Cool Job Alert: Get Paid To Hike the PCT in 2025

Hikers normally have to budget carefully to afford a long section or thru-hike — but what if your trek could pay for itself? Carson City, NV tourism board Visit Carson City will pay two PCT hikers $5,000 apiece to hike 1,600 miles from Carson City to the PCT’s northern terminus in 2025.

The sponsorship is meant to promote the new (and aptly named) Capital to Tahoe Trail, a non-motorized footpath that connects Carson City to the Tahoe Rim Trail and, by extension, the PCT. The 16-mile trail was just completed in 2023. It will grant city residents and tourists access to the Sierra Nevadas without needing a car to get there.

About the Capital to Tahoe Trail

Map courtesy of Visit Carson City

The multi-use Capital to Tahoe Trail is open to hikers, mountain bikers, and equestrians. According to Visit Carson City’s website, “this trail affords beautiful views of Carson City and Washoe Valley, but be aware that it is a long and remote trail. Be prepared for changes in the weather, and always carry the 10-essentials!”

The new singletrack is the final link in a chain of trails that make non-motorized travel to the mountains more realistic than ever. Starting from the steps of the State Capitol building, the mountains are now just 16 miles away by foot, horseback, or bike.

From the thru-hiker’s perspective, the connector trail could become a worthy side quest for those looking to spend time in Nevada’s state capital.

Carson City nonprofit Muscle Powered is primarily responsible for the Capital to Tahoe Trail’s creation. The trail is also the product of partnerships between the Carson City, Nevada Division of State Parks, the USDA Forest Service, and private property owners.

How To Apply for the Carson City to Canada Quest

Photo courtesy of Visit Carson City

Visit Carson City is accepting online applications through May 31st. The hike will start sometime in the summer of 2025, depending on weather and trail conditions. Applicants must submit a 60-second video detailing why they’re the best fit for the sponsorship.

The chosen hikers will each receive $5,000 upon reaching the PCT’s northern terminus, having documented their journeys along the way.

“Once we realized that someone could start hiking right here in Carson City and take the Capital to Tahoe Trail to some of the greatest hiking trails in the world, we knew this would be a terrific opportunity …” said David Peterson, executive director of Visit Carson City, in a press release. “This is a chance for someone who has always wanted to thru-hike the PCT to experience the adventure of a lifetime—and partner with us to get paid while they are out there.”

To clarify, the expectation is that you’ll start from the State Capitol in Carson City and hike north. If you want to hike the entire PCT, you’ll have to do the southern section on your own time. But the position doesn’t start until summer, so a thru-hiker would still have time to walk from Mexico to Carson City by Day 1.

Per the press release: “Thru-hikers looking for a reason to take on this section of the world-famous PCT—or those looking to take a side quest from the traditional path along the PCT — now have 5,000 more reasons to do so.”

Featured image: Graphic courtesy of Visit Carson City

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Comments 1

  • John Peltier : Mar 19th

    Be sure you read the entire Agreement before applying – Visit Carson City will own the rights to all media created on the 1,600-mile journey. It’s a “full buyout” of all photos & videos for the $5,000, meaning you can’t use any of it for anything else for the rest of your life (you’ll need their permission even to share stuff on socials after the trek is over).


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