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PNT Thru Hike Planning and Discussion / Re: GDT to PNT thru hike
« Last post by PNTA Staff on Today at 07:17:34 AM »
There have been a couple GDT/PNT continuous thru-hikes.  Swami did PNT to GDT as the start of his 12 long walks.

Not quite the same, but related: in 2016, Quoc Nguyen completed a continuous thru-hike that combined the CDT and GDT, then he returned to Montana and began the PNT westbound, immediately after completing the GDT.   He began the PNT portion on Sept 23rd, and completed the trail on November 14th.  His report of encountering up to four feet of fresh snow at Holman pass was confirmed by late-season PCT nobo hikers who he crossed paths with on the trails' shared tread. 
Here is a good resource for seeing where bikes are currently allowed on the PNT.  On the left, you will see a menu that allows you to scroll down for different use types.  Scroll until you see bicycles.  The green areas are trails where bicycles are permitted by local land managers.  Much of the gray is open to bicycles as well.  As Dylan mentioned, wilderness areas and most of the area within national parks is off limits.
The campsites listed in the book are not all listed on the park website for permits, like the 21 mile site after the Seven Lake Basin.  It is making it a little hard to plan the length of my days.
Call the Wilderness Information Center directly. There are lots of campsites they don't list online.
Because there is no camping permitted at Obstruction Point or Hurricane Ridge, the "old" practical route (including Grand Pass) presents logistical challenges. (One option is to camp at PJ lake, near the Obstruction Point road. But it's a sad pond with no view.)

The "new" practical route (Red route on this mapset) also includes a (downhill) road walk on the well-used-but-often-damaged Whiskey Bend trailhead road. So both options will require some road walking before you reach the Elwha Ranger Station near Altaire campground.

Both options are fantastic, and the Olympics won't disappoint. The "new" red route avoids civilization for longer, which is kinda nice. The "old" blue route provides some of the most scenic ridgeline hiking in the world. You pick.

PS: Bogachiel state park is a short walk from your finish line. It's a good spot to get a hot shower and wait for your pick-up ride. You can also flag down Clallam Transit busses to get you North into Forks.

Most PNT thru hikers delay getting permits because their schedule may change due to weather, injuries, etc. If your dates are set, there's no reason to delay getting permits. This will allow you to get prime camping locations in the High Divide (aka "Seven Lakes Basin") region. I recommend camping at Heart Lake if possible. Note that camping in the High Divide area requires bear cans. Because there's tons of amazing wildlife. Worth the trouble, in my opinion.
PNT Section Hike Planning and Discussion / Re: Section Hiking the Peninsula
« Last post by Evan on Today at 01:37:27 AM »
If you're completely opposed to road walking you should take the primary route down the Elwha River valley. The Grand Pass alternate requires 8 miles of gravel road walking.

You should still consider the Grand Pass alternate. It has some of the best views in the park and the Obstruction Point road is a beautiful road walk with stunning views of the Olympics, Puget Sound, and Mt. Baker if the weather's nice. The Elwha valley won't disappoint, it's one of my favorite spots on the planet, but it's accessible year-round. The Olympic high country in summer is special, and Grand Pass is some of the best it has to offer on-trail.
PNT Thru Hike Planning and Discussion / Re: 2017 PNT Thru-hikers
« Last post by RoadRunner on March 28, 2017, 04:51:57 AM »
I'm planning a thruhike of the PNT 2017. Tentative starting dates between June 26-July 1st, so last week of June, probably? Anyone from the Missoula, MT area that is wanting company up to Chief Mountain Customs (start of the trailhead)? I don't have a vehicle and was wondering if anyone can help with logistics to the trailhead. Any thing helps!
PNT Section Hike Planning and Discussion / Section Hiking the Peninsula
« Last post by Snuffy on March 27, 2017, 10:51:53 PM »
I plan to hike the PNT from basically the Mt.Townsend TH to Bogachiel TH and try to do as little road walking as possible.  I was going to just do the original route but Kish suggested I take the Grand Pass route. Now after studying the book/map I realize I have multiple choices.  My goal is to do as little road walking as possible.  Obviously some is required around the Elwha, but is there any advice on which route would provide less road walking?  I am anxiously awaiting the new 2017 maps for this area.

