Scenic USA - Washington

Pacific Coast Trail

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Pacific Coast Trail - Silver Beach, Washington

Photos by Monte Dodge
Snowshoeing on the PCT

   Officially designed as a scenic trail by U.S. Congress in 1968, the 2650 mile Pacific Coast Trail was finally dedicated in 1993. The route was first explored in the 1930s, and eventually blazed from border to border by hundreds of dedicated hikers. Winding through California, Oregon and Washington, the Pacific Coast Trail crosses all but a few of the North American ecozones. Thousands of hikers and equestrians enjoy this national treasure every year, plodding through the arid climates of the Mojave Desert to the contrasting heights of Forester Pass (13,200) in the Sierra Nevada Range.
   Monte and his fellow hikers stretch the envelope and ask daringly, "Why think of the Pacific Coast Trail as a summer hiking trail?" Mount Rainer from the PCT With a good tent, ground pad and down sleeping bag, a winter experience on the trail may be the most memorable. The handy tip of taking along a sled affords more than just the essential. Here in Washington, the Pacific Coast Trail crosses Route 12 at White Pass, the land of the William O. Douglas Wilderness, and dozens of alpine lakes.
   Gearing up for the climb in southern Washington, the trail out of the Columbia River Gorge is actually the low point (Bridge of the Gods) on the entire trail. To the north, the trail crosses into British Columbia for hikers to meet up with BCs Route 3.

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