Pacific Crest Trail 1998

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.









3 thoughts on “Pacific Crest Trail 1998

  1. 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.


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