Route: Pacific Crest Trail (CA, OR, WA)

Location
California, US
Oregon, US
Washington, US
Distance
2592.6 mi
Vertical Gain
400000 ft
Description

Along with the Continental Divide Trail and the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail is one of the "Big 3" National Scenic Trails. It runs 2655 miles from Mexico to Canada, through the Sonoran & Mojave deserts, and then over the Sierra Nevada and Cascade mountain ranges. The PCT crosses California, Oregon and Washington, and passes through 24 national forests, 7 national parks and 33 wilderness areas.

We report FKTs for trips of various style on the entire PCT, and for particular segments.  And note that previous FKTs on the full PCT have established a tighter standard for the Self-supported style on this route: no vehicle is ever used; the hiker/runner walks to re-supply rather than hitchhiking.

The PCTA or USFS may designate official "Alternate routes" for sections closed for fire or other reasons.  If so, the re-route becomes the official PCT for that season and will count as an FKT.  If the route becomes longer due to a re-route, that must be accepted by the attempter as part of the PCT; there will be no time adjustments.  Going into officially closed sections would invalidate an FKT, even if it normally is an open section of the trail.  Taking any detours not designated also will invalidate an attempt. Fires and re-routes are to be expected, so the attempter is strongly advised to stay up to date on the trail status, as it will likely change during the attempt.

PCT Trail Closures.  Trail Conditions reports.

A few people formerly argued the official/original trail must always be taken, but since closures and re-routes are now common, such a rigorous standard would mean the PCT could often not even be attempted, so our standard of requiring the trail designated for that specific time frame is fair and reasonable.  As always the most important thing is to report exactly what you did in terms of style and route.

Overview map from the PCTA here.  PCTA interactive map here (includes fire layers).  

Note on yo-yos: It appears that in 2007, someone named "Eric D" yo-yoed the PCT in 183 days, according to this report from well-known trail angels Scout and Frodo: https://www.trailjournals.com/journal/entry/210431 We don't have much more information on it so this isn't a verified, official FKT listed on the site, but a male attempt on a yo-yo FKT is encouraged to beat the 183 day time.

GPS Track
PCT.gpx3.15 MB
Images

Comments

Hi, Jupiter here. Just wanting to claim my intentions publicly for this year that I will be attempting to break the self supported yoyo fastest known time on the Pacific Crest Trail set by Eric D in 2007 in a continuous 5,300 miles hike from Mexico to Canada then back to Mexico. Scott Williamson in 2006 completed this feat in 191 days besting his first successful hike, while Eric finished in 183 days just a year after. The later number is my aim. My intention is to do it in the same style Scott has coined over many long hikes in the past, as a backpacker carrying all of my food water and equipment between towns, without vehicle support following me up the trail or meeting me in any fashion, while also walking in and out of all my town stops. Should any of that change, or I deviate from in a subtle way I'll be honest about doing so. I will follow the official route of the PCT the entire way but in the likely event of a closure for fire or otherwise will take an official detour as Joe/Karel did on their supported hikes. I will not be carrying a spot or inreach, which I guess you guys can argue with me later if someone finds my documentation to be lacking, that is ok and this whole thing will just be for me as ultimately I do this because I love to and deeply want to. As for the speed aspect it is also just something I love. I post here to you all out of respect for those who come before me, and paved the way, cracking the code, and solving the puzzle. I'm not the first, and won't be the last but thank dearly everyone who makes this possible, and has inspired me over the years.

As I hike I will update most to instagram, but also will post photos or story to facebook, blog, and youtube whenever I find I have time which should be pretty often. I plan on documenting the journey heavily which will hopefully help later with any sort of verification. If you're interested in following I don't think I'm too difficult to find.

In 2016 I hiked the 4,800 mile Eastern Continental Trail in a very similar style without much vehicle assistance, and even ending with an FKT on the Florida Trail. This yoyo of the PCT is what I dreamt about while out east, culminating in an obsession for the next year, and the deep planning of for the past 9 months.

I start May 10

ps I'd say see you out there Shiggy, but I think that would mean one of our attempts went wrong!! So here goes, goodluck.

Jupiter

"Shiggy" sent the following comment: Hi, I am going to follow Jupiter's example and state my plan on this new website too. As Jupiter I will try FKT for PCT yo-yo in the same style like him. I will start 05/22 and will use Garmin In reach set at 30 min. intervals (limited by battery).Also will take selfies at important points like trail junctions as far from closest road as possible. I will try to ask for emails from fellow hikers but that is not very good. P.S. Jupiter, hope to see you somewhere in Washington!

NOTE:  Shiggy quit after about 1000 miles, having lost too much weight.

