Starting the PCT northbound halfway on the trail


Hello, I am beginning to plan a partial PCT hike next year, and I am first figuring out when and where I will start. I would like to start in central California and hike northbound to the border. I hear that snow lingers around into the spring at certain parts of the trail, so I need to find out when I can start so that I won’t be caught in un-hikeable conditions. Sacramento is the major city closest to the area I would like to start. I estimate I will average 15 miles a day. I will leave the trail for up to 2 weeks (very end of of June, beginning of July. Best friend’s getting married, so I gotta be there).

Knowing all of that, does anyone have any idea for how soon I can start on the trail, and what would be a good way to get to the trail from Sacramento?

Thanks for the advice.



Tornado, Snow pack varies widely from year to year. I post a brief snow report on this website each month in the winter. Check back here in two weeks or so. Currently rain and snow amounts are about average. If you start hiking from Interstate 80 (due east of Sacramento) you’ll miss the high Sierra passes (good news) but might hit heavy snow in Oregon (bad news).



I started in Dunsmuir going north the very end of May and the trail was entirely socked in with snowpak through Oregon. After taking 10 days off to attend a wedding, the trail beginning first of July through Washington was clear. Navigation was very difficult.



Thanks for the replies.

bowlegs, where will I find the snow report?

Marti, why was navigation difficult?



Basically, I want to start as far north as I can around the end of April. Can I use historical maps, the one below dated May 2, 2016 for example, to judge what the conditions will possibly be at given times along the trail? If that would be at all reliable, how would I know if the trail is passable? If there’s any of the bold blue, will that mean there is too much snow?