Some quick facts about the PCT.
- The trail runs 2,650 miles.
- The trail leads through 26 national forests, seven national parks, five state parks and three national monuments.
- The trail’s midpoint is at Chester, California, near Mount Lassen.
- The highest point along the way is Forester Pass in the Sierra Nevada, at 13,153 feet.
- Fewer than 200 hikers finish the PCT each year.
- About 5 percent of thru hikers walk north to south, considered the more challenging direction.
- The first person to thru-hike the entire trail was Richard Watson, in 1972.
- The fastest time was set in 2011 by Scott Williamson, who hiked north to south in 64 days 11 hours, averaging 41 miles per day.
- A few speed hikers have finished so-called “yo yo” hikes, reaching the end, then turning around and walking the entire PCT again in the opposite direction.
- Cyclists may attempt a bike-friendly, 2,500-mile parallel route called the Pacific Crest Bicycle Trail.
For more, read Smithsonian Mag’s recent blog post about the trail here.
(Photo: Desert campsite after crossing under 1-15)