What’s It Like to Hike the Pacific Crest Trail?

If you loved Wild, then you might just love these five titles from Mountaineers Books, too.
Lace Thornberg Lace Thornberg
December 04, 2014

“I didn't know how living outdoors and sleeping on the ground in a tent each night and walking alone through the wilderness all day almost every day had come to feel like my normal life, but it had. It was the idea of not doing it that scared me.”

― Cheryl Strayed, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Hiking the length of an entire state – or two, or three – is a feat not many people will experience firsthand, so getting a taste of that epic journey vicariously is certainly one of the reasons that Cheryl Strayed’s book Wild, and new feature length film, has attracted so many fans. Of course, the book also dives deep into the emotional realm, with Cheryl’s struggle to overcome the loss of her mother and her dissolving marriage, and her escapism through drugs and sex. She is brutally honest, and a terrific writer, all of which adds up to make her journey that much more enticing to follow.   

If you loved Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, then you might just love these titles from Mountaineers Books, too.

I PROMISE NOT TO SUFFER: A Fool for Love Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail by Gail D. Storey

A Houston couple in their fifties decide it’s time to set their comfortable urban lives aside and test themselves on a new path—a 2,663-mile path known as the Pacific Crest Trail, which stretches from Mexico to Canada. This is a light-hearted yet heartfelt memoir about Gail Storey and her husband's adventures and misadventures, deepening marriage, and reflections on being irrevocably changed by life on the trail. Cheryl Strayed herself called it, “witty, wise, and full of heart.”

A LONG TREK HOME: 4,000 Miles by Boot, Raft, and Ski by Erin McKittrick

In June 2007, Erin McKittrick and her husband, Hig, embarked on a 4,000-mile expedition from Seattle to the Aleutian Islands, traveling solely by human power. Their journey is off-trail, following the populated coastline before venturing into even wilder terrain. Their unprecedented trek along the northwestern edge of the Pacific Ocean took them through some of the most rugged landscapes in the world; this book recounts their encounters with rain, wind, blizzards, bears, and their own emotional and spiritual foes.

THE PACIFIC CREST TRAILSIDE READER: Adventure, History, and Legend on the Long-Distance Trail edited by Rees Hughes and Corey Lewis

Exploring the people, places, and history of the Pacific Crest Trail as it ranges more than [[to match up above?]] 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada, The Pacific Crest Trailside Reader brings together short excerpts from classic works of regional writing with boot-tested stories from the trail.

The print versions come in two volumes - Volume 1: California, and Volume 2: Oregon and Washington –while the ebook covers all three states.

A BLISTERED KIND OF LOVE: One Couple’s Trial by Trail by Angela and Duffy Ballard

In alternating chapters a young couple each tells their account of their epic Pacific Crest Trail adventure (a 2,650-plus-mile hike) that deepened their bond -- or did it?

JOURNEY ON THE CREST: Walking 2,600 Miles from Mexico to Canada by Cindy Ross

Cindy Ross had already hiked the 2000-mile length of the Appalachian Trail when, hoping to escape a deadening daily routine and sort out her life, she returned to the wild, to the more rugged Pacific Crest Trail. Ross deftly brings the reader into the physical and emotional landscape of long-distance hiking and her cast of “Crest characters” is sharply drawn in both words and sketches.

Like Wild, these adventure tales from the Pacific Crest Trail and beyond are as much about the inspiring people and their relationships, as they are about the landscape. And, these are just a few of the books we thought you might like. We have dozens and dozens more books about adventurous physical and emotional feats in our collection. With nearly 700 titles in print, Mountaineers Books is certain to have a book – or five – that will resonate with you.

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