*July 2018 update – the Forest Service is working to get the PNT Advisory Council reauthorized for a second term and will update the planning schedule soon and post it here. Please submit questions or comments to

Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail Comprehensive Plan

Q & A: Review Pacific Northwest Trail Questions and Answers (.pdf)

Draft Outline of the PNNST Comprehensive Plan (11/21/2017)

The Forest Service is currently developing the comprehensive plan with input from land  managers, Tribes, local communities, a citizen advisory council, and members of the public.

Questions about the Comprehensive Plan, or opportunities for public involvement? Please contact Matt McGrath.

About the Comprehensive Plan

The National Trails System Act [Sec. 5 (e)] directs the Forest Service to develop a Comprehensive Plan for the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail. The Comprehensive Plan will define the future vision for management and use of the trail, and will describe how the Forest Service will work with public and private partners to provide this trail opportunity for present and future generations.

The Forest Service is responsible for writing the Comprehensive Plan, with input from the agencies that manage land and resources along the trail, the states and communities the trail travels through, trail users, and citizens. Development of the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail Comprehensive Plan kicked off with the first meeting of the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail Advisory Council October 14-15, 2015. The Forest Service is holding a series of public meetings in communities across the trail.

This map shows the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail route as designated by Congress in 2009. You can also explore the Congressionally designated route through this interactive web map.

1980 Feasibility Study

Historic photo of a meeting of the early Steering Committee and Study TeamFrom 1978-80, the Forest Service and the National Park Service jointly studied the Pacific Northwest Trail as a proposed addition to the National Trails System, in accordance with the National Trails System Act [Sec. 5 (c)].

The 1980 Feasibility Study report they produced describes conditions and public opinion along the trail at that time, 35 years ago.

The report analyzed three route alternatives ("most scenic", "least cost", "minimal environmental impact") and included maps of routes suggested by stakeholders and the public, scenic quality, and areas of environmental concern.

Historic photo from the 1980 Report:

Historic photo of the Continental Divide in Glacier