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PCT Hiker Migration

2010 Hiker Migration

The above chart shows the estimated distribution of PCT thru-hikers that left the Mexican Border in 2010.  An estimated 40% of thru-hikers left the border before the Kick-Off event in 2010. 

PCT Migration Mile 0

The above chart shows the distribution of the starting dates for about 500 PCT thru-hikers (7 day moving average) for the year 2009.  The largest surge of hikers was on April 24, 25 and 26, which corresponds to the Annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kick Off (ADZPCTKO). PCT Migration Mile 403

The above chart shows the distribution of PCT thru-hikers passing through the Three Points trailhead (Mile Marker 403).  The Three Points trailhead is located between Wrightwood (Mile Marker 364) and Agua Dulce (Mile Marker 454).  25 to 30 PCT thru-hikers per day were recorded passing through Three Points during peak times.  The majority of thru-hikers pass through Three Points within a two week window.   One may assume that the majority of hikers also pass through the towns of Wrightwood and Agua Dulce in approximately the same period.   It is estimated that half of the PCT thru-hikers have passed this point on or around May 21.

PCT Oasis Cache Mile 471

The above chart shows the distribution of PCT thru-hikers passing through the Oasis Cache (Mile Marker 471) near dirt road 6N09.  The Oasis Cache is located about seven miles south of San Francisquito Canyon Rd.  This data suggests that the PCT thru-hikers are still tightly grouped as they progress northward.  It is estimated that half of the PCT thru-hikers have passed this point on or about May 26.  *Data for days May 8 through May 17 were estimated.

 

PCT HikerTown (Mile 518) 2009

The above chart shows the distribution of PCT thru-hikers passing through HikerTown Hostel, (Mile Marker 518).  HikerTown is located on the northeast corner of the Highway 138 trailhead.  This data suggests that the PCT thru-hikers are still tightly grouped as they progress northward.  It is estimated that about half of the PCT thru-hikers have passed this point on or about May 31.

Skykomish Mile Marker 2476

The above chart shows the distribution of PCT thru-hikers passing through mile marker 2476 near Skykomish, Washington***.   This data suggests that thru-hikers have dispersed since leaving southern California.  However the majority of hikers remain in a three week window.  This data agrees very well with the trend represented in the overall migration graphs below.

PCT Migration Mile 2655*

The above chart illustrates the estimated thru-hiker date of completion for the 2009 season. The majority of hikers completed the trail in September and the first week of October.   This data suggests that thru-hikers are well distributed throughout the entire state of Washington between mid-August and mid-September.  By the end of September, most of the remaining thru-hikers are in Northern Washington.  An astonishing 25 thru-hikers (+1 section hiker) were reported on the Canadian border on September 19, 2009.  It is estimated that about 10 thru-hikers complete the trail during typical peak days.

 

09 Migration Average

The above chart** shows the location of PCT thru-hikers passing through different mile markers along the trail at different times during the 2009 hiking season according to the seven day moving average data.   The beginning of the wave was determined by the date when 25% of the PCT thru-hikers past that specified mile marker.  The ending of the wave was determined by the date when 75% of the PCT thru-hikers past that specified mile marker.  A linear regression analysis was conducted to estimate the date and location of PCT thru-hikers between known data points.  The seven day moving average data suggests that the PCT thru-hikers are still tightly grouped as they progress northward. 

09 Migration

The above chart shows the location of PCT thru-hikers passing through different mile markers along the trail at different times during the 2009 hiking season according to the reported data in trail registers and trail journals.   The beginning of the wave was determined by the date when 25% of the reported PCT thru-hikers past that specified mile marker.  The ending of the wave was determined by the date when 75% of the reported PCT thru-hikers past that specified mile marker.  A linear regression analysis was conducted to estimate the date and location of PCT thru-hikers between known data points.  The above chart shows that the PCT thru-hikers are still tightly grouped as they progress northward. 

 

2010 PCT Thru Hiker Migration 

The estimated 2010 PCT Hiker Migration is shown above (PDF Available).  These values were estimated based on the 2009 hiking season and may not accurately represent the 2010 season. 

 

2010 PCT Hiker Migration Mile 0

Graph above was created from survey data collected in two days starting on April 2, 2010. The red illustrated in the above graph indicates the last Friday, Saturday and Sunday of April. 

 A survey of 2010 thru-hikers suggested that hikers werre going to be more distributed (see chart above).  In 2009 thru-hikers departed the border tightly grouped around the last weekend of April.  About 50% of hikers departed the border in a one week window between April 21 and April 29 in the year 2009 (see 2009 chart above).  It appears that this season (2010) about 50% of hikers will be departing the border in a two week window between April 19 and May 4.  About 25% of the thru-hikers will depart earlier, between April 5  and  April 19.  Another 25% of the thru-hikers will depart later between May 4 and  May 18.  This survey data suggests that PCT thru-hikers are going to be more evenly distributed along the trail than the previous year.

 

Data collected from 2009 and 2010 Trail Journals and PCT trail registers. Data analyzed using a seven day moving average. **Chart updated February 22, 2010 *** Data provided from Andrea Dinsmore. Raw data is available in the PCT-L archives.

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