The Pacific Crest Trail, or PCT, is a 2,665 mile backpacking and equestrian trail that runs north and south from Mexico to Canada. The trail used to be essentially just a dotted line that backpackers would more or less follow with the use of a compass and map, as they tried to connect existing trails within California, Oregon and Washington to create one single continuous route from border to border.
What Makes It Great
In recent years, volunteers have gone in and created a specific trail on the ground, and every year, there are hundreds of backpackers who attempt to complete the entire route in one season, although the majority don't make it all the way. Regardless, it's just as possible to enjoy this amazing trail over the course of a few days, rather than only over the course of a thru-hike. In fact, most of the trail's visitors are section hikers coming out to bag a short segment here and there. There are several sections of the trail that one can do along the route, and some of these exist near Los Angeles in the Angeles National Forest. Actually, about 176-miles of the PCT fall within the boundaries of the Angeles National Forest. This section is diverse in terms of both appearance and terrain. The forest is lush and the elevation changes range drastically from around 1,000 feet to about 10,000.
Who is Going to Love It
Whether you're boldly attempting a thru-hike of the entire PCT or just getting out for a weekend, you're definitely going to be impressed with the diversity and beauty of the Angeles National Forest section. Keep in mind that there are sometimes closures due to forest fires and other environmental issues like endangered toad species. In these cases, the trail is detoured. Check with the local Rangers District for the most up to date information on trail closures, etc.