Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail

Area Status: Open

The following description is provided by the Pacific Crest Trail Association:

"The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is the jewel in the crown of America's scenic trails, spanning 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada through three western states...
Thousands of hikers and equestrians enjoy this national treasure each year. Some only travel a few miles, while others complete every mile in a single season!

The route was first explored in the late 1930s by teams of young men from the YMCA. Once proven feasible, trail pioneers Clinton Clarke and Warren Rogers lobbied the federal government to secure a border-to-border trail corridor. They had to settle, however, for several disconnected trails along the crest of each state. Largely through the efforts of hikers and equestrians, the PCT was eventually designated one of the first scenic trails in the National Trails System authorized by Congress in 1968, and was dedicated in 1993.

The PCT has five distinct sections, each having unique climate, geology, flora, and fauna. These sections are: Southern California, Central California, Northern California, Oregon, and Washington. A trail description is presented on the following pages in the order of the seasons in which each is at its optimum. The Pacific Crest Trail Association is an excellent source of information for anyone planning a trip on the PCT."

The Pacific Crest Trail Association website has information about the trail as a whole as well as by section, including the Oregon Section that passes through the Willamette National Forest.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: For trail conditions, check with the Pacific Crest Trail Association.
Permit Info: Long-distance PCT hikers and riders who have a Long-Distance Permit (500 miles or more) issued by the Pacific Crest Trail Association do not need Central Cascade Wilderness Permits. All other users of the PCT must obtain a Central Cascade Wilderness Permit, which are required for all overnight use and some day-use in the Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Washington, and Three Sisters Wilderness Areas from June 15 to October 15.
Restrictions: The trail is open to foot and horse (or other pack stock) travel only. Bicycles and motorized vehicles are not permitted. Wilderness regulations apply to all sections traversing designated wilderness areas.
Water: Carry water or a way to purify water
Passes: A valid Recreation Pass is required at many trailheads.

General Information

General Notes:

Campsite reservations in Jefferson Park to begin in Spring 2016

The Pacific Crest Trail generally follows the crest of the Cascade Mountains which marks  the eastern boundary of the Willamette National Forest and the western boundary of our neighbor to the east, the Deschutes National Forest. 

It goes through three of our four travel corridors: the North Santiam, McKenzie, and Middle Fork Travel Corridors.


There are 5 trailhead access points for the PCT on the Willamette National Forest.

Trailheads from north to south:

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
118 miles within Willamette NF section

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