Twig Adventures

Pacific Northwest Trail 2022

(Scroll to the bottom for a links listing of all my daily blogs)

For my 10th long-distance thru-hike, I completed the 1,250 mile PNT, which roughly follows the Canadian border from Glacier National Park in Montana to Cape Alava/Pacific Ocean on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington. This route serves as a northern connector of the PCT and CDT, as it shares a brief part of each trail. The majority of the PNT is through Washington, but it also travels through Idaho and Montana. The conditions on the PNT were quite varied and different from other long hikes I’ve done. Water was plentiful (record high snowpack in 2022), bushwhacking and route-finding was required for parts of the route, and I was in grizzly bear territory for the first quarter of the hike…but still never saw any.

Around 100 people attempt a thru-hike of the PNT each year, most traveling Westbound. I Flip-Flopped from the center near Oroville, which is explained in detail in my daily blogs and a summary post. It can be a pretty lonely trail but there are a fair amount of towns along the way and good support from Trail Angels.

The red line of the PNT

History of the PNT (courtesy of the PNTA webpage): Ron Strickland’s concept of a rain drop’s journey from the Continental Divide to the Pacific Ocean has been around since the early 1970s. He pioneered the route, piecing together trails and roads.  The first thru-hikes, completed in 1977 by Janet Garner and Rex Bakel, proved the route and were documented in Garner’s 1979 Backpacker Magazine cover story.  That same year, the first guide to hiking the PNT was published. In the decades since, hundreds of people have followed, and the route has been refined. Congress designated the PNT as a National Scenic Trail in 2009.

The PNT is divided into 10 sections, traverses 3 National Parks (Glacier NP, North Cascades NP, Olympic NP), 6 Wilderness areas (1/4 of the route) and 7 National Forests. By necessity, the route still involves a lot of road miles to connect these areas. Much is on remote dirt forest service / logging roads. Some PNT hikers will skip/hitch a lot of these road walks but I didn’t find most of them to be all that bad. In total, I only skipped 11 miles of road walking (5 miles out of convenience and 6 miles of busy HWY 20 south of Port Townsend). Despite this, I still ended up walking more miles than the official published distance of the red line, due to the alternates I took.

Here are all my daily blogs and other postings related to the PNT:
PNT Gear List
Pacific Northwest Trail 2022
PNT Pre & The Big Split
PNT Day 1: Oroville…what the flip?
PNT Day 2: Havillah & Bonaparte
PNT Day 3: The Pacific Northwet
PNT Day 4: Republic of Washington for Independence
PNT Day 5: From Frolicking to Frantic
PNT Day 6: Republic One More Time
PNT Day 7: Kettle Crest North
PNT Day 8: Blowdowns & Roads
PNT Day 9: Cowville & Northport
PNT Day 10: Pissed
PNT Day 11: Abercrombie
PNT Day 12: Metaline Falls
PNT Day 13: Bear Grass
PNT Day 14: Ida-fly
PNT Day 15: Lions Head
PNT Days 16 & 17: Parker Ridge & Bonners Ferry
PNT Day 18: Bussard Mountain
PNT Day 19: Rock Candy Mountain
PNT Day 20: The Yaak
PNT Day 21: It Finally Came Out
PNT Days 22 & 23: Eureka!
PNT Day 26: PNT Carwash & Polebridge
PNT Day 27: Kintla Lakes
PNT Day 28: Boulder Pass & Waterton
PNT Day 29: Stoney Indian Pass & Chief Mountain
PNT Day 30: Ptarmigan Tunnel Bonus GNP Day
PNT Days 31 & 32: Intermission \ The Flop
PNT Day 33: The 2nd Half (Begins with a Road Walk)
PNT Day 34: The Pasayten Begins
PNT Day 35: Cathedral Pass Highpoint
PNT Day 36: Blowdowns Blow
PNT Day 37: Just Like a Dream
PNT Day 38: Jackita & Ross Lake
PNT Day 39: Order & Chaos
PNT Day 40: Camp Baldy
PNT Day 41: Mt Baker Hot Springs
PNT Days 42 & 43: Baker Lake & Sedro-Woolley Zero
PNT Day 44: A Classic
PNT Day 45: Sound Views
PNT Days 46 & 47: Walker Paradise
PNT Day 48: The Way Cool Barn
PNT Day 49: On Island Time
PNT Day 50: Port Townsend
PNT Day 51: A Mixed Bag
PNT Day 52: Back to Beautiful Trails
PNT Day 53: Cameron Pass & ONP
PNT Day 54: Hurricane Ridge & Port Angeles
PNT Day 55: Olympic Hot Springs…3rd times a charm
PNT Day 56: Day of Lakes
PNT Day 57: Forks
PNT Day 58: To the Beach
PNT Day 59: Life’s a Beach in the PNW
PNT Day 60: All Good Things…
PNT Bonus Days: Kulshan
PNT Summary and Stats
PNT Route Options
PNT Trail Angels & Trail Magic Recognition
PNT Flip-Flopper’s Guide