The hardest part about planning a hike like this is estimating when you will be at a particular location far in advance.

Setting s schedule for the PCT is a bit different from setting a schedule for the AT.  On the AT, there are shelters and campsites spaced out 8-10 miles on average.  This tends to congregate hikers to stopping at similar spots on most days.  The PCT does have a few (five) shelters and designated campsites (20-ish?) but for the most part, on the PCT you are camping in unimproved areas.  You pretty much just hike until you are tired and look for a place to pitch your tent.  You might find a spot in a quarter of a mile, or might have to hike 4 miles farther to find flat ground without prickly things on it.

Also, predicting what towns you will need to take a rest day (a zero or nearo – “nearly zero”) is easy for some big towns (aka Portland) but not so easy for the small ones, so I have not really planned any zero days other than the excursion to come back for a wedding.  But, I have no idea where I will be when that date hits, so I’m not sure where to pad the extra week or so.  Therefore, I’ll just plan a 2650 mile hike and just say – I need another week somewhere.

Below is the tentative schedule of the major milestones and where I “think” I will be arriving there, but without any provision for zeros or the September wedding, so ignore everything after August.

Date Mile Marker Section Start Point DOW
5/29/2016 0 US/Mexico Border Sun**
5/31/2016 42 Mt. Laguna Tue
6/3/2016 110 Warner Springs Fri
6/6/2016 179 Idyllwild Mon
6/11/2016 274 Big Bear City Sat**
6/15/2016 364 Wrightwood Wed
6/19/2016 454 Agua Dulce Sun**
6/25/2016 567 Highway 58 (California) Sat**
7/1/2016 703 Kennedy Meadows Store Fri
7/4/2016 745 Lone Pine Mon
7/11/2016 877 Vermillion Valley Resort Mon
7/12/2016 907 Reds Meadow Tue
7/14/2016 943 Tuolumne Meadows Thu
7/21/2016 1095 Echo Lake Resort Thu
7/26/2016 1198 Sierra City Tue
7/31/2016 1289 Belden Sun**
8/4/2016 1378 Old Station Thu
8/6/2016 1424 Burney Falls SP Sat**
8/10/2016 1507 Castella Wed
8/17/2016 1662 Seiad Valley Wed
8/21/2016 1727 Ashland Sun**
8/26/2016 1830 Crater Lake (Mazama Village) Fri
8/29/2016 1912 Shelter Cove Resort Mon
9/2/2016 1990 Sisters Fri
9/5/2016 2053 Olallie Lake Mon
9/8/2016 2107 Timberline Lodge Thu
9/10/2016 2155 Cascade Locks Sat**
9/17/2016 2303 White Pass Sat**
9/22/2016 2402 Snoqualmie Pass Thu
9/26/2016 2476 Skykomish Mon
10/1/2016 2574 Stehekin Sat**
10/6/2016 2664 Manning Park Thu


Post Hike Update: I had to start 2 days earlier than the schedule because the 29th was Memorial Day and I would have had to start even later, so I actually flew out a day earlier and started two days earlier, on the 27th.  And even with 9 days off trail for the wedding, I finished 3 days earlier than the October 6th estimate.  I only took three zero days, which is low – I probably should have taken ten or so.  In the end, its pretty amazing that I actually hiked California about a week faster and stayed on this schedule to within about a week the entire time.