Anwen Roberts

I’m not good with titles

This year I will attempt to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail.

There is a lot swimming around in my brain as I type this. I expect that the fear and guilt of leaving my conventional life behind will take a while to wear off, if ever. I’ve always been adventurous and a lover of the great outdoors, but this idea is far beyond anything I’ve ever done before. There are so many perfectly reasonable, rational arguments against what I plan to do, and so few ways that I can convincingly articulate my reasons for why I need to.

Committing to this journey might be the most selfish thing I’ve ever done. Or it might be the best thing I’ve ever done. It may be both of those things.

I’ve been riding an emotional rollercoaster for the last couple of months, however, psyching myself up and nearly psyching myself out of this hike, so rather than defend my reasons and get into the sticky emotional side of things, I’ll dedicate this post to the facts so that at least people can know what I am talking about.

The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail

The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650 mile (4,265 km) footpath starting at the Mexican border in California and terminating at the Canadian border in Washington. It can be attempted north-bound or south-bound. Hundreds attempt the trail every year either as a thru-hike like I will, or in sections. This year will be the busiest ever with around 1500 north-bound permits already issued for the peak months of April and May.

The Pacific Crest Trail

The Pacific Crest Trail – image from Wikipedia

PCT: Fun with numbers

All shamelessly lifted from the PCTA website:

  • The trail passes over 57 major mountain passes, as well as through/past…
  • 19 major canyons
  • 1000 lakes
  • 4 national monuments
  • 5 state parks and 6 national parks
  • 25 national forests and 48 wilderness areas
  • 3 states (California, Oregon, and Washington)


PCT gear round-up: the big four