Sunday, April 26, 2009

Pacific Crest Trail

The Pacific Crest Trail stretches from the Mexico border with the United States, near Campo, California, to the U.S./Canada border above North Cascades National Park in the state of Washington. It was conceived in 1932 by Clinton C. Clarke and given official status by the National Trails System Act of 1968. It was officially completed in 1993. It stretches 2,650 miles from an elevation just above sea level at the Oregon/Washington border to an elevation of 13,153 feet at Forrester Pass in the Sierras.

It has been a dream of mine to do the entire trail, although it seems improbable at this point. However, I have been keeping track of my mileage along the trail and currently have completed 290.3 miles. The hikes to do these miles have spanned almost 18 years, from July 1991 to present.

As of the original posting of this article, on April 26, 2009, I had completed 178.2 continuous miles of the PCT (in multiple trips) from Snow Creek, south of the I-10 freeway in the Banning Pass, to Islip Saddle on the Angeles Crest Highway in the San Gabriel Mountains. I had completed 96.1 miles (not all continuous) in the Sierras.

On August 29, 1992, while I was scoutmaster, Paul Billings did trail maintenance on the Pacific Crest Trail as his Eagle project. He did a two mile segment of the PCT near Onyx Summit in the San Bernardino Mountains. The picture below is of a portion of the scout troop during that project with Mount San Gorgonio in the background. From left to right, are Jeremiah Brice, Brian Williams, Paul Billings, Ryan Belka, Peter Walker, Ron Kalama, Ryan Kalama and Brad Martinsen. Below, the boys work on a portion of the trail.
Peter Walker and Paul Billings stand next to a PCT marker.

More of a close-up of the PCT marker.

On April 24, 2009, my nephew, Rick DeLong, started at Campo, California, at the Mexico border, for his attempted thru hike of the PCT. I have some feelings of envy as he is doing one of my dreams. But I am getting some vicarious satisfaction out of watching him do it. He has been doing a blog of his planning for the PCT ( and presumably will update it along the trail. I plan on meeting up with him on May 1st and 2nd to hike a portion of the PCT and hope to make connections with him further along the trail.

Updated July 26, 2009:

This post is my launch for all posts relating to PCT hikes that I have taken and will post in the future, or that I will take in the future. The following are the posts so far:

I have currently done 352.6 miles of the PCT, 124.2 of them in the Sierras.

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