Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail



  • Length: 1,200 miles
  • Location: Glacier National Park, MT to Cape Alava, WA
  • Connects the Continental Divide to the Pacific Ocean
  • Founded by Ron Strickland in 1970
  • Congressionally designated a National Scenic Trail in 2009

In the early 1970s, a young, novice hiker had an audacious idea. Ron Strickland decided to create a 1,200-mile footpath across three national parks and seven national forests to link Glacier National Park's alpine meadows with Olympic National Park's wilderness coast. Enchanted by all that magnificent backcountry, he enlisted volunteers, lobbied landowners, and dug dirt. Four decades later in 2009, President Obama made the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail an official part of our national heritage. In this book Ron reveals how he and the volunteers bucked both brush and bureaucracy to establish one of the world's most beautiful trails.

Ron Strickland is a master storyteller whose seven previous oral histories and guidebooks showcase some of our most fascinating regions and people. In Pathfinder he intersperses colorful portraits of memorable trail characters, insider's tips about favorite hikes, and news about the coming Renaissance of hiking. "The adventure," he says, "is just beginning."

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Pacific Northwest Trail Resources

This book will guide you to every campsite, water resource, and resupply point on your trek.

Tim Youngbluth updates his book annually with information from the previous year’s hikers. 

This is an essential planning resource for hikers and long-distance hikers of the Pacific Northwest Trail. The book is chock-full of details about what towns are along the trail, where to re-supply, and the necessary town resources the hiker will need for his/her town stay. Motels, restaurants, grocery stores, best bakeries, brew pubs, and pizza on the trail – it’s all in this handy guide.

Town maps showing the location of critical services are included to help the hiker orient himself/herself in each town.

Written By: Melanie Simmerman 

Grizzly Bears and Razor Clams tells the story of Chris Townsend’s walk along the 1200 mile Pacific Northwest Trail, which runs from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean through the states of Montana, Idaho and Washington. This is a wilderness route which much challenging terrain and remote country inhabited by bears and wolves.

There is a lovely chapter about the Pacific Northwest Trail.  The Vail Daily newspaper listed this book as one of 2014's ten best books. 

“Beautifully illustrated and meticulously detailed, this is every hiker’s dream book. It follows the 11 of America’s historic long-distance trails including the Continental Divide Trail running through Montana to New Mexico. A wonderful coffee table book, Berger and Smith detail specific needs for hikers, while inspiring them with breathtaking photography and flawless storytelling. This is a perfect bucket list for hikers of all ages.”

A digital map to explore the PNT online. 

This 400-page PNT guidebook details the congressional route that volunteers (beginning in 1970) devised over several decades to offer the maximum in scenery and adventure.

This guide is out of print. 

A Sense of Direction: A 1,200 mile walk on the Pacific Northwest Trail 

The full documentary by 2015 thru-hiker Alex Maier, a.k.a Money $hot

The Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail is a life-changing, fun challenge

Hike the Pacific Northwest Trail if you want the best adventure, wildlife, scenery, and memories. 

Exploring the Pacific Northwest Trail: Polebridge, MT to Bonners Ferry, ID

Adventures from our first section hike of the Pacific Northwest Trail, starting near Polebridge, Montana, and ending near Bonners Ferry, Idaho. This video primarily features our voyage across Northwest Peak, near Yaak, MT. What a blast we had!