Pacific Crest Trail, Laura Randall, PCT Class of 2017

“Fire and Ice”: the Challenges of the PCT in 2017

Weather curveballs, wildfire detours, and other challenges are nothing new for Pacific Crest Trail hikers. But this year brought an unprecedented amount of difficulties for thru-hikers tackling the legendary 2,650-mile route from Mexico to Canada. Record snowpack. Swollen rivers. Raging wildfires in the Pacific Northwest...

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Two Perfect Summer Day Hikes on the SoCal PCT

Few people aspire to hike the PCT in Southern California in summer. Thru-hikers are long gone, focused on snow-melt in the Sierras and reaching Canada by September. Wildfire season is settling in, causing trails—and the roads leading to them—to close at a moment’s notice. And it’s...

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Honoring the Women of the PCT

Before there was Cheryl Strayed, there was Catherine Montgomery. In 1926, almost a century before Strayed’s best-selling memoir about her Pacific Crest Trail experience was published, Montgomery came up with the idea of creating a ridgeline track from Canada to Mexico. It seems fitting to pay tribute...

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Gilmore Girls on the PCT, Laura Randall, Wilderness Press, The Pacific Crest Trail Guide

A Gilmore Girl Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail?

This summer’s Netflix revival of Gilmore Girls held a plot twist that many didn’t see coming. In the third of four episodes, Lorelei, the hip, pop-culture-loving mom of the popular WB series, announces she’s heading to California to “do Wild” and hike the Pacific Crest...

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PCT, Sierra hiking, Laura Randall, Pacific Crest Trail guidebook

Tips for 2017 PCT Hikers to Complete Section A

The first 100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail are often a heady mix of desert views, strong winds, rattlesnakes, long stretches without water, and free apple pie. As you start to plan your 2017 PCT hike, here are a few things to anticipate along Section...

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PCT, Sierra hiking, Laura Randall, Pacific Crest Trail guidebook

The Pacific Crest Trail’s Natural Art Gallery

Pacific Crest Trail hikers see plenty of stunning mountain and desert views from the trail. But every so often we come upon something so remarkable it cries out for pausing and tipping one's hat in admiration. I call it PCT Art, and here's my work-in-progress collection.   ...

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Planning for the Unexpected on the PCT

I was ready for the long stretches without water sources, the midday heat, and trail closures due to wildfires and endangered frogs. I knew exactly where to find the big elevation gains, confusing trail splits, and major road crossings. But, as I section-hiked the PCT...

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PCT, Sierra hiking, Laura Randall, Pacific Crest Trail guidebook

Fall Along the PCT in the High Sierra

  The timing of my backpacking trip through the Sierras had more to do with permit availability than with peak fall colors or precipitation levels. But I lucked out in both areas: There was no rain and plenty of beautiful foliage during a four-day trip along...

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PCT Days celebrates its 10th anniversary

PCT Days celebrated its 10th anniversary this year in a typically jubilant and down-to-earth style. Current thru-hikers mixed with PCT alumni and local section hikers at Oregon's Cascade Locks Marine Park, while a lineup of outdoor adventure retailers and cottage-industry folks displayed products ranging from...

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