Visit the Pacific Crest Trail

Visit the Pacific Crest Trail

Take the Tour

Visit the Pacific Crest Trail

Author: Richard Porter | Photographer: Jake Campbell

 

The Pacific Crest Trail goes from Mexico to Canada. It’s a 2,650 mile off-the-grid path, a physical and psychological behemoth that can take five months to complete.

According to expert hikers the most difficult, and rewarding, segment of the trail — Section K — passes through the North Cascades National Park in Washington State.

Section K of the PCT has a large gain in elevation as it leads hikers into, through, and past the volcanic region known as the Glacier Peak Wilderness.

Here are the basics you need to know before tackling this challenging section of the Pacific Crest Trail.

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1. KNOW THE BACKCOUNTRY BASICS

If you’re considering a hike on the PCT you’re probably already hiking at a moderate to advanced skill level.

Accidents do happen, however, and the wilderness can be unforgiving. Learn first aid. Take a map. Have a device with GPS. Know how filter water and pitch a tent. Research appropriate footwear.

These relatively simple steps can be literal lifesavers as well as much-needed comfort measures in an often inhospitable wilderness.

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2. GET A FREE CAMPING PASS

Campsites along the trail must be set up at least 200 feet away from the trail. Before pitching your tent be sure to get a pass from the National Parks.

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3. ACCESS POINTS

The best place to access Section K is from Stevens Pass on Highway 2. That’s if you’re headed north.

If you’re headed south, you’ll want to start at either Rainy Pass trailhead on HWY 20 (PCT 2588.9). Or, if you’re more experienced, you can hike to Suiattle Pass from the scenic Mountain Loop Highway.

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4. LODGING

Roughing it on the trail under a changing sky is one of life’s pleasures. But so are bubble baths and flutes of champagne.

When you’re done on the trail and ready to head back to warm bed sheets, head to the nearby coastal communities of Seattle NorthCountry. Check out lodging options here.

Planning a trip to Section K? Here’s a free map to help you plan your route.

Enjoy your trip and stay safe out there.

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'SECTION K' MAP

Planning a trip to Section K? Here’s a free map to help you plan your route.

Enjoy your trip and stay safe out there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Journey 6 Map

Driving Directions

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