What is the PCT?
The Pacific Crest Trail, or PCT, is a continuous ~2660 mile trail that winds its way from Mexico to Canada. It follows the crest of a host of mountain ranges including the San Jacinto, Sierra Nevada and Cascades through California, Oregon and Washington. It passes through the Mojave Desert and comes within a days hike of the highest point in the contiguous 48 states – Mt. Whitney.
Every year a bunch of people attempt to hike the entire trail in one season, or “thru-hike”, and half or so make it. Unlike the Appalachian Trail (or AT), the PCT has a very short window of good weather and almost all thru hikers travel on a similar schedule. Generally hikers travel North (north bound hikers or ‘nobos’) from Mexico to Canada. Most try to traverse the desert before it gets too hot, reach the Sierras after most of the snow has melted, and then finish in Canada before snow starts falling in the northern Cascade Mountains. Most hikers complete the 2660 miles in 5-6 months, hiking around 20 miles per day on average.
If you want more information on the trail – the PCTA website is the place.