Section Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: Northern California + More - May 22

John Soares sits down with fellow Mountaineers Books author Philip Kramer, whose guide "Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: Northern California" is now available.
John Soares John Soares
Author, hiker, and blogger
May 11, 2018

Ever thought about backpacking sections of the Pacific Crest Trail in Northern California? Philip Kramer, author of the new book Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail: Northern California (Mountaineers Books, 2018) shares key information in this wide-ranging interview.

Why Does Section Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail Have Such a Mystique?

For me, the mystique of the Pacific Crest Trail has always been wrapped up in the appeal of a prolonged wilderness experience. I’ve always been intrigued by traveling great distances through wild areas that you otherwise wouldn’t see unless you’re on foot and the Pacific Crest Trail provides a lot of that. It’s not all wildernesses, but it offers a way to experience a great and varied western landscape in an intimate way. And perhaps at the heart of the matter is that with any big adventure, there are questions of whether you’ll make it and how it will change you and your perceptions of the world around you.

When Did You First Hike the Pacific Crest Trail?

I thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 2013. I started April 26th and ended October 26th, which is to say I took my time!

Why Is Section Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail Growing in Popularity?

Section hiking has several advantages over thru-hiking (which is not to say that I think one is better than the other!). Most people are living busy lives filled with various responsibilities: children, careers, financial obligations, etc. Finding four months or more to leave those all behind to thru-hike can be difficult. Finding a week, two weeks, or even a month to hike portions of the Pacific Crest Trail over time is substantially easier (though still a feat!). In my mind, this is the single largest reason that section hiking is becoming more common.

What’s Your Favorite Pacific Crest Trail Section in the Sierra Nevada?

I love the northern portions of Yosemite National Park where it meets the Hoover Wilderness. The farther from Tioga Pass Road you get, the fewer people you see. The landscape is challenging and stunning and there are an endless number of side trips one can take to visit distant lakes or nearby peaks.

Interview excerpted from "Section Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in Northern California" by John Soares. Read the full interview on Northern California Hiking Trails

Learn More


Join Philip Kramer and the authors of the other three volumes in the Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail series for a more in-depth discussion at BeWild: Section Hiking the PCT on May 22. The event will be held at The Mountaineers Seattle Program Center.

Get Tickets