The Pacific Crest Trail follows the major mountain ridgecrests of the western United States for nearly 3000 miles, presenting unique challenge and adventure to the hikers and backpackers who explore it. Along the way, the "PCT" crosses deserts, high summits, glaciers, alpine lakes, old-growth forests, and volcanoes, accessing virtually every type of geological feature available anywhere in the varied landscape of the west. That includes over 1,000 miles (more than a third of its total distance) in federally protected wilderness areas and a 200-mile section in the High Sierras completely devoid of roads.
Starting from the Mexican border, the Pacific Crest Trail heads across the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts of Southern California before reaching the foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It then heads along the spectacular spine of the Sierras, visiting famous landmarks like Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Mount Whitney, Yosemite National Park, and Lake Tahoe. After the Sierras, the PCT winds through remote sections of Northern California, including Lassen Volcanic National Park, the Trinity Alps, and Mount Shasta.
In the states of Oregon and Washington, the Pacific Crest Trail follows the Cascade Range, visiting Crater Lake National Park, the Three Sisters Area, the Columbia River Gorge, Mount Rainier National Park, and North Cascades National Park before finally reaching its northern terminus at the Canadian border.
On Trails.com you will find every segment of the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail in every state it runs through, and each Pacific Crest Trail map is accompanied by a detailed route description, including driving directions to both ends of each segment, along with a host of other materials.
Whether you are heading out for a short day trip or the adventure of a lifetime, have fun hiking the Pacific Crest Trail!