Know Before You Go
Start planning your trip with our online guide to the Pacific Northwest Trail
Yours to Explore, Yours to Protect
1200 miles (1900 km) from the Continental Divide to the Pacific Ocean, this trail is yours to explore. This carefully chosen path is high for the views and long on adventure, ranking among the most scenic trails in the world.
The Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail (PNNST) is a continuous, primarily non-motorized route of outstanding recreation opportunity. The trail is primarily used by hikers and equestrians, who enjoy it one day at a time, or as a complete end-to-end adventure.
The PNNST ranks among the most scenic, rugged and wild trails in the world. The trail crosses three National Parks, seven National Forests and seven mountain ranges.
Tips for a Great Trip
- New to the PNT? Start planning your trip with the basic information presented here
- You can also explore each of the trail’s ten sections, and get specific trip-planning and trail conditions info, here
- Planning a thru-hike on the PNT? Read this great explainer, “How to Prepare“ and our thru-hiker FAQs
- Do your part to help protect the PNT — always practice Leave No Trace principles, on and off the trail
- Choose a trip appropriate for your skill level or desire for adventure
- Learn more about the climate and weather along the Pacific Northwest Trail
Today, the PNT offers an experience that may be more challenging and rugged than it will be a generation from now. Until then, making the effort to be fully prepared for an adventure on the PNT is key to having a safe and enjoyable trip.
The weather and climate across the trail corridor can vary greatly by geographic area, elevation, and season. The major mountain ranges of the PNT create rain shadows. This effect creates drier and warmer east sides, that can approach desert-like climates, and much cooler and wetter west sides that include rain forests.
“Against the Grain” is the unofficial slogan of the PNT, with good reason. This rugged, 1,200 mile route climbs over seven mountain ranges and it presents some unique challenges along the way. For those uncomfortable with hazardous situations, there are many trails on the PNT that are accessible to a wide range of visitors.
The Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail travels through many different public and private lands. You can help to protect our natural resources, and the quality of the experience. Respect private property and learn the regulations of the area you are visiting.
The PNT travels through some of our wildest public lands. These special places are home to animals iconic of wilderness, and species found nowhere else. By following the regulations of our National Parks and National Forests, you can help keep wildlife wild and the backcountry safe on the PNT.
Getting to and from the Pacific Northwest Trail is part of the adventure – America’s wildest National Scenic trail is located in some of the most remote mountain ranges of the Northwest and logistics are part of the challenge.
A visit to the undiscovered communities of the Northwest is a fun part of any trip on the PNT. From rugged mountain towns, to historic seaside cities, the diverse communities visited by the trail provide a peek into the lifestyles unique to the Northwest.