So how long is the Pacific Crest Trail (a question that should be included in the FAQ, but isn’t because nobody asks it).
Well, the “official” length of the trail can fall anywhere between 2,600 and 2,700 depending on your source, but most thru-hikers go with the 2,660 number (that’s miles – see here for metric). This contributes to why it is difficult to hike the “entire” PCT.
As with the official length of the trail, the official name of the trail is also a matter of opinion. Depending on who you ask, you may receive one of many answers, including: The PCT, PCTNST, PCT Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail, Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail No 2000, Pacific Crest Trail System, PCT North, PCT South, US-Canada Border Trail, Canadian Border Trail, Mexican Border Trail, Canada Trail, Mexico Trail, Trail No 2000, PC 2000, PCT NO 2000, PCT Trail 2000, Pacific Crest Tr No 2000, Pacific Crest Trail 2000, Pacific Crest Trail No 2000.
You may also get one of many officially incorrect answers, including The Pacific Rim Trail, The Pacific Coast Trail, The Pacific Coastal Trail and the Pacific Trail.
I would also like to take this opportunity to point out that calling the PCT the PCT Trail is also incorrect. The Pacific Crest Trail Trail? Really? I am saddened to have seen multiple signs with this written.
Sometimes the PCT isn’t even marked and instead you must follow signs for a trail that happens to be a part of the PCT where you are, or signs for the next landmark on the trail (start looking ahead on those maps). This can make it somewhat confusing to novice hikers on the trail in their attempts to travel from one border to another. The following is a collection of signage from the along the PCT to convey the ambiguity and inconsistency in the naming.