BackCountry Navigator on the Pacific Crest Trail

The Pacific Crest Trail is 2,650 miles of America's most precious treasure located in the Western United States.

The origin of PCT started in the late 1930's when trail pioneers Clinton Clarke and Warren Rogers, after exploring the route, persuaded the US federal government to obtain a border-to-border passageway. It was called Pacific Crest Trail because it covers the high mountain peaks of California, Oregon and Washington.

The scenic trail extends to three states ranging from Mexico to Canada. It uncovers the magnificent views of the desert, the vast glaciers of Sierra Nevada, the breathtaking views of volcanic peaks and the mountains of ice in the Cascade Range. From the diversity of snow-covered mountains, grassy fields to woodlands, the Pacific Crest Trail represents the Western United States' natural treasure – a wealth of nature to behold and protect.

Countless hikers and horse riders prepare each year to embark in hiking and experience nature at its best at Pacific Crest Trail. Some travels a few miles only to see its beauty. However, most thru-hikers aim to complete the 2,650 trail miles. It takes thru-hikers 5 to 6 months to traverse the trail, which means they need to hike a minimum of 20 miles every day.

For hiking fanatics who are planning to cross the PCT, these facts are important before you start to trek:

•       PCT crosses the three deepest lakes in the US: Lake Tahoe at 1,645 feet, Crater Lake at 1,932 feet and Lake Chelan at 1,149 feet.
•       Pacific Crest Trail has five different climate zones, each having exclusive earth's features, plant life and animal life. These territories are Washington, Oregon, Northern California, Central California and Southern California.
•       The Pacific Crest Trail includes 7 national parks, 24 national forests, 33 federally mandated wilderness and 3 national monuments
•        It consists of almost 60 major mountain passes
•       Slides down into 19 major canyons
•       Treks on more than 1,000 mountain lakes
•       PCT traverses the San Andreas Fault three times, a rough distance of 810 miles through California. The world-famous trademark of the San Andreas Fault is the various rocks on both sides formed 28 million years ago.

The Pacific Crest Trail is reasonably well marked for most of its area. However, it is still common for hikers to lose the trail because either it is covered by snow or they encounter an unmarked trail intersection. In these cases, GPS in Android phones is the most useful device to help hikers determine their exact location and direct them to the right trail.

Thru-hikers have calculated that there is 70% network coverage on the Pacific Crest Trail. Lack of GPS signal is not an obstacle.

The GPS capability of Android phones helps hikers to plot a course along the PCT. Because Android GPS phones can store and download waypoints even without network coverage, many hikers equip themselves with BackCountry Navigator app on their Android phones for their planned hikes. The GPS app makes their adventure much easier and safer.

With Android GPS, finding a trail even if it's buried under the snow is simpler compared to the detailed process of a map and compass. Aside from convenience in knowing the exact location, Android GPS also provides the hiker a way to communicate with family and friends through trip sharing.

GPS technology helps people find each other, support each other and share their adventures as it happens.