FKT: Timothy Olson - Pacific Crest Trail (CA, OR, WA) - 2021-07-22

Route variation
South to North
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
51d 16h 55m 0s
GPS track(s)

Timothy Olson completed the Pacific Coast Trail from Mexico to Canada and arrived at the USA/Canada Northern Terminus at 10:48pm pst on July 22, 2021. He started on June 1, 2021.

Some early comments and discussion regarding the FKT is here:

Timmy posted the following during the run, particularly pertaining to reroutes of the PCT due to fire:

Realizing that existing and new fire trail closures are a part of the landscape for all past, present, and future hikers/runners, we have approached any reroute with the following ethos:

1. Obey and respect any and all posted closures. 

2. Do as much of the PCT as possible and practical. 

3. Keep the overall mileage as similar as possible to the current PCT route. 

As I move towards the Lionshead Fire Closure, one of the major current fire closures on the PCT, I thought it would be important to give the community an update on how I have managed getting around the closures and how my chosen reroutes relate to the PCT route. All of these tracks will be made public when I ultimately complete the journey to Canada. 

Reroute #1. June 8, 2021. Bobcat Fire: mile marker(MM)381 to 403. For this closure I was able to approximately parallel the PCT along Highway 2 with the reroute distance being 17 miles.

Reroute #2. July 10 and 11, 2021. Lionhead Fire: MM2028.1 to ~2048.7. This is the most complicated reroute with many nearby roads and trails closed due to the fire damage. First, at MM2028.1 I will be hiking west to the Pamela Lake Trailhead (3 miles) to be picked up by my crew and shuttled to the other end (north side) of the fire closure. This will be approximately a 3+ hour car ride. Because the Olallie Scenic Area Road (Road ID: 4220) heading towards the Olallie Meadow Campground is closed barring the accessibility of a vehicle to get closer to the end of the Fire closure at ~MM2048.7, I will be hiking into the PCT from Skyline Road via a 3 mile trail just north of Warm Springs River and intersect the PCT at MM2066.0. From there the plan is to run south on the PCT to the end of the fire closure (~MM2048.7) and back up the PCT northbound again to continue my journey to Canada. In doing this I will have run a total of approximately 23 fire route replacement miles. 

It's really important to me that I honor the PCT by covering as much of the full distance of the trail as well as run as much of the trail as possible and practical. I thought it would be important and interesting to share this information so that you know what my plans are to work around the various fire closures. I'm excited to continue to trek onwards; pushing my body to its limits. I will also note that this PCT journey is not finished. I do realize the potential for closures is still high as I cover these remaining miles. In the event of a future closure, I will undertake the same ethos stated above and be fully transparent.


Regarding the Lionshead Fire, here is what the PCTA posted on their website as guidance for thru-hikers:

There’s no walkable detour. Northbounders will need to get off the PCT at the Pamelia Lake Trail in the Mt Jefferson Wilderness and arrange a 150+ mile ride. For easier logistics, you may want to get off earlier at Santiam Pass. Due to the risk of Covid-19 transmission this will be difficult. Hitchhiking and carpooling are not recommended. Getting around the closure will likely mean going through Redmond to the east or Stayton to the west. From Sisters, Oregon, Cascade East Transit runs to Redmond, and from there the Central Oregon Breeze runs to Government Camp, passing the PCT near Frog Lake. These are high-speed highways with little to no shoulder, so again, walking is not recommended. Some people may look to rejoin the PCT at Timothy Lake, (Joe Graham Trailhead on NF-42).