Longest Hiking Trail

The world’s longest hiking trail is the Pacific Crest Trail. It extends for 2,650 miles. The North Country Trail will stretch for 4,000 miles, but it is not yet complete.

Overview of the Pacific Crest Trail

Also known as the PCT and the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, the site is located at the US Western Seaboard. The last stop at the southern end is at the Californian border with Mexico.

The trail proceeds to the states of Washington, California, Oregon up to British Columbia in Canada. It follows Sierra Nevada’s and the Cascade Region’s highest parts.

The trail’s elevation is 13,153 feet (4,009 m) at the Sierra Nevada Forester Pass. At the Oregon-Washington border it is just above sea level. The world’s longest hiking trail passes through 7 national parks and 25 national forests.


The site was declared a National Scenic Trail in 1968. The idea for the trail was by Clinton C. Clarke back in 1932. Clarke created the Pacific Crest Trail System Conference to design the trail. He also wanted the government to protect the site. For three years (1935 to 1938), the potential trail was worked out.

Trail Route

Majority of the route is through protected wilderness and National Forests. The route goes through scenic nature spots, mountainous terrain and some roads. The trail does not go through “modern” civilization. There is a parallel bicycle route called the Pacific Crest Bicycle Trail (PCBT). It stretches for 2,500 miles. The PCBT and PCT cross about 27 places.

Thru Hiking

Thru hiking refers to people who have finished long distance trails on one trip. The “Triple Crown of hiking” refers to hikers who have completed hikes at the Pacific Crest, Appalachian and the Continental Divide Trails.

Thru hiking through any of these trails may take four to six months. It goes without saying that preparation and physical fitness are required. It has been estimated that 180 out of 300 people complete
the hike annually.

Thru hiking the Pacific Crest requires planning for 6 to 8 months. The first step is determining which route to take. Majority prefer the Southern Terminus at the Mexico Border. This is just to the north of Manning Park at British Columbia.

If you are going to the world’s longest hiking trail, make sure the resupply points are predetermined. Food, cooking fuel and other supplies can be obtained from post offices or towns nearby.

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