Photography: Mexico to Canada, a thru-hiker’s 34 best Pacific Crest Trail photos

In the summer of 2013 Casey Gannon and Colin Arisman thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail with cameras in hand. Only The Essential is the story of their 5 month, 2650 mile journey on foot from Mexico to Canada across the wilderness of California, Oregon, and Washington.

Their goal was “to capture the brutal, yet breathtaking, ebb and flow of thru-hiking (a term for hiking a long distance trail from end to end). The film serves as a window to experience the Pacific Crest Trail and witness the value of simplifying life to a point where “only the essential” remains.” Take a look at their website for screenings, trailers, prints and the movie.

Only The Essential Film-maker Casey Gannon documents the hike. Southern California

Only The Essential film-maker Casey Gannon uses a GoPro on a trekking pole to document the hike. Southern California

Thru-hikers wait out the mid day sun under a bridge in Scissors crossing. Southern California

Thru-hikers wait out the mid-day sun under a bridge at Scissors Crossing. Southern California

Thru-hiker Casey Gannon surveys the Anza-Borrego Desert 4000 feet below. Southern California

Casey Gannon surveys the Anza-Borrego Desert 4000 feet below. Southern California

Relaxing under the stars after a long day of hiking. Southern California

Relaxing under the stars after a long day of hiking. Southern California

The shade of an Oak Grove offers respite during a long waterless section. Southern California

The shade of an oak grove offers respite during a long waterless section. Southern California

A meal of fresh caught trout is a welcome break from rehydrated dinners and granola bars. High Sierra, California

A meal of fresh caught trout is a welcome break from rehydrated dinners and granola bars. High Sierra, California

Summiting Mount Whitney. High Sierra, California

Summiting Mount Whitney. High Sierra, California

Mule Deer grazing. High Sierra, California

Mule Deer grazing. High Sierra, California

Wildfire smoke at sunrise. High Sierra, California

Wildfire smoke at sunrise. Sierra Nevada, California

Thru-hikers rest for lunch in the shade of a utility building near Truckee. High Sierra, California

Thru-hikers rest for lunch in the shade of a utility building near Truckee. High Sierra, California

On the trail beauty lies in the details as well as the vistas. High Sierra, California

On the trail beauty lies in the details as well as the vistas. Sierra Nevada, California

The trail winds through Grasslands near the town of Burney. Northern, California

The trail winds through grasslands near the town of Burney. Northern California

Trinity Alps. Northern California

Trinity Alps. Northern California

An old Pacific Crest Trail blaze. Northern, California

An old Pacific Crest Trail blaze. Northern California

Crossing through the alpine wilderness of the Three Sisters mountains. Oregon

Crossing through the alpine wilderness of the Three Sisters mountains. Oregon

After a day of near miss lightning strikes and torrential rain the storm clears at sunset. Oregon

After a day of near-miss lightning strikes and torrential rain the storm clears at sunset. Oregon

The beautiful sign reflects the love that care takers put into trail. Oregon

This beautiful sign reflects the love that caretakers put into trail. Oregon

Ramona falls. Oregon

Ramona Falls. Oregon

Washington state reveals a new landscape to the thru-hiker. Washington State

Washington state reveals a new landscape to the thru-hiker. Washington

Mist blankets a pond near Mt. Adams.Washington State

Mist blankets a pond near Mt. Adams.Washington

A moment that reminds you why you are walking 2668 miles. Washington State

A moment that reminds you why you are walking 2650 miles. Washington

Goat Rocks Wilderness. Washington State

Goat Rocks Wilderness. Washington

Facing Mount Adams. Washington State

Facing Mount Adams. Washington

Only The Essential Film-maker Colin Arisman traverses the "knife edge" in Goat Rocks Wilderness. Washington State

Only The Essential film-maker Colin Arisman traverses the “knife edge” in Goat Rocks Wilderness. Washington

Smoke rises from wild fires east of Rainier National Park. Washington State

Smoke rises from wildfires east of Rainier National Park. Washington

Between Snoqualmie and Stevens pass lies a breathtaking and utterly remote 75 mile stretch of wilderness. Washington State

Between Snoqualmie and Stevens Pass lies a breathtaking and utterly remote 75 mile stretch of wilderness. Washington

Ample rain yields a verdant landscape. Washington State

Ample rain yields a verdant landscape. Washington

Thru-hiker Josh VanMeerveld reflects on the rugged alpine landscape. Washington State

Josh VanMeerveld reflects on the rugged alpine landscape. Washington

Hikers sharing the last few days together of their 2668 mile journey together. Washington State

Hikers sharing the last few days of their 2650 mile journey together. Washington

A good spot for a swim near Glacier Peak. Washington State

A good spot for a swim near Glacier Peak. Washington

It is easy to feel humble in this gigantic landscape. Washington State

It is easy to feel humble in this gigantic landscape. Washington

The legendary Amanita muscaria. Washington State

The legendary amanita muscaria. Washington

The final day of a 5 month journey. Washington State

The final day of a five month journey. Washington

"This feeling can't be put into words". U.S. - Canada Border

“This feeling can’t be put into words”. U.S.- Canada Border

Author: Jack "Found" Haskel

As the Trail Information Specialist, Jack works to connect people to the PCT. He's involved with a wide variety of projects that help the trail, the trail's users and the community that surrounds the experience. He has thru-hiked (Pacific Crest Trail in 2006; Colorado Trail in 2008; Continental Divide Trail in 2010) and is an obsessed weekend warrior.

Photo by: Nathaniel Middleton