Marine Park, 355 Wa Na Pa Street
Stretching for 2,659 miles from the Mexican border to the Canadian border, through the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountains, the Pacific Crest Trail was completed in 1993, with many of its segments leading through designated wilderness areas in California, Oregon, and Washington, not to mention six national parks.
Pacific Crest Trail Days (Aka Pct Days) – USA Festivals Photo Gallery
Along its colossal course, the PCT (as devotees lovingly call it) necessarily intersects highways, backroads, and rivers; it crosses some sixty major mountain passes and dips though nineteen major canyons. But only once does it run into a truly monumental obstacle: the mighty Columbia River. The Outdoors enthusiast check out the vendors at Pacific PCT meets the Columbia at Crest Trail Days.
Cascade Locks and crosses the river on the 1,856-foot-long Bridge of the Gods a few miles downstream from Bonneville Dam.
The bridge is, of course, an essential link in the Pacific Crest Trail and the perfect place to gather in honor of the PCT and everything wilderness represents to the American collective consciousness. So each August, Pacific Crest Trail Days, a three-day festival at Cascade Locks, draws throngs of likeminded outdoor enthusiasts together for an energetic celebration of hiking, camping, backpacking, and other pursuits. Attendees learn about essential skills and get the scoop on the latest outdoor products from a variety of exhibiting sponsors, including some of the biggest names in outdoor recreation alongside innovative small companies. Moreover, PCT Days includes all kinds of fun activities, games, and presentations, along with outstanding local food and beverage vendors, live music, and great deals at the largest gear expo in the country.
With tent-camping available for a modest fee on Thunder Island or by vehicle at the Cascade Locks Marine Park, many attendees stay for the entire event, but day-trippers are equally welcome, and the festival even serves as a special respite for hikers navigating the PCT. Festivities kick off Friday afternoon with the opening of the gear expo (which continues all day Saturday) and with the rollicking evening PCT Days Welcome Party featuring games, trivia, food, drinks, and more, followed by live music (each summer, the event website announces all the activities and details for PCT Days). Saturday delivers a full slate of fun activities and games, with live music capping off the evening—if you’re visiting PCT Days for one day, Saturday it should be. Throughout the day, attendees can buy inexpensive raffle tickets at the PCT Days info booth, and then come evening hope to win great gear prizes in the jubilant PCT Days Gear Raffle at the big stage. All proceeds from raffle ticket sales go to the Pacific Crest Trail Association and the American Long Distance Hiking Association-West.
The final special event occurs Sunday morning, when PCT Days treats Pacific Crest Trail thru-hikers to a free breakfast before they shoulder their packs and hit the trail. PCT Days is the perfect way to bone up on outdoor skills, check out all the latest gear, mingle with outdoor-loving friends old and new, and revel in the words of Edward Abbey: “Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.”
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