Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: Oregon
Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: Oregon, by Eli Boschetto, covers the entire 455-mile stretch of the PCT between Donomore Pass on the California–Oregon border to the Bridge of the Gods on the Oregon–Washington border. It is the most comprehensive and up-to-date resource for hiking the Oregon portion of the world-famous, long-distance trail. The state is divided into six trail sections (see below), each of which can be hiked in about one week, and is presented in a manner to make the PCT accessible to a variety of hiking styles and interests. Some sections can be divided even further to accommodate limited hiking time or for shorter weekend outings. Quitting jobs, leaving family and living on peanut butter and beef jerky for six months is not required to get out and create your own PCT adventure.
Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: Oregon features a nearly mile-by-mile guide to the PCT through Oregon, describing nearly every up, down, twist and turn the PCT makes as it winds its way through old-growth forests, over alpine meadows, across desolate lava fields, and around snowy, Cascade peaks. Detailed area info highlights the natural features of every region, from unique geologic formations in the Siskiyou Mountains to prominent wildflowers in the Three Sisters Wilderness. There’s even fun historical trivia about the trail and some of the geographic features seen along the way.
Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: Oregon employs a new section numbering system for ease of trip planning and more convenient access to trail sections. (This numbering system varies slightly from the traditional PCT lettering system; letters are included to help coordinate longer thru-hikes)
♦ Sec. 1: Donomore Pass to Fish Lake
♦ Sec. 2: Fish Lake to Cascade Crest
♦ Sec. 3: Cascade Crest to Willamette Pass
♦ Sec. 4: Willamette Pass to Santiam Pass¹
♦ Sec. 5: Santiam Pass to Timberline Lodge¹
♦ Sec. 6: Timberline Lodge to Bridge of the Gods
¹ Can be split in half for shorter hikes.
Each section of Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: Oregon is packed with tons of information to help you start planning your PCT hike.
♦ Detailed camp-to-camp descriptions
♦ Trail maps and elevation profiles
♦ Locations of reliable water sources
♦ Driving directions to trailheads
♦ Alternate routes and connecting trails
♦ Info on camping and wilderness permits
♦ Near-trail resources and resupply locations
♦ Ranger stations and contact info
♦ Suggested hiking itineraries
♦ Seasonal info, flora and fauna
Even More Resources
Four appendix sections provide a wealth of logistical information to help you put the finishing touches on your PCT hiking plans.
♦ Permit info
♦ Trail maps
♦ Ranger Stations
♦ Contact info
♦ Area lodging
♦ Nearby camping
♦ Dining & refreshments
♦ Grocery stores
♦ Resupply services
♦ Additional resources
About the Author
Eli Boschetto is a seasoned hiker, trail writer and photographer. He spent four years hiking and meticulously researching the Pacific Crest Trail in Oregon in order to develop the most complete and detailed Oregon PCT resource available. Eli has been published in numerous outdoor and Northwest travel publications. He served as a trail correspondent for Backpacker from 2008 to 2013, and as the editor and art director for Washington Trails from 2011 to 2016. Eli lives in Portland, Oregon, and is currently at work on two new hiking guides for the Portland and Mount Hood regions.
Section 3: Cascade Crest to Willamette Pass
The volunteer-maintained water cache at Windigo Pass was removed in 2016, by order of the Forest Service after the site was vandalized. This creates a potentially 17-mile waterless stretch between 6-Horse Spring and Summit Lake. In early season, there may be a standing pond on the ascent to Cowhorn Peak, north of Windigo Pass. Be prepared to carry extra water and dry camp.
Section 5: Santiam Pass to Timberline Lodge
After only the first season, Willamette National Forest has rescinded the permit requirement for Jefferson Park. Campers are still asked to utilize designated campsites whenever possible. When designated sites are not available, visitors should select previously-impacted sites at least 250 feet from water sources. The Forest Service is currently examining a new permit method.
Section 6: Timberline Lodge to Cascade Locks – Eagle Creek Alternate
The popular Eagle Creek alternate trail route from Indian Spring/Wahtum Lake was significantly damaged in the winters of 2016 and 2017, including the destruction of the Tish Creek Bridge, south of Punchbowl Falls. The bridge was replaced in February 2017, and the PCTA has been hard at work clearing the trail of debris. The overlook at Metlako Falls has collapsed and is no longer accessible.