Discover the Trail

The Pacific Crest Trail spans 2,650 miles (4,265 kilometers) from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon, and Washington. It is a National Scenic Trail. It reveals the beauty of the desert, unfolds the glaciated expanses of the Sierra Nevada, travels deep forests, and provides commanding vistas of volcanic peaks in the Cascade Range. The trail symbolizes everything there is to love—and protect—in the Western United States.

Untold thousands of hikers and equestrians enjoy this international treasure each year. Some only travel a few miles, while others complete every mile in a single season. Tying the trail together is a community of volunteers and passionate outdoor enthusiasts. Together, we explore, create and support one of the best experiences on Earth.

Adventure, nature, and friendship await. Join us.

PCT basics

The Pacific Crest Trail is a wilderness path in our backyard. Within a short driving distance of millions, the PCT is easily accessible and passes through magnificently untamed country. It avoids roads and towns while staying remote and in nature. On overnight trips, travelers camp along the way and carry their own supplies.

  • The trail is managed by the U.S. Forest Service, in partnership with the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, California State Parks and the Pacific Crest Trail Association.
  • It is open for pedestrian and equestrian traffic.
  • It became a National Trail in 1968 and was officially completed (but not entirely finished) in 1993.
  • For approximately 300 miles, the trail passes through privately owned lands. Although travel on the trail is not restricted, users should respect the rights of the landowners. Through this private land, the trail is on narrow easements that range from 10 to 50 feet in width.
  • Wilderness permits are required for most of the congressionally designated wilderness lands, national parks and state parks through which the trail passes. Much of the trail doesn’t require permits.
  • Sometimes sections of the trail close due to fires, damaged bridges or for other reasons. Be sure to check for closures before you head out.
  • The history of the Pacific Crest Trail is a long, uniquely American story marked by visionary leaders and the work of countless passionate individuals.
  • The trail crosses more than 100 major mountain passes.
  • The PCT crosses multijurisdictional areas, including tribal lands, 25 national forest units, 6 national park units, 7 Bureau of Land Management field offices, 51 Wilderness areas (48 Congressionally designated Wildernesses and three State of California Wilderness designations), and numerous state and county parks.
  • The PCT has more tread in Wilderness than any other trail. A remarkable 54% of the PCT on federal land in is Federal Wilderness.
  • The PCT is divided up into 29 sections of manageable length. The authors of the Wilderness Press PCT guidebooks split the trail into 18 sections in California (Sections A-R) and then restart the labeling, combining Oregon and Washington (Sections A-L). Therefore, there are two “Section As”. Generally, sections are bounded by significant road crossings and resupply opportunities. This splits the trail into comfortable 40-150 miles sections.
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