The Promised Land of The PCT
It’s hard to travel the 2,200 miles of the Appalachian Trail without hearing about the wonderful world of the Pacific Crest Trail. The AT is full of extremely experienced hikers, many of which have hiked the PCT. It always felt like whenever I had a major complaint about the trail, there was a hiker to come along just to tell me how much better things are on the west coast, seemingly just to rub my face into the fact that I apparently picked the wrong trail to hike. Now don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved hiking the AT, but there were definitely a few things I could have done without, and was assured I would not encounter on the PCT.
Things I’ve Been Promised to NOT Encounter on The PCT
- Knee deep bogs
- Overcrowded mountains…or just Bear Mountain in general
- Brutally humid east coast summer
- Walking on the pointed edge of rocks for 200 miles straight (I’m looking at you Pennsylvania)
- Week long downpours courtesy of Hurricane Joaquin
- Seemingly endless stretches of monotony known as the Green Tunnel
So, I started thinking to myself, you’re telling me I don’t have to deal with those six truly traumatic things while hiking the PCT? This trail might as well be a paved bike path! But then I started doing some research and I found the truth.
Things They Didn’t Warn Me About
- SNOW…but like really, what’s with all the snow this year?
- 700 miles of desert
- Rattlesnakes AKA terrifying death worms
- Long stretches without water
- Mountain Lions
- Frequently lugging several days of food
Yikes, perhaps the PCT isn’t all sunshine and rainbows like I was hoping. But at the same time, what’s the fun in just being able to crush 30-40 mile days with no obstacles and challenges? (That would probably be a blast) The good news is, as long as I don’t get lost in the snow, die of dehydration in the desert, get bit and killed by a rattlesnake, get mistaken as a large rodent by a mountain lion, or get crushed by the weight of my food, I should be able to handle this trail easily.
I guess I’ll just have to do my own research while I hike the PCT. Don’t worry everyone, I guarantee I’ll be going on some unnecessarily long rants about the major obstacles I come across out there. Until then, you’ll just have to deal with my speculations on what the trail will actually be like.
11 weeks to go…
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.
What Do You Think?