Starting June 17th, 2018 I will begin my journey in attempting to beat the current self-supported FKT on the PCT (Northbound) held by Heather "Anish" Anderson. I will be doing it "thru-hiker style" as Scott Williamson laid out in his 2008 FKT - no support crew, *no vehicles, using mail drops, and picking up food and supplies in towns along the way. There are fire closures this year so I will take the the official detours. I will be tracking my trip with a SPOT device and a GPS watch which I will be uploading to Strava. * NOTE Regarding Vehicles: It's my goal to never use a vehicle, however, in the event of an emergency due to illness, injury, or in dire need of food / supplies, I may take a ride in a vehicle. If so, I will then return to the exact same spot I left the trail and continue on. I will set a marker of the location using my SPOT device for when/where I leave the trail and also when I return. I This method is used and accepted durning most ultra-marathons in which there is a high level of risk (i.e. Badwater 135). In the event of a fire closure where no walkable alternative is available (i.e. Eagle Creek Fire Closure) I may need to take a vehicle then. In this instance I will hitchhike or take a shuttle, whichever is recommended by the PCTA. No vehicle will be pre-arranged as I would consider that to be supported.

www.facebook.com/allllwright

www.instagram.com/allllwright

www.strava.com/athletes/allllwright

www.allllwright.com

 

Currious- what are the restrictions on using a food resupply service, such as the Sonora Pass Resupply (paid service that delivers a box to you on the trail at Sonora Pass, where resupply options are otherwise poor)? Would using such a service make your hike no longer "self supported"?

The guiding principle of self supported is that you can use whatever is available to everyone, and that is commonly used. A paid resupply service that is available to anyone would be fine. Paying your friend to bring food for you would not. I think you could get into a gray area if you use some kind of service that isn't commonly used. I could imagine a person getting a food drop by helicopter and claiming that's available to anyone, but to me that's obviously supported. I guess when in doubt find out what Williamson did!

Unfortunately, I most likely won't be attempting the FKT this year. On my way out to the trail I got an appendicitis and needed immediate surgery. It may be too late to start by the time I heal up and get my fitness back. 

Buongiorno a tutti, 

sono qui per avvisare riguardo la mia partenza il 15 giugno e le mie intenzioni nel tentare di battere il record esistenti ora per percorso yo-yo dal Messico al Canada e di nuovo al Messico. Potenzialmente cercherò di battere anche il record “southbound”. Il tutto lo farò in modo “selfsupported” quindi avrò il necessario sempre con me e mi affiderò ad alimentarI o supermercati per i miei rifornimenti di alimentari ed eventualmente acqua qualora non sia disponibile da risorse naturali, fontane pubbliche o simili. 

Nel eventualità di deviazioni dovute ad incendi o qualsiasi altro motivo seguirò là deviazione ufficiale qualsiasi essa sia. Cercherò di documentare tramite Instagram (lorenzofrancosantin) o Facebook ( Lorenzo Franco Santin Photos ) gli avvenimenti e quant’altro io ritenga interessante e/o opportuno.

Lo stile scelto prevede che io raggiunga qualsiasi punto di rifornimento completamente a piedi,pertanto, l’eventuale salita su un auto, mezzo pubblico o simili, bicicletta, skate, e più in generale qualsiasi altro mezzo decreterà l’annullamento immediato del tentativo in corso.

Utilizzerò un dispositivo Garmin InReach è questo sarà il link ( eur-share.inreach.garmin.com/lorenzofrancosantin )tramite la quale sarà possibile seguirmi con aggiornamenti ogni mezz’ora. Di notte o quando starò dormendo spegnerò il dispositivo.

The fabled PCT Long Distance Permit will be back for 2021, after being cancelled in 2020.  If you are interested in the PCT, you really need to apply for this on January 19 (and only January 19!) It is possible to do the PCT with permits for each jurisdiction, but that would total a mind-fuddling 20 permits.

Clay Evan wrote this outstanding article on permitting the 3 US long trails - a must-read for anyone considering the big 3.

Note on yo-yos: It appears that in 2007, someone named "Eric D" yo-yoed the PCT in 183 days, according to this report from well-known trail angels Scout and Frodo: https://www.trailjournals.com/journal/entry/210431 We don't have much more information on it so this isn't a verified, official FKT listed on the site, but a male attempt on a yo-yo FKT is encouraged to beat the 183 day time.



Hello Hiking Community, Running Community, PCT Thru-Hikers, and PCT Community:

This is an update on my family adventure and FKT attempt of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). On June 1, 2021 I started my journey on the PCT with the goal of setting a Fastest Known Time (FKT) with myself and my family. I have long admired the athletes and thru-hikers of this fabled trail and have considered this the challenge of a lifetime (and boy has that lived up to the billing thus far!). 

Although I have been a long time trail and ultrarunner, I consider myself a novice in the thru-hiking world. It is important to me that I maintain the ethics and culture of the hikers before me as I consider myself an honored guest in their world. With that as a backdrop, I want to be transparent about the fire reroutes that I have encountered and what myself and my team have done about the fire reroutes to maintain the integrity of the FKT attempt. 

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.

Happy Running and Hiking to all!

Cheers!

Timothy Olson, Family, and Crew

 

 

 

I really appreciate this thoughtful and honorable statement by Timothy, his family and crew!  Trails continue to evolve, and with climate change western wildfires will become worse - we have to adapt to the current situation, while still being totally fair to those who came before.  I believe they are accomplishing that wonderfully.  Timothy is still on pace - as of yesterday he was 1/2 day ahead of Karel Sabbe's timetable - having to take time to drive around the large closure may push him back a bit.  They are making a very strong effort and I wish them they very best!