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The Pacific Crest Trail 2009

The 2650-mile PCT is the longest purpose built footpath in the world and is in the wilderness with only occasional contact with 'civilisation' so it gives plenty of opportunity naturist hiking. It is a very varied trail starting in the deserts of southern California before entering the alpine region of the High Sierra with the trail crossing 13,000ft passes. This gradually gives way to mainly forested ridges as the PCT passes the towering volcanoes of the Cascade Mountains.

I’d through-hiked the PCT in 2002 and 2006 and was back for a third time in 2009 to check the content of a guidebook of the trail I had written for Cicerone Press.

In April and May, most days, I was able to hike naked for a few hours in the 700 miles of arid hills and mountains of Southern California. I often hiked in a 'breach-clout' (loin cloth) which I could fold up when I was on my own and pull down when meeting other hikers. I was usually able to naked at breaks and when camping.

For a naturist the highlight of this section is the popular Deep Creek hot springs which is possibly the best wilderness hot springs in the USA. Hot springs in the wilderness are traditionally costumes optional and you can expect about half the visitors to follow this tradition.

I reached the Sierra Nevada in unseasonally cold weather, and a combination of snow storms and mosquitoes discouraged nude hiking, although I did manage a couple of hours of naked hiking on Mid-summers Day, America’s unofficial Nude Hiking Day.

The Sierra Nevada is majestic with snow-covered peaks in a lake-studded landscape. The granite of the Sierra Nevada gives way to the volcanic rocks of the Cascade Mountains with a succession of towering volcanoes above the forests of northern California, Oregon and Washington.

I occasionally hiked naked in northern California, Oregon and Washington as I was little reluctant to hike naked on a well-used trail during the holiday season but I was usually able to strip off during breaks and at the multitude of lakes along the trail where skinny-dipping is traditional.

I reached Canada at the beginning of October as the first snows of winter buried the trail.

Although 200-300 through-hikers complete the PCT in a single year, the majority of hikers only attempt a short section each year. A lot of snow falls in these mountains in the winter, but the summer is the dry season and you can expect the long periods of the warm sunny weather appreciated on a naturist holiday.

Please feel free to contact the author at ancientbritbrian@btinternet.com

The author has now had a guide published by Cicerone Press to the 2650-mile Pacific Crest Trail which stretches from the Mexican border to the Canadian border through California, Oregon and Washington. See http://www.cicerone....fic-crest-trail for details.


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