The Pacific Crest Trail is roughly 2,650 miles long and stretches from the border of Mexico and California to the border of Washington and Canada. While hiking the AT was great preparation and experience, it will be a different trail in terms of logistics, weather, and water sources.
Once we finished the Appalachian Trail in 2016 we figured we might set another long hike on the back burner, after all, our feet hurt for months! In 2018 we tried hiking across Ireland, but about a week into the Wicklow Way Colby rolled his ankle severely so we became tourists. Then 2020 and all that jazz delayed it… but at long last we are going to take a shot at hiking the Pacific Crest Trail!
Since the weather and elevation can make certain parts of the trail hazardous during either extreme heat or if it is a high snow year, there are windows of time where it is best to try and hit certain sections of the trail. Water sources may be scarce and separated by miles in the desert, and snow in the Sierras can make some of the peaks dangerous without the right equipment and experience. This means that most hikers try for a NOBO hike (northbound) and start in the spring or early summer and hope to finish before snow can make some of the passes in Washington too dangerous to continue.
Much like the Appalachian Trail, we are going to attempt a flip flop on the PCT. Instead of starting at one end and hiking to the other we will start about mid-way, then hike North. If we hit the northern terminus then we can backtrack to our starting point and hike south towards the other terminus. This will minimize some of the crowding that can happen during thru-hiking season and lets us start in milder conditions with more water sources than the southern desert section.
So we will see how it goes! We think we have our gear all sorted- now to see how our ankles and knees adapt to being full time hikers again!