From Glacier to the Pacific, PNT is one rugged hike, albeit with amenities

You’re not alone if you haven’t heard of the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail before.

It, along with the 807-mile Arizona Trail and the 220-mile New England Trail, are the latest additions to America’s 11 national scenic trails as designated by Congress. The most famous of them all, certainly, is the 2,181-mile Appalachian Trail that runs from Maine to Georgia.

The PNT, as it is known, crosses seven mountain ranges, seven national forests, three states and three national parks as it makes its way from the east side of the Continental Divide to the Pacific Ocean.

You’ll climb a total of more than 205,000 feet – that’s more than eight Mount Everests, measured from base to peak – as you hike from the starting point, about 200 yards inside the Canadian border on the east side of Glacier National Park.

You’ll also descend a total of more than 210,000 feet as you make your way up and down mountainsides to Cape Alava, Washington. That’s similar to the elevation change on the longer-established and better-known Pacific Crest Trail that runs from California to Washington, with one big difference. The Pacific Crest’s elevation change of 420,000 feet happens over 2,650 miles. PNT’s is crammed into less than half that distance.

That’s what you get when you blaze a trail that runs east-west, instead of north-south, in the Western United States.

Read full story…


(Ed. note) Read Meanderthals interview with PNT founder Ron Strickland.


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