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 news.

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.

Wilderness 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.

PCT Southern 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.

Trail Journals The mother of all journal repositories. This is the main stop for most PCT journals not residing on private Web sites.

The PCT 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.

Trailquest. 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.

Hiker Trash Haven Free downloadable PCT topos, some journal links. Apparently has not been updated in nearly three years.

Classic PCT journals:

Henry Shires The man behind the near-ubiquitous TarpTent hiked the trail in 1999. Best-designed independent journal site.

The 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 calendar year.

Cupcake John 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.

Jonathan 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 A serial comedy riff masquerading as a trail journal.