Pacific Crest Trail, day hikes on the PCT, Day & Section Hikes Pacific Crest Trail: Washington, Wilderness Press

Why Day Hiking the PCT is Better

Ah, the Pacific Crest Trail. Maybe you’ve heard of it before? Also pronounced “Pee See Tee?” It’s the world-renowned long trail. And by long trail, we mean that you are supposed to hike the whole long thing in one shot. It’s 2,650 miles of muscular, tanned, stinky thru-hikers. Sure, you can do a section hike or a day hike, but it’s not really the same thing as thru-hiking the PCT.

Hold up. Let’s take a step back here. Why is thru-hiking more prestigious than day hiking? A hiker is a hiker, no matter how long their feet spend on the PCT. Right? You don’t need to make some life-altering decision to walk the hallowed hills that stretch from Mexico to Canada.

Pacific Crest Trail, day hikes on the PCT, Day & Section Hikes Pacific Crest Trail: Washington, Wilderness Press

Plus, there are quite a few benefits to waking up in your bed, driving to a trailhead, hiking, then falling asleep back in your bed. Here are just a few of them.

Your phone won’t die before you get back to civilization, which means…

You can post your carefully crafted Instagram and Facebook photos during those magical evening hours.

Your body hair and personal hygiene won’t get out of control.

You can celebrate your hike with a cold brew and a burger.

Your clothes won’t have a lingering odor.

You’ll spend less money on massages to fix your aching shoulders from your heavy pack.

Your boss won’t fire you.

Your family won’t disown you.

Your body won’t hate you.

Your real mattress is more comfortable than any sleeping pad.

Your toddlers can easily come along.

You can own your weekend warrior status.

You don’t have to answer to a weird trail name.

Your feet will always look pretty in flip-flops.

You won’t forget how to use a real toilet.

You won’t have to spend months trying to guess what you’ll want for dinner at mile 1,257.

You can focus on giving, not receiving, trail magic.

Your tan lines won’t make anyone shriek while at the pool.

You won’t have to be “that hitchhiker” begging for rides into town.

You can pack real food (hello, sandwiches and leftovers and fruit!) without worrying about weight.

You can be proud and stop using “I’m just a day hiker.”

Now that we’ve convinced you that day hiking is cooler and you’re exchanging your large pack for your day pack in the gear closet, check out the new Day & Section Hikes Pacific Crest Trail: Washington by Adrienne Schaeffer. Then report back to us on your own preference.


Tanya Twerdowsky

I am a Jersey girl living in Alabama who loves to run far and eat lots.

1 Comment
  • Richard Gehring

    Love getting a small cabin close to the trail. We take 2 cars and 2-4 us day hike continuous sections over a 3-day weekend. LOVE IT

    August 18, 2017 at 9:39 am

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