Pacific Crest Trail Becoming a Trail of the Masses
“A trail of the masses.” Now that’s a loaded term. And the Pacific Crest Trail–isn’t the Appalachian Trail (AT) America’s ‘trail of the masses’?
Yes, the AT is. However that doesn’t mean the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) can’t be one also. The good news is that it rapidly is. Of course part of it has
to do with the phenomenal success of Cheryl Strayed’s PCT memoir, Wild–From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. That is soon to be a Hollywood
movie starring Reese Witherspoon. No telling what kind of hikers will show up on the PCT next year!
But there is more. The PCT is developing the same infrastructure that has long supported the AT–hostels, big Kickoff party, trail magic, renowned hikers, trail memoirs, etc.
It is now as much of a community as a trail, just as the AT long has. No, it will never has as many people as the AT for the simple reason it is much more isolated. But this is all
a very welcome development in a country with a 30% nationwide obesity rate, anxiety and mental illness off the charts, and half its population addicted to technology. These hikers
are in for the journey of their lifetimes. For there is nothing run-of-the-mill about the stunning scenery these mortals will witness on their 2,663 mile treks.
Bill Walker is the author of several popular hiking books including Skywalker–Highs and Lows on the Pacific Crest Trail. He is also the author of Skywalker–Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail, The Best Way–El Camino de
Santiago, and Getting High–The Annapurna Circuit in Nepal.