PCT Thru-Hike Attempt 2021

I live just an hour away from the southern terminus of what is possibly the most beautiful long trail in the world: the Pacific Crest Trail. Spanning 2,650 miles, this ribbon of skyway snakes along the Peninsular Ranges, the Transverse Ranges, the Sierra Nevada, and the Cascades all the way from Mexico to Canada.

As a child, I saw signs for the PCT in southern Oregon when I went camping with my grandparents there.  I remember wondering where the trail went, but time passed and I forgot about it.

Then in early 2015 I saw the movie Wild, which reminded me of my earlier fascination with the trail.  I had never thought about walking the whole thing before.  I got hooked on the idea.

But it takes a lot of planning to do the whole thing in one year, and I had some family and professional responsibilities that couldn’t wait.  So I put off my thru-hike until my kids were in college and I could take a sabbatical. I have a long post about that decision here.

Between 2015 and 2020 I did Section Hikes on different parts of the PCT whenever I got the chance.  And it was amazing.

I always say “the PCT never lets you down!”

And in 2021 I finally got to attempt a thru-hike, walking a continuous footpath along the PCT from border to border.

I decided to get off trail after 50 days, mainly because I missed my wife too much. It was the right choice for me. I left after four of the most beautiful, wonderful days of hiking in my life.

But I will definitely keep section hiking. I plan to get back on the PCT next year.

Pre-Hike Preparation

PCT Permit Day!
A Routine 20
My PCT Gear
Grand Canyon Shakedown
Pre-Trail Magic

My Flora and Fauna Observations (feedback appreciated!)

JimmyJam’s iNaturalist page

Daily Blogs

Day 1: Here We Flamin-GO!
Day 2: Rattlesnake!
Day 3: Zero at Home
Day 4: Marathon to Water
Day 5: Nearo in Julian
Day 6: One Hundred Miles!
Day 7: Eagle Rock
Day 8: A New Friend
Day 9: Seven Hours in Paradise
Day 10: Zero in Idyllwild
Day 11: Rollercoaster Ridge
Day 12: Snowy San Jacinto
Day 13: A Windy and Windy Descent
Day 14: Whitewater
Day 15: Soooooo much up!
Day 16: I Need Pants
Day 17: Zero in Big Bear
Day 18: Twenty-Three in Nine
Day 19: Swimmin’ Hole
Day 20: Deep Creek Hot Springs
Day 21: Slackers
Day 22: Up, Up, Up to Guffy
Day 23: Last Hike With Goose (For Now)
Day 24: Zero in Wrightwood
Day 25: Road Walk!
Day 26: It Sometimes Rains in California
Day 27: Everything is A-O-KOA
Day 28: Easier to Get Blood from a Stone
Day 29: Dirtbagging
Day 30: Mojave Magic
Day 31: Back from the Brink
Day 32: Zero in Tehachapi
Day 33: Everything is New!
Day 34: A Hard Day
Day 35: First Sighting of Whitney!
Day 36: Double Sixes
Day 37: Zero in Kernville
Day 38: Twenty-Nine!
Day 39: Kennedy Meadows Meltdown
Day 40: Into the Sierra
Day 41: Hitching Isn’t Always Easy
Day 42: Zero in Lone Pine
Day 43: It Looks Like July!
Day 44: Forester Pass: No Axe, No Spikes
Day 45-46: Double Zero in Bishop
Day 47: Kearsarge Pass and Glen Pass
Day 48: Pinchot Pass and Mather Pass
Day 49: LeConte Canyon Recovery Day
Day 50: Bishop Pass: My Northern Terminus

Post Hike Reflections