Group Buys Land, Prevents Break in Pacific Crest Trail

The Pacific Crest Trail at Stevens Pass is a gateway to some of the most spectacular wilderness in the North Cascades. The Stevens Pass trailhead is also an important PCT access point for millions of people in the Greater Seattle region. Just to the south lies the spectacular Alpine Lakes Wilderness, and to the north are the equally magnificent Henry M. Jackson and Glacier Peak wilderness areas.

In early 2015, the property’s private owner, who had been seeking to sell the land, stated their intention to place a fence across the trail and close the PCT to public access through the parcel. Recognizing the potentially disastrous impact of a trail closure and the threat that development of the property would pose, the Pacific Crest Trail Association, working alongside the U.S. Forest Service, secured an option agreement to purchase the property.

This forgotten easement could have severed the Pacific Crest Trail, which extends from Mexico to Canada along the crests of several mountain ranges, including the Cascades in Washington. Most of the trail weaves through public lands, but about 10 percent of it is owned privately.

The trail was designated as a National Scenic Trail in 1968 and officially declared finished in 1993. Hikers often travel the length of the route in the summer, but it is also popular with day hikers and other recreational users.

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