snow cover is thin. The 8 day MODIS data, without regard for quantity, shows us what areas were snow covered at some point over the last 8 days. Cloud cover and darkness adversely affects MODIS detection significantly, hence we use the 8 day as opposed to the single day coverage. This is the only combined MODIS/SNODAS PCT snow map on the internet. It’s also the only Sentinel-2 data with trail alignments.
- Pacific Crest Trail Closures provides the latest information on trail closures as updated by the PCTA.
- PCTA Interactive Fire Map offers an overview of the entire trail with layers you can toggle on an off to see different things, notably active fires near the trail. (REF)
- Postholer.Com On Trail Weather
- National Weather Service (NOAA)
- San Jacinto Trail Report provides snow, weather, and trail conditions for the San Jacinto mountains
- Snow Water Equivalents (inches) for the Sierras | California Cooperative Snow Surveys
- WatchDuty is a mobile app that provides real-time push notifications about wildfires in California.
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