The PCT is uphill, or more like up mountain, both ways and just as many miles so why did I decide to start in the south and hike north to Canada?
For a brief and general but none the less thorough reason why someone would choose one way over the other, this page from the Pacific Crest Trail Association gives the best information.
In making my decision, I took into account what the PCTA along with other sites said about the pros and cons of each way but ultimately my choice was a personal one. Last summer in late June of 2014 I did my first bicycle tour, 600 miles in 8 days from Ohio to my grandmother’s cabin in Canada. It was an amazing trip that took me along the cost of Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and across the Saint Lawrence Sea Way, through small villages and major cities with so many things to see and experience.
I’m so glad I did it but riding an average of 75 miles a day meant I had to ride past a lot of things….beautiful beaches, swimming holes in a cool clear stream, fresh delicious fruit from orchards and vineyards as far as you could see, or exploring historical sties from the war of 1812 where American sailing ships won a decisive battle against Great Britain gaining control of Lake Erie and surrounding territories.The point is, in setting such an intence schedule I missed a lot of things. Things I wouldn’t want to miss if I choose to do it again.
Reflecting on that experience, I really wanted to slow down and enjoy things along the way, like setting camp on the highest mountain in the continintal 48 states, climbing to the top of an ancient volcano and swimming in the deepest lake in the US, or just enjoying a few well earned beers at a local brewery.
Hiking the PCT from south to north allows for a longer hiking season and time to “stop and smell the roses” and one in which I can also hike at a enjoyable pace for those of you who want to join me on the trail.