Appendix A: PCT resources on the Web
Our new Southern
California PCT topos This archive, most generously hosted
by another PCT hiker with more disc space than ourselves, contains 88
topo maps covering the PCT from the Mexican border through Mt. Whitney
(Crabtree Meadow). The format is .jpg. The size is 8.5 x 11. The scale
is one half-mile per inch. The maps are based on National Geographic
Society TOPO! CA state series map data and Tom Reynolds' trail trace.
These maps feature ample GPS waypoints of key intersections, water
sources and road crossings and will be ideal for you if you're carrying
a GPS unit and no guidebook.
The Pacific Crest Trail
Association is the chief advocacy group for the trail,
working cooperatively with the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land
Management, national and state parks and other public entities. The Web
site contains trail policy news, membership information, basic advice
for planning a hike, trail condition updates and a bookstore. The PCTA
publishes two essential booklets: The Data Book and the Town Guide. The
PCTA is also the definitive source for information on the current
paperwork necessary to gain legal entry into Canada via Manning Park and
re-entry to the United States. If your hike will be longer than 500 contiguous PCT miles, the association can issue you a blanket thru-hiker's permit to cover all the jurisdictions on your walk.
PCT-l is the primary online forum for all subjects pertaining to
the trail. This is the virtual campfire the trail community gathers
around to joke, argue and occasionally pass along important
The Kickoff Party
The Annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kickoff (ADZPCTKO) began in 1998
as a small gathering at Lake Morena County Park in San Diego County,
just 20-some miles north of the border. The organizers, Class of '77
graybeards, have seen the event grow exponentially, to the point that it
now stretches through a long weekend, attracts about 500 people and
takes over the entire campground.
Press Publisher of the definitive three-volume guides (two
for California and one for Oregon and Washington). It is impossible to
hike the trail without these books.
Craig's PCT Planner
A powerful Web-based calculator that is an invaluable aid in eyeballing
resupplies and other macro-level logistics. The "test version" has been
online many years and appears to work just fine.
California Water Reports A tabular chart with
comprehensive information on the status of seasonal water sources in
sections A through G, and sometimes beyond. Don't even consider going through the desert without a current printout of this spreadsheet tucked in your pack.
Journals The mother of all journal repositories. This is the main stop for most PCT journals not residing on private Web sites.
Postholer is the definitive source for snowfall data along
the trail. In addition to near-real-time reporting from remote weather
sensors at key points from the Southern Sierra through Rainy Pass, the
Postholer also offers a graphic look at how the current snowfall year
measures up against the previous season and historic averages for any
given location. Scott Parks is forever adding features to this very helpful site, including journal hosting and links to weather reports for the length of the trail.
Bearcant's Elevation Profiler Rob Rathmann's site is the latest indispensable Web tool for PCT planning. This is exactly what a prospective thru-hiker needs -- not too much detail, not too little.
net Dave "Rainmaker" Mauldin and Carol "Brawny" Wellmen
are veteran thru-hikers who also make and market ultra-lightweight gear.
Their town information is at least five or six years out-of-date, but there's still much timeless wisdom to be gleaned from the site.
Haven Free downloadable PCT topos, some journal links. Apparently has not been updated in nearly three years.
Classic PCT journals:
Shires The man behind the near-ubiquitous TarpTent hiked
the trail in 1999. Best-designed independent journal site.
Menacing Vegetables A merry team of three and sometimes
four people, hiked the trail in 2000.
Coach Larry "Coach" Hoff
hiked the trail in 2002 and 2003. Inspirational and funny. Not your
typical thru-hiker in any way.
Flyin' Brian Robinson is (along with Scott
Williamson and Ray Greenlaw) one of the legendary ironmen of the PCT. He
is also the first hiker to walk the PCT, the CDT and the AT in a single
Brennan hiked the trail in 2001 and 2002.
Teatree Erin Brown hiked the trail in 2003 and 2007. A very emotionally honest and wise person. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who gets a lump in their throat when they see a photo of the monument on the screen.
Ley His 1999 journal site also contains a wealth of extra
content that should be helpful for trip planning, including elevation
profiles and details on the Glacier Peak alternative trail
route. Ley is better-known in the hiking community for his yeoman work on CDT issues, but his PCT writing should not be overlooked.
Amy and Scott
Rigby This husband-and-wife team hiked the trail in 2000.
The journal is among the best-written of the genre.
Ken and Marcia Powers This Triple Crown couple has many thousands of long trail miles under their collective belt, including two PCT treks and the American Discovery Trail. The voice of true experience.
Scout and Frodo Another great couple. Barney and Sandy Mann's 30th anniversary trek on the PCT turned out to be one of the most entertaining journals of the 2007 season.
Funnybone Chuckie's 2006 journal is probably one of the most-read accounts on Trailjournals.com. A serial comedy riff masquerading as a trail journal.