Travel & Pictorial

The Pacific Crest Trail: Hiking America's Wilderness Trail

This pocket-sized gift and souvenir photo book captures the beauty of America's quintessential wilderness hiking trail. From desert California to the Washington-Canada border, the compelling photography of Bart Smith brings the entire 2,650-mile trail to life.

This beautifully illustrated book, officially published with the Pacific Crest Trail Association in a pocket-sized gift and souvenir format, highlights this legendary footpath with more than 170 spectacular contemporary images taken by the foremost hiking photographer in America. Readers can experience the trail as if their boots were on the path--passing by the trail blazes, taking in the surrounding wilderness at scenic overlooks, meeting other hikers at lean-tos or shelters, and freezing at the sight of bear, elk, or other majestic wildlife. 
Designated as one of the first two national scenic trails in 1968, the Pacific Crest Trail is a continuous footpath of more than 2,650 miles--from the Mexican to the Canadian border. It is often called the "wilderness trail" because roughly half of it runs through federal wilderness--25 national forests, six national parks, five state parks, three national monuments, and 48 federal wilderness areas. The trail symbolizes everything there is to love--and protect--in the western United States. This book is perfect for anyone interested in conservation, outdoor recreation, or American history, or for those who dream of one day becoming thru-hikers themselves.

About The Author

Mark Larabee is the associate director of communications and marketing for the Pacific Crest Trail Association and the editor of its quarterly magazine, the PCT Communicator. A nationally recognized journalist, he spent 25 years as a newspaper reporter and editor, most recently for The Oregonian newspaper in Portland, Oregon, where he received the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news in 2007.  He is co-author of the 2016 Rizzoli publication, The Pacific Crest Trail He lives in Portland. 

Bart Smith is the first person to walk all 11 of America's national scenic trails.  His photography has been published in Smithsonian and National Geographic magazines, as well as in five coffee-table books. Bart has now walked and photographed more than 24,000 miles of trails, including each trail represented in this book. His website is

The nonprofit Pacific Crest Trail Association is the only organization dedicated solely to the preservation and protection of the Pacific Crest Trail. Widely recognized as the trail's champion and steward, the Sacramento, California-based PCTA achieves its work through the strength of its partnerships, staff, volunteers, and the rest of the PCT community.

  • Publish Date: April 16, 2019
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Category: Travel - Special Interest - Hikes & Walks
  • Publisher: Rizzoli
  • Trim Size: 7 x 5
  • Pages: 224
  • US Price: $19.95
  • CDN Price: $26.95
  • ISBN: 978-0-8478-6451-5


“Makes me want to grab my pack—and pick up this new book!” 
— Nicholas Kristof, New York Times columnist and bestselling author.

“The most inspiring, gorgeous and hiking-shoe-tugging book.” 
— Angala Ballard, author of A Blistered Kind of Love, Barbara Savage Award Winner

"Best Travel Books of 2016. All you ever wanted to know about this famed 2,650-mile route from Mexico to Canada is tucked inside this official trail book, published in conjunction with the Pacific Crest Trail Association. Learn about the trail’s history through archival photos and documents, and draw out your own route on the included trail map. Fans of Cheryl Strayed's 2012 memoir and #1 New York Times Bestseller, Wild, can delve deeper into that author's experience, too—Strayed herself wrote the foreword.” 
Smithsonian Magazine

"BEST COFFEE TABLE BOOK OF 2016. The only book published with the Pacific Crest Trail Association (which gets a cut of the proceeds), this tome features more than 300 pages of stories, maps, and, of course, photographs. It weighs more than your pack’s base weight, but should you ever set down some roots, it’d look pretty classy on your coffee table.”
— Backpacker Magazine

The Pacific Crest Trail’s history and imaginative power jump from the pages of this new coffee-table book.  ... Larabee and Mann's book,The Pacific Crest Trail: Exploring America’s Wilderness Trail will make you want to get out there. It's not just the prose, which is appropriately awe-stricken. It's not just the history, which is surprisingly fascinating. It's the photos. Filling up many of the book's 10"-by-10" pages, they capture the monumentality of the six national parks and 48 congressionally-designated wilderness areas through which the trail winds in California, Oregon and Washington state. Any nature enthusiast will enjoy the story. And also will be forgiven for skipping it and going straight for the photos."
— The Oregonian

"This gloriously lush and finely written by Mark Larabee and Barney Scout Mann book heads west and looks at the trail made even more famous by Cheryl Strayed in Wild (she contributes the foreword to this book). The only illustrated book officially published with the Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA), THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL explores this legendary footpath with more than 250 spectacular contemporary images, unpublished historical photos and documents from the PCTA archives, and even the official trail map folded into an inside pocket. This inspired book truly makes you want to get up and out to explore the 48 wilderness areas and six national parks along this majestic trail with half of its 2,650 miles running through congressionally-designated dramatic wilderness."
Travel by Entree 

"The Pacific Crest Trail is wily, beautiful and demanding—Now, at long last, the PCT gets the comprehensive biography it deserves. The Pacific Crest Trail: Exploring America’s Wilderness Trail is the painstakingly researched and thoughtful written history of the trail, of the men and women who dreamed it up, expanded it, and continue to fight for it. The book even shines a light on the mysterious Clinton C. Clarke, the elusive PCT visionary. But make no mistake the beautiful photographs are not workplace-friendly; the full-color portraits of arroyos, hidden lakes and mountain crags, will tempt you to quit your job, sell off all your belongings and move to the Pacific Crest Trail."
—Dan White, author of Cactus Eaters: How I lost my Mind-and Almost Found Myself-On the Pacific Crest Trail  

Author Bookshelf: Bart Smith

Author Bookshelf: Mark Larabee