Also, I know most thrus get their permits when they get to the peninsula or a few days beforehand.  As a section hiker, do you think I can do the same thing or should I try to get them now if I know my dates?  I'm used to the PCT and not having to worry about this!  The campsites listed in the book are not all listed on the park website for permits, like the 21 mile site after the Seven Lake Basin.  It is making it a little hard to plan the length of my days.
Deep snow, avalanches: Late reopening predicted for North Cascades Highway

MAZAMA — The North Cascades Highway may see an historically late reopening this year thanks to a heavy snowpack, cold spring weather and avalanche chutes that are still full.

State Department of Transportation crews assessed the 34-mile stretch of Highway 20 that closes every winter, and discovered areas below Liberty Bell Mountain with 35 to 45 feet of snow on the highway. The three main chutes next to the iconic mountain are still full of snow, making it too dangerous to start the annual chore of clearing the highway between Mazama and Newhalem.

“We’ve only been closed through Memorial Day once in 40 years, but it could happen this year,” DOT’s Twisp maintenance supervisor Don Becker said in a news release.

The only time the highway wasn’t open by June was in 1974 — the newly-built highway’s second winter. Crews opened it on June 14 that year.

Usually, the road is reopened by the first weekend in May, in time for Winthrop’s ‘49er Days celebration. And often it’s open by mid-April, when fishing season starts.

The latest opening in the last 10 years was May 25, 2011.

Last week’s assessment by Department of Transportation avalanche and maintenance workers determined that it could take as long as eight weeks to clear the highway of snow and avalanches.

In addition to the deep snow below Liberty Bell, 4 of the 11 chutes below Cutthroat Ridge had left more than 25 feet of snow on the road. And Whistler — a spot farther west between Washington and Rainy passes that isn’t as snowy — dumped 15 feet on the highway, three times more than crews have seen in the last decade.

Last year, crews started clearing snow on March 17, and reopened the highway on April 22.

This year, they don’t expect to start the process until at least April 10. The highway closed for the winter on Nov. 21, due to avalanches.

Although closed to traffic, the highway is still used for winter recreation. But this year, as the popularity of bicycling on the newly-cleared roadway, and skiing in newly accessible areas grows, the DOT will not be allowing recreationists in from Mondays through Thursdays once clearing begins. There have been too many close calls between highway crews and people recreating on or near the road, the agency says.

People will still be welcome to use the road Fridays through Sundays during the clearing process, but anyone using the area is advised to check for avalanche danger.
PNT Thru Hike Planning and Discussion / Re: Early Start
« Last post by Dylan Carlson on March 24, 2017, 09:01:40 PM »
If you haven't used it already, you should check out the snow data on

Short answer: Right now the rockies are about 120% of normal snowpack. That assessment is based on the snotel data station on Flattop Mountain in GNP.

Leaving in mid-June this year would be passable, but will include getting lost on snow-covered trail. If you're not comfortable with safe snow travel techniques, it can also be very dangerous in case of an uncontrolled slide. A early-July start on the PNT this year would be much more enjoyable. In normal years, a late-June-or-early-July start is advisable. (See the light blue line on the snotel SWE chart. Look at how much snow melts in the month of June!)

FWIW, I started my hike in early June on an average snow year. I wish I had waited two or four weeks.
PNT Thru Hike Planning and Discussion / Early Start
« Last post by jayteemcgarrity on March 24, 2017, 05:48:46 PM »
Hey all,
I am working on planning a thru hike this summer and am trying to sort out how early I could feasibly head out. I would ideally start mid-June in order to finish in time for my return to school. I know the website says thru-hikers traditionally start early July. And I know we have had a heavy winter. For those who know better than I, what is the snow forecast for this summer? How reasonable/enjoyable would a mid-June start be? Or early July for that matter?
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