Indeed, the PCT is a trail of diversity and extremes.
From scorching desert valleys in Southern California
to rain forests in the Pacific Northwest, the PCT offers
hikers a unique and varied experience.
Located within driving distance
of San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sacramento,
Portland, and Seattle, the PCT is both easily accessible
and blissfully wild at the same time. Whether exploring
the PCT for weeks on end, or just a weekend, it offers
the best of the West - the Mojave Desert, the Sierra
Nevada and Mt. Whitney, Yosemite National Park, Marble
Mountain and the Russian Wilderness in Northern California,
the volcanoes of the Cascades including Mt. Shasta and
Mt. Hood, Crater Lake, Columbia River Gorge, Mt. Rainier,
and the remote Northern Cascades.
Over the past decade the PCT has become a favorite
target of thru-hikers (the hearty souls who attempt
to hike an entire long-distance trail in one "season").
Each year, in fact, an average of 300 hikers attempt
to cover the full length of the PCT. Thousands of other
hikers enjoy this national treasure each year, some
traveling only a few miles in the course of a day hike.
Along with the Appalachian Trail in the east, the Pacific
Crest Trail was established as one of the first national
scenic trails in 1968 when Congress passed the National
Trails Systems Act. The trail was formally dedicated
in 1993 at a ceremony in southern California. A golden
spike in Soledad Canyon marks the completion of the
nation's longest continuous footpath.
My RhythmRIDE journey will follow along the Pacific Coast Bicycle Route from the Canadian border near Vancouver down to the Mexican border.
Trail Descriptions courtesy
of the PCTA