Addressing avoidable impacts

Camping on a durable surface in Goat Rocks Wilderness near Washington’s Mt. Rainier.

The PCT travels through some very fragile environments such as desert riparian areas, high alpine meadows, and springs. With larger numbers of people using the PCT, our collective challenge becomes minimizing impacts to the landscape and to the overall trail experience. Some examples of impacts include:

  • proliferation of campsites right next to the trail tread and in environmentally sensitive areas
  • improper disposal of human waste
  • food and garbage left in the backcountry
  • crowded camping and trampled vegetation near water sources

Impacts like those above can take years, possibly even decades, to restore. Fortunately, most impacts are avoidable. The PCT is a very long trail, and it has the capacity to accommodate large numbers of people, as long as we work together and employ the right strategies. Collectively we can ensure future PCT users have a less impacted and more primitive experience.

To learn more about Visitor Use Management on the PCT, follow the links below.

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