Dec 9, 2010 at 1:00 am #1266401
Sol looking at my schedule this summer I realized that I have more time off than I thought, to the tune of about 75-80 days, beginning in early june and ending in late august. I am trying to figure out the best trip or trips to maximize this time. I was looking into a JMT/SHR loop in august, but am willing to forgo that for a better 3 month trip. If you guys had the same time period to hike, where would you go? Say 20-25 miles a day, 30 every now and then. I would like to get some distance covered. I was looking into the Appalachian trail, but would hate to finish most, then bail out. Something that can be done in the first two months is probably going to be what I end up doing so I can finish the SHR and JMT.Dec 9, 2010 at 11:29 am #1672620
@brianleLocale: Pacific NW
Rather than the AT, I'd suggest just hiking as much of the PCT as your schedule allows, finish up the rest some other year.
Or cherry pick best parts of it, spending more time perhaps in places like the JMT along the way.
How you might do this depends a bit on when you would be able to start, and how willing you are to try to figure out transportation to be able to jump from spot to spot. If you start with the "herd" on the PCT, I'd speculate that you'll find that you just want to keep going with them, however, and just go as far as you can. I hiked with someone like that for a while in California, a college student who had to leave the trail to get back to school; I think she basically did all of California (about 3/5 of the total trail).Dec 9, 2010 at 11:34 am #1672621
@brianleLocale: Pacific NW
Oops, just re-read and I see the early June start — a little awkward, a late start for a NOBO, and perhaps a little early (?) for a PCT SOBO.
In fact, PCT thru-hikers (NOBOs) tend to be coming through the Sierras (JMT) in June, but jumping in at that point would be a bit weird — they would be in fantastic shape, while you would just be getting started. Perhaps just jump on trail in Mojave or perhaps Agua Dulce, which would give you a feel for some aspects of SoCal, and give you a chance to get your hiker legs before walking into the Sierras.
Obviously there are a ton of other things a person could do with three months (!), so this idea depends very much on how interested you are (or are not) in the sort of "thru-hiker experience".Dec 9, 2010 at 12:08 pm #1672631
Not entirely set on a thru hike, but kinda partial to it. And the only reason I want to stay away from the PCT is I plan on doing the length of it in 2 years after I'm done with school, so I'm looking for those "other things"Dec 9, 2010 at 12:37 pm #1672638
You could check out the Great Divide Trail, I've just heard about it, but it sounds pretty interesting.
I think it would also be fun to heard a bit north in AK or CA and hike from town to town, just wandering around in the beautiful country up there.
WillDec 9, 2010 at 12:52 pm #1672643
@saparisorLocale: Pacific Northwest
How about some/all of the Pacific NW Trail? I haven't done any of it, but it should be an amazing experience. I think Sam Haraldson has done it (think I read about his trip on his blog) and maybe can make some comment about how much could be done within your time frame.Dec 9, 2010 at 3:39 pm #1672695
That was actually one of the trails I was seriously considering. What I wasn't so sure about is it says a lot of it has no trail/the trail is on roads. Not quite sure what to think about that. It would definitely take up the first two months, or at least month and a half. Unfortunately there's not a whole lot of info out there on it. Know any trail journals or such that might help out a little?Dec 9, 2010 at 3:52 pm #1672702
@christownsendLocale: Cairngorms National Park
For the PNT there is plenty of information on the PNT Association messageboard. http://www.pnt.org/trail.html
I hiked the PNT last summer. It took me 75 days. There is some difficult cross-country, difficult route-finding on little- used trails and some road walking but overall it's a superb route. Reports on my hike can be found on the TGO magazine website: http://www.tgomagazine.co.uk/blogs/backpacking-with-chris-townsend
and on my blog: http://www.christownsendoutdoors.com (look at the posts for July, August, September and October).Dec 9, 2010 at 4:25 pm #1672713
@kevperroLocale: Washington State
If it were me I'd probably do California portion of the PCT. There is nothing magical that says you have to do an entire trail. The trail is an artificial construct anyway.
You would take the first month of June to get up to the Sierras, likely hit the high California mountains in July and finish up at whatever point you find yourself come the end of August.
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