I finally got to Annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kick Off at Lake Morena County Park in southern California. It’s 20 miles from the start of the Pacific Crest Trail on the Mexican border.

Great party, though a little intimidating for a first time attendee like myself.

It sold out faster than ever before, 917 in attendance. But word in the campground was that there are fewer hikers starting for Canada in 2013 than in 2012.

click to see larger version on Facebook
click to see larger version on Facebook

The primary focus of the gathering is to help shed those butterflies that inevitably precede a life-altering experience like hiking the PCT by showing you the broad spectrum of strategies that have been successful in the past and those of your fellow 2013 PCTers. …

Events include:

Pacific Crest Trail Short Film Festival

Gear Contest


Silent Auction. Saturday morning you can bid on PCT memorabilia, lightweight gear, and other fun stuff. Proceeds defray the costs of putting on ADZPCTKO.

Meals. Dinner on Friday and Saturday, and breakfast on Saturday and Sunday, are part of the ADZPCTKO tradition.



Who should attend ADZPCTKO?

Our focus has always been on Pacific Crest Trail thru-hikers, and the weekend events are designed primarily for these intrepid hikers. If you:

Are attempting to thru-hike the PCT in 2013, you can get needed permits and we offer seminars, up-to-date information on trail conditions, last-minute equipment checks, an opportunity to get to know your fellow hikers, and plenty of inspiration and guidance from those who’ve gone before.

Are planning a thru-hike attempt in the next few years, you can see (and buy) state of the art equipment from vendors who specialize in ultralight gear for long-distance hikes, learn more about the trail experience and the beautiful country that the PCT traverses, and join the trail community.

Have completed a substantial portion of a thru hike, you can reconnect with others you hiked with, and share your pictures, your knowledge, your joys, and your harrowing experiences with a new generation of hikers.

What’s new for 2013?

Wolverine shakedowns. The PCT Wolverines, recent successful thru hikers, will analyze everything you carry, tell you what you can improve, and what you can send home.

mountain gear

Certainly the best hiking focused event I’ve ever attended. It’s charmingly under-organized. But former thru hikers independently go out of their way to take care of rookies, like myself.

Here is a new hiker getting shuttled north from ADZPCTKO by an Angel (and puppy) to resume his walk to Canada.

Angel shuttle

If you’ve any interest at all in a thru hike, I recommend you attend for information and inspiration.

see more of my photos from ADZPCTKO 2013

related – Trail Days 2013 May 11th to 19th in Damascus, Virginia is something similar celebrating the Appalachian Trail.

related – SoCalHiker’s report on the event

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