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Pacific Crest Trail Fest Draws Trail Aficionados

Lovers of the Pacific Crest Trail will gather in Sacramento this month to celebrate the 2,650 mile route through the American West
By Peter Potterfield - March 16th, 2008

In it's biggest gathering of the year, the Pacific Crest Trail Association will host it's Trail Fest event this month in Sacramento. The March 28-30 celebration is expected to draw hundreds of hikers, backpackers, trail maintenance volunteers, equestrians and other trail aficionados to the Wildland Fire Training and & Conference Center in Sacramento for three days of programs and events.

"This is an opportunity for those who have done the trail, or parts of it, or just want to, and those who volunteer to maintain it, to gather and share their enthusiasm for the classic route," said Jennifer Tripp of the Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA).

The Pacific Crest Trail runs from the Mexican border to the Canadian border along the crest of the Sierra and Cascade ranges. Along with the venerable Appalachian Trail, the PCT was designated a National Scenic Trail in 1968. It is generally considered to be one of the three classic long distance hiking routes in the lower 48, the so called Triple Crown of American hikes.

The route traverses 26 national forests, 8 national parks, 4 state parks, 2 BLM management areas and 33 federally mandated wilderness areas. It reaches more than 13,000 feet at Forester Pass in the Sierra, and drops as low as 100 feet at the Columbia River on the Washington-Oregon border.

This month's trail fest will feature a number of events that highlight the unique qualities of the Pacific Crest Trail:

● Mary Chambers, who at 10 years old became the youngest person to through-hike the trail, will speak (she is now 14 years old).

● Arlen Blum, best known for leading an expedition of women climbers on Nepal's Annapurna, will also speak.

In addition to those and other speakers, classes at Trail Fest will cover trail maintenance and volunteering, lightweight backpacking, through-hiking, saftey and first aid, photography, and more. (See a complete schedule of events.)

Trail Fest is put on by the PCTA, formed in 1977, which is dedicated to protect, preserve and promote the long route as an internationally significant resource for the enjoyment of hikers and horse-back users. This year, the event is sponsored by High Sierra Sport Company, Leki, and Waldies.





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