Where Are PCT Hikers Normally On August 1st?

Today is August 1st, three months after the ADZPCTKO kickoff at Lake Morena. So how far have Pacific Crest Trail hikers hiked?

The answer in a typical year is 1,423 miles, which is at Burney Falls State Park.

This assumes that you started your PCT hike immediately after the ADZPCTKO kickoff (May 1st) and are hiking the trail at a five month pace, which is average for most hikers.

Earlier this year I analyzed the journals of 17 successful northbound 2009 and 2010 PCT thru-hikers and learned some interesting things. The hikers average 150 days to hike the PCT (149.3 days in 2010, 150.5 days in 2009) and they travel a lot faster north of Sonora Pass. The average hiking pace was:

13.8 miles per day between Campo and Agua Dulce
15.6 miles per day between Agua Dulce and Kennedy Meadows
12.6 miles per day between Kennedy Meadows and Sonora Pass
21.3 miles per day between Sonora Pass and Ashland
22.9 miles per day between Ashland and Cascade Locks
20.4 miles per day between Cascade Locks and Manning Park

These averages include any zero days taken.

Two factors this year will be the later than normal ADZPCTKO kickoff (May 1st is three days later than the average 2009-2011 hikers started) and the record snow in the Sierra.

A May 1st start and a five month pace means reaching Manning Park on September 29th. This is toward the end of the hiking season and it will likely mean some bad rain, fog, and snow in Washington. Ideally a hiker would finish the PCT by mid September, but that is probably not in the cards for many hikers this year.

You never know about the weather on the PCT. On September 29th 2007 a heavy snow storm shut down the PCT in northern Washington. Of the 17 successful 2009-2010 hikers only 3 finished after October 1st, the latest finish was October 10th.

You can see a .pdf with PCT hikers schedules based on the 2009 – 2010 hiker journals here:

PCT Hiker Schedule

I will be expanding on these schedules with 2011 hiker information. If you want to be included and you hiked a typical northbound thru-hike email the dates you reached Campo, Agua Dulce, Kennedy Meadows, Sonora Pass, Ashland, Cascade Locks, and Mannning park to [email protected]