Wide Openness of the Pacific Crest Trail
Many have said–and I agree–that the Appalachian Trail (AT) and Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) are very different challenges. The AT is primarily a deep wilderness immersion experience through the world’s greatest hardwood forest. Meanwhile, the PCT gives the hiker a feast of the wide open vistas and vast expanses of the American West. The AT is beautiful, to be sure, as the hiker is exposed to all four seasons playing themselves out through the length of the Appalachian Mountain Range, terminating in the most beautiful state of all, Maine.
The PCT, however, is especially renowned in the hiking community for its stunning beauty. For some it is the implacable beauty of the desert. Others–many others–fancy the ethereal majesty of the ‘High Sierra’. Still others prefer the rugged bleakness of the nrothern Cascades. But in all cases, the hiker is afforded fabulous yawning vistas, of which Chikamin Ridge (pictured above) is just one.
Bill Walker is the author of Skywalker–Highs and Lows on the Pacific Crest Trail (2010), as well as Skywalker–Close Encounters on the Appalachian Trail (2008) and The Best Way–El Camino de Santiago (2011).