Our walk from Mexico to Canada through the USA in the summer of 1998
In the summer of 1998, Brian and Martina from Scotland attempted to walk across the United States from the Mexican border to Canada. The route we aimed to follow was the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), which, at 2,600 miles in length, is one of the most magnificent long distance walks in the world.
[Note that this account was written in 1998, and in the intervening 20+ years the trail has changed in some ways;
- it has become much, much more popular
- help for hikers, called ‘trail angels’ have become more common
- the impacts of climate change are more noticeable with forest fires and hot drier conditions
- although for the most part the scenery remains as fine!
Also 1997-8 was an El Nino period characterised by a wet winter and spring and resulting in plentiful water availability, great spring flower displays, and higher amounts of snow lingering into the summer.]
The PCT follows mountain ridges which run parallel to the Pacific coastline from the border of Mexico into Canada through California, Oregon and Washington states. As well as passing through mountain ranges such as the Sierra Nevada and Cascades the route also traverses vast regions of forest and desert. A huge range of climatic conditions were experienced, from the arid Mojave desert in Southern California to the snow covered mountain ranges in Washington and California. The PCT reaches a height of 13,000 feet at Forester Pass in the Sierra Nevada mountains and drops to a low point of 150 feet above sea level as it crosses the Columbia river gorge. Volcano’s dominate the crest throughout northern California and Oregon.
- The first steps, Mexican border to Idyllwild
- Idyllwild to Big Bear City
- Big Bear City to Wrightwood
- Wrightwood to Aqua Dulce
- Aqua Dulce to Tehachapi
- Tehachapi to Walker Pass
- Canadian Border Manning Park
- Stehekin to Stevens Pass
- Stevens Pass to Snoqualmie
- Snoqualmie to White Pass
- White Pass to Cascade Locks Oregon
- Cascade Locks Oregon to Ollalie Lake
- Olallie Lake to Cascade Summit
- Cascade Summit to Crater Lake
- Crater Lake to the Californian border
CENTRAL CALIFORNIA – THE SIERRA
- Beldon to Echo Lake
- Echo Lake to Tuolumne Meadows
- Tuolumne Meadows to Independence
- Independence to Walker Pass (the final stage)
3 thoughts on “Pacific Crest Trail 1998”
Brian & Martina,
I have often wonder how you both fared after we left you off at the border.
It truly was the beginning of the PCT kick-off. I was intrigued by your Pyrenees
hike and hope to make it there myself. My wife and i have just completed our section hike of the California portion of the PCT this last month. That leaves about 350 miles left to do in Washington possibly this year. We enjoyed our hike on the Highland Way about 5 years ago and hope to return to Scotland again.
Congrats on 1998 completion.