“The Pacific Crest Trail wasn’t a world to me then. It was an idea, vague and outlandish, full of promise and mystery. Something bloomed inside me as I traced its jagged line with my finger on a map,” writes Cheryl Strayed in the beginning of “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail.”
This Portland author’s book, which tells the moving story of her 1,100-mile solo journey through the mountains of the Pacific Northwest and through her own grief, won the hearts of readers across the nation. Those fans now eagerly await the movie, starring Reese Witherspoon, which will be released in December 2014.
Spanning 2,650 miles between Mexico and Canada, the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) inspires through-hikers and day-trippers alike in the spring and summer months. More than 450 magical, wooded miles of the trail are located in Oregon. The trail passes some of Oregon’s most memorable sites: Crater Lake, an ancient, sunken volcano and the deepest lake in the U.S. (1,943 feet) holds azure waters of an otherworldly beauty. In Central Oregon, the trail winds through the Cascade Mountains and the Three Sisters Wilderness area, offering stunning views of some of Oregon’s dormant volcanoes. The PCT crosses the doorstep of Timberline Lodge, a national historic landmark and well-preserved gem of the Works Progress Administration program of the 1930s. At the end of the Oregon section of the PCT is the Bridge the Gods, a magnificent steel truss cantilever bridge spanning the wind driven waters of the Columbia River.
Create your own Wild trip: For your own trip inspiration, check out our post on day hikes near many of the most memorable spots from Strayed’s book. Consider a variety of outdoor adventures around Cascade Locks in our destination story about that little river town. And follow along as one Portland resident shares her tales of hiking the entire Oregon portion of the Pacific Crest Trail last summer.