Kaitlin hikes the Pacific Coast Trail

Hi all! My name is Kaitlin, and I’m an Education Manager here at Crystal Cove Conservancy. I’m taking a hiatus from bringing students out to Crystal Cove’s backcountry to venture a little further- and attempt to hike from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail! I’ll be sharing updates and stories will you as I make my way along the trail. 

While all of us at The Conservancy are nature lovers, I might be the only one who turned that into an extreme sport- so I get a lot of questions from my coworkers. There’s no better way to introduce this adventure than with a little Q&A, so here we go: 

Q: What is the Pacific Crest Trail? 

A: The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a long distance hiking trail that follows the west coast’s highest mountain ranges through California, Oregon, and Washington. It’s 2,650 miles long, and I am starting at the Southern end at the border to Mexico, and heading towards the Washington border with Canada!

Q: How long will that take you?

A: Around 5 months, give or take a few weeks. April to September!

Q: How many miles a day will you hike?

A: I aim for about 20 miles a day on average. Slower than that in the beginning, but I’ll work my way up to some big mileage days once I have a thousand or so miles under my belt.

Q: Where do you stop to sleep at night?

A: I carry everything I need in my backpack, including a tent and sleeping bag so I can camp anywhere on the trail. I’ll stop in towns every week or so, and will sometimes stay in a hotel with amazing luxuries like beds and showers, but for the most part I’ll be spending my nights sleeping on the ground wherever I end up after a long day of walking. 

Q: This all sounds terrible, why are you doing this?

A: A few reasons! Believe it or not, walking 20 miles a day is what I consider “fun.” I also think the mountains of the west coast contain some of the most beautiful scenery in the world, and I can’t wait to just exist in nature for 5 months soaking up the best that Earth has to offer. Plus, it just sounds like a great adventure and I’m sure I’ll get some good stories out of it that all my friends and family will get tired of! 

I think that covers the basics for now, but I’ll share a ton more in the next few months as I make my way up the trail. Thanks for following along!

If you want to read more about the PCT, you can check out the Pacific Crest Trail Association’s website.

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