The Pacific Crest Trail
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- Good overview of the trail
- Contains useful address'
- Good info for European hikers too
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Top Customer Reviews
My reservation is with the lack of sufficient elevation information on the maps. They are strip maps of the route and do not contain contour lines. A knowledgeable hiker could use them as the only navigational reference assuming no snow covered terrain, but I would want my own set of topographic maps along, with utm (gps) coordinates. For the great majority of the trail, the route is obvious, but every few days you will encounter an unmarked junction, and every few weeks, one that requires nontrivial effort to make the right choice.
The maps contain a wealth of information in numbered notes. The author does have some gps coordinates in the notes. The maps include an elevation profile. There are elevations for the major high points along the trail, and each strip map has at least one spot marked with the cumulative mileage from Mexico. The schedules in the appendices include daily miles. Good maps are now readily available online, and can be printed out. The author lists these sites in Appendix B.
A note for Europeans. The author mentions in Documentation Requirements that a full U.S.Read more ›
Johnson's book is, understandably, addressed as much to European hikers as Americans. (Cicerone is a UK press.) The first appendix, for example, explains the English system of measurements to those Englishmen who no longer use it. But most of the book will be useful to all hikers. The first 90 pages deal with planning and a big part of the focus is on mental preparation. Since a significant number of hikers quit after the first 100 miles this emphasis is an important one. Most guidebooks in the past focused only on physical preparation and gear. These topics are not neglected, but as Johnson rightly notes, there really is not a lot of physical preparation one can make for long distance backpacking besides long distance backpacking. The traditional gym workouts simply do not prepare muscles for the types of use they see on a trail. Johnson is also to be commended for describing hiking and hikers as they are, not as they ideally should be. Yes, you should treat all water sources. Few do, and so Johnson rightly suggests strategies for mitigating risk. He also reminds prospective hikers that trail angels are in fact volunteers, and while their help should be appreciated, it should not be relied upon or expected.Read more ›
This guide synthesizes all the information and boils it down to what you need to know, all with colorful, intuitive and user-friendly maps. I hiked the trail with only this guide and the Trail Data Book (I did not use Yogi's guide or any phone app). By the 2nd half of the trail, my four hiking companions were asking me first about upcoming terrain and water stops because they knew that, by using those 2 sources of info, I'd have the quickest and most reliable answers.
I don't know the author but he's obviously hiked the PCT a lot. I also met older hikers on the trail who knew and spoke highly of him.
As a bonus, the guide (i) points out great swimming spots, (ii) highlights interesting historical and geological info, and (iii) is relatively small so it can sit in accessible pockets on your pack. I read the entire guide -- closely -- and only found a handful of very minor errors (about the same number of errors found in the Trail Data Book).
My only criticism is that the introductory section is huge and assumes readers have almost no hiking experience.
-"Rem" (trail name)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a very helpful guide to the trail, but it has a major fault. It shows UTM coordinates when the latitude-longitude system is what is provided by most GPS systems. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Swany
Chock full of valuable information! Especially for planning and prep from equipment and what and what not to take.Published 15 months ago by Kelly M. McCastland
I like this book. It gave me the information that I needed to hike one section of the PCT that I haven't done yet. The book has been recently updated. I would recommend it.Published on August 29, 2013 by PCT hiker
Thinking about thru-hiking anywhere? Read this. It's focused on the Pacific Crest Trail but details, the attitude and the wisdom can be applied to any hikes.Published on June 20, 2013 by Russell W. Kiel