I have a 2021 PCT Permit

BestHike editor Rick McCharles

I applied online during the first few minutes applications opened for sections 500 miles or longer.

BUT I reckon there’s less than a 50% chance I’ll actually get on the Pacific Crest Trail in 2021:

  • could be cancelled due to COVID, as in 2020
  • travel could be impossible due to COVID
  • forest fires are often an issue
  • might decide travel is unethical in 2021

BUT hope for the best, plan for the worst.

I’m hoping for at least 500 miles.

Starting mile 702 – Kennedy Meadows – starting July 10th heading north towards the Oregon border.

That’s good timing for the John Muir Trail, the best section of the PCT.

http://musashe.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Overview-Map-CA.png

I watched Tim Seymour‘s excellent John Muir Trail northbound video for tips on how to get started on my way up to Whitney.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

BestHike #2 – John Muir Trail, California

John Muir Trail is one of our top 10 hikes in the world.

Click PLAY or watch a 1-minute preview on YouTube.

John Muir Trail

If there’s a hiker’s paradise on earth, it’s the JMT in the Sierra Nevadas.

213 miles without a road. Fantastic weather. 11 high passes. Unbelievable nonstop vistas. And Mt Whitney.

AT A GLANCE

Yosemite map
  • Yosemite, Ansel Adams and John Muir wilderness, Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks
  • start in stunning Yosemite, Muir’s “Range of Light”
  • 223mi (360km) to Whitney Portal adding sidetrips to Half Dome, Vermillion Resort and Mt. Whitney 14,505ft (4,421m)
  • 15-21 days recommended
  • carry your own food and tent
  • JMT about 10% the length of the Pacific Crest Trail

Read more on our John Muir Trail information page.

BestHike #9 – Haute Route in the Alps

The Haute Route, from France to Switzerland, is one of our top 10 hikes in the world.

Click PLAY or watch a 1 minute introduction on YouTube.

Haute Route

Chamonix to Zermatt, Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn – in two weeks of mountain travel you will see the greatest collection of 4000 metre peaks in the Alps!

AT A GLANCE

  • also known as the Walker’s High Route
  • Alpine charm: valleys, lakes, glaciers
  • great food, history, culture
  • from Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Europe (4810m, 15,781ft)
  • to the Matterhorn, the most beautiful peak in the alps
  • 9-15 days
  • 180+kms (112mi)
  • best months June-Sept
  • crosses 11 passes, gains more than 12,000m elevation
  • difficult hiking
Ibex-horns

Read more on our Haute Route information page.

The Salt Path by Raynor Winn

Winn and her husband Moth, who was diagnosed with a terminal illness, became homeless after a bad investment and decided to walk the 630-mile (1,010 km) South West Coast Path. …

In September 2019 it was the number one bestselling book in UK independent bookstores.

An excellent read.

The couple had not hiked for decades. Pretty much everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.

And they survived on an income of about £40 a week.

Amazon

related – Couple walked 630 miles and lived in a tent after bad investment left them homeless

Croatian Long Distance Trail

The Croatian Long Distance Trail (CLDT) was pretty much invented by Nikola (Tesla) Horvat.

Nikola

Croatia shares a maritime border with Italy. The capital city is Zagreb.

As I post the trail is not recommended due to COVID-19 restrictions. Hopefully it will be possible again starting 2021.

  • approximately 2200 km (1400 mi)
  • mountain trails, wild trails, hard rock, forest roads, fields, gravel roads and sometimes asphalt roads
  • mountain huts, hotel, hostel, private accommodation, official campsite
  • many settlements so resupply should not pose a problem

As very few have hiked it yet, you’ll be pleased to hear there is a Guthook Guide. There are some blazes and emblems, as well..

Details on the official website

Why (Do I Hike)

Nikola (Tesla) Horvat hiked the Colorado Trail in 2019 putting together this award winning video

Very philosophical. Nature, Time, Community, Mental Health and Final Chapter.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Nikola Horvat is a successful PCT and Colorado Trail thru-hiker, authorfilmmaker, and founder of the Croatian Long Distance Trail.

He pioneered the CLDT upon returning to Croatia from the PCT in 2016.

He mapped the route himself, authored a guidebook, and founded the Croatian Long Distance Trail Association, of which he is the president.

Two others have thru-hiked the CLDT after him—no foreigners yet, though Second Chance Hiker is on-trail at the moment.

The Trek

Barney (Scout) Mann’s Pacific Crest Trail book

In Journeys North, legendary trail angel, thru hiker, and former PCTA board chair Scout spins compelling tales of hikers on the Pacific Crest Trail in 2007 as they walk from Mexico to Canada.

That year terrible snow storms rocked the Canadian border starting the last days in September.

Barney (Scout) Mann hiked with wife Sandy (Frodo) Mann, and recounts fascinating stories of others they traveled alongside that season.

For me, Blazer was the most interesting.

The book is unusual.  Not your standard step-by-step trail journal.

Instead the time line jumps forward and back along the trail, using PCT anecdotes to illustrate bigger life lessons.

If asked to recommend just one book on the PCT, Journeys North would be it.  The best starting point for a hiker considering it. 

Other excellent and inspiring reads include:

Amazon

Barney Scout Mann has hiked the Appalachian, Pacific Crest, and Continental Divide Trails. He has been board chair of the Pacific Crest Trail Association and is president of the Partnership for the National Trails System. Mann has been recognized with a Lowell Thomas Journalism Award and is the coauthor of The Pacific Crest Trail: Exploring America’s Wilderness Trail and author of The Continental Divide Trail: Exploring America’s Ridgeline Trail. He and his wife, Sandy, live in San Diego and have hosted more than 7,000 PCT hikers. Visit him online at BarneyScoutMann.com.