Pacific Crest Trail Campsites

2020 Vision Document Cover with Man on Mountain Side

The Pacific Crest Trail was designated as a National Scenic trail in 1968, after about forty years of proposals, exploration, and hard work. Since then, it has become widely recognized for its opportunities to see some of the most beautiful natural areas in the U.S., and many feel that it is among the best hiking opportunities in the world. The trail winds from the southern border of Canada to the northern border of Mexico, through five national parks and many other areas famed for their natural beauty. In the last few years, the PCT has been visited by a quickly increasing number of hikers. Without careful management of trail and campsite use, this density of usage could be incredibly harmful to the areas that make the hiking experience so meaningful. In this study, Dr. Jeffrey L. Marion and Dr. Jeremy Wimpey will be conduct research to identify usage that is damaging to these important ecosystems, as well as the trail itself, and how managers and visitors can adjust their practices to limit degradation. Their research will be used in presentations and trainings for land managers, and will be available for public knowledge through publication in several journals. Ultimately this study will serve to protect the important landscapes that hikers are able to enjoy during their experience on the Pacific Crest Trail.

Sustainable Camping Research for the Pacific Crest Trail: Preliminary Findings from Fieldwork

Jeffrey Marion (PhD), U.S. Geological Survey,, 540-231-6604

Jeremy Wimpey (PhD), Applied Trails Research,, 443-629-2630

Johanna Arredondo (M.S.), Fletcher Meadema (M.S.), & Mitch Rosen