Equestrian FAQ

Approximately how many people thru-ride each year?

Not very many. Pure thru-rides are attempted once every few years. Historically, only a handful of thru-riders have successfully completed the trail. Section-rides tend to have a higher success rate. Perhaps two to five people attempt to ride very long sections every year. If you’re interested, head over to our history page for the story of Don and June Mulford’s historic 1959 thru-ride.

Equestrian Pacific Crest Trail ride at Lake Aloha. Photo by Susan Bates

Photo by Susan Bates

What permits do I need?

If you plan to ride 500 or more continuous miles, in a single trip, you are eligible for a long distance permit. Trips generally require permits in wilderness areas, national parks and California state parks. Outside of these areas, you may not need a permit. In California, you’ll need a fire permit. Please visit our permit page for the complete details.

Is there enough water along the trail and how do I find it?

Water is a serious planning concern. There are long stretches, some over 30 miles, without water on the trail. You’ll need to plan for dry stretches and look for off trail water sources. Generally, however, the trail has ample water sources in the mountains. You’ll want to carry the same informational resources that the hikers use. Please read our page on water issues. In Southern California, refer to the PCT Water Report.

How much grass pasture is available?

Not enough to depend upon, and in some areas you’re not allowed to graze your horses or stock. Please read our horse feed section for more information.

How often should my stock be re-shod?

Generally once a month or every 500 miles, whichever comes first, although the need for re-shoeing is often dependent on terrain and type of shoes used. Granite is particularly harsh on shoes.

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Photo by: Nathaniel Middleton