The PCT plan, AKA ‘the schedule’

32 days out

A few of my friends and family have indicated they would like to meet up with me on the trail during my Pacific Crest Trail hike this year. So, you will need to know what is what and about what time I expect to be where (rough estimate). Today I was out buying my initial food and packages for my first resupply which I have to mail before I leave Venice.

Right now my apartment here in Venice beach looks something like I imagine what the back room of REI looks like. I have clothes and tents and bags and boxes everywhere mixed in with skateboards and bikes and hammocks and hiking poles and stuff sacks and now even food. I purchased a LOT of food which is currently being delivered from quite literally all over the United States to my parents house in Oregon. I am going to have them send out the resupply packages for California that I will need. And they will also be mailing out my bounce bucket for me. The idea is that I will have all my paper maps in my bucket and will keep mailing it ahead of myself in order to always have all my maps.


Main meal purchases today for first part of the trip (initial ‘supply’ I leave the southern monument with.) and my first resupply at Warner Springs. 

My ‘plan’ for right before I am on trail is as follows:

  • Tuesday April 8th, I mail out my Warner Spring 4 day Resupply.
  • Friday April 11th, my last day of work and my going away party.
  • April 12th, I expect an epic day of soup and watching tv and recovery from my party.
  • April 13th toss my furniture, give it away etc. Have everything ready by this point.  This will be my last ‘real’ night in Venice, I intend to come out and have a couple beers with people but I need to be up bright and early.
  • April 14th pick up my rental SUV, load it up and drive north. (I already have it booked)
  • April 15th-April 20th I will be Oregon putting together my resupply and hanging with my parents and setting up the schedule. They will be sending out my resupply. I also need to mail my Big Bear 5 day resupply before the 19th.
  • April 22nd put away my cotton clothes, get in my hiker-trash gear and start driving south,
  • April 23rd, drop off my Rental SUV and hang out in San Diego in my hiker clothes and have a nice sleep in a very nice Hotel bed and get room service.
  • April 24th, very early I will be on a bus from El Cajon to Campo, I should arrive in Campo and set out about 10am.

So, lets look at roughly where I will be when I am on the trail. Here is my current “optimistic” spreadsheet schedule.  And here is an image of it as well.

Copy of PCT Schedule Tool

If you would like to meet up with me, first check the PCTA map and guidebook section and also note that I am on somewhat of a tight schedule, as it is a race to get to the end before the snows, so it would be better to not do huge sections.  One part that would be good would be the Mammoth -> Tuolumne Meadows section which is just under 40 miles, it is a great spot on the trail and there is an airport in Mammoth and you can get an easy bus from Tuolumne Meadows (it is the high point of Yosemite). The VVR->Mammoth would be another good option as VVR has shuttles and Mammoth has lots of transportation options. In Northern California I truncated a lot of the places from the resupply points list. Which I will be going through a town here and there every couple days in that section and buying food as I go.  I will be ‘around’ Lake Tahoe for 4th of July, which would be pretty awesome. I plan some time off in Ashland Oregon as I used to live there and want to hang out for a bit. Also, I intend to stop for a bit in Cascade Locks, and definitely will be hanging out in Leavenworth WA as I have been there before also. I intend a zero (day when you don’t hike) in Stehekin WA and also hopefully Leavenworth.

I would not suggest meeting me in the Oregon sections as I will be powering through Oregon, that is the flattest/fastest section of trail and I will more than likely be trying to make up time lost in Northern California. Additionally Washington in September could be really dicey depending on the weather (I read a blog by a hiker who referred to is as a ‘washing machine’) and if I am running late (I imagine I will be) I may not want to slow down as at this point I will be a walking machine in incredible shape and able to do some serious miles. However, the ‘Goat rocks wilderness’ is supposed to be one the prettiest sections of the trail.

So, the ‘best’ areas to meet me would be around Mammoth lakes and Yosemite (I won’t mind hanging out there and chilling out, I am bringing a fishing pole during this whole section). And then Northern California around Lake Tahoe is a good area as well as you can get on and off the trail easily, though I would research it because there is some large sections there which go through lava flows so there is sharp and loose rocks everywhere.

If you are really nuts, you can intercept the JMT at some of the lakes after the Whitney summit (not going to miss that) and we can hang and chill, though that is a pretty major time investment on your part.

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