Just before 9:30 this morning, after 123 days and 25 minutes of nonstop walking, came the moment I have been anticipating so long: The Canadian border, and the northern end of the Pacific Crest Trail – I made it!!!!!!!!

It took just under four calendar months (May 19 to Sep 18) to hike 2,663 miles from Mexico to Canada this summer, averaging 21.6 miles/day (everything included). From the SoCal desert through the snowy high Sierra, dusty NorCal wilderness, buggy Oregon, and lush Washington, it’s been an incredible journey.

A big THANK YOU to everyone who gave encouragement through comments and emails – they have meant a lot to me! I can’t express how much the support helped, especially through difficult sections.

I am happy to be done; northern Washington was physically and mentally intense. Last night it rained intermittently while I tossed and turned, unable to sleep, and my gear was soaked this morning. My dad met me at the border monument, snapped a few photos, and shepherded me to the Manning Park Lodge where we’re spending the night before driving home tomorrow. It is surreal to return to civilization after so long in the woods.

I will be working at a migratory songbird banding station on Metinic Island, off the coast of Maine, from late September (next week!) to late October; and on a Wedge-billed Woodcreeper tracking project at Tiputini Biodiversity Station, in eastern Ecuador, from January to April, so stay tuned for more adventures.

Meanwhile, I will be doing preliminary research for a possible book about the 2011 PCT season. If you hiked this summer, watch out – I may be calling you soon…

Sorry for the lag in recent updates; I had no cell service for the last eight days. I’ll post an overall summary when I am home and settled. For now, a giant dinner awaits – success is sweet!

33 replies
  1. Julia S
    Julia S says:

    Noah, you must have just posted this and I am excited to be the first to comment! I checked your site earlier today and thought I’d check once again…yeah! Congratulations! What a year to do in it too — so impressive! Rest up now for your next adventure. Take care. I will miss reading about the trail. Thanks for the blog all summer!

  2. Zenobia in Portland
    Zenobia in Portland says:

    What a great idea to have your next adventures lined up so that you don’t have to face a void after this intense experience. And thank goodness that you will be sharing the next adventures as well, so we, your followers, don’t have to deal with that empty void either.

    Hurray for you!

  3. Jeanbb
    Jeanbb says:

    Hey Noah! You did it!…(but then, we all knew you would!) Well, it’s good to know that you have at least a FEW days off!! (Sheeze…no moss under your feet!)

    Thanks for the wonderful commentary on the PCT and beautiful pictures; it was great reading!
    I look forward to your next adventure(s)! CONGRATULATIONS!! Jeanbb

    PS I hope they name that new bridge after you!

  4. Patricia Keene
    Patricia Keene says:

    Yay, Noah!! You made it – congrats! You are headed for my neck of the woods now – Maine! Blessings to you and get some good rest and relaxation before your Maine stint!

  5. Bob and Georgene Bond
    Bob and Georgene Bond says:

    Congratulations, Noah, on such a terrific accomplishment!! We didn’t know about your blog until a few weeks ago. Since then we have thoroughly enjoyed your photos and reading about your adventures. We met you in Maine in 2006 on a field trip when you and Ted Floyd were guides. We missed seeing the woodcock you spied.

    You have a gift for writing and we hope you DO write a book about your PCT trek.

    Best regards, Bob and Georgene Bond

  6. Denise
    Denise says:

    Congratulations, Noah! You made it with your knee surviving! I will miss reading this journey, but look forward to your next. Hope you will give us a rundown on your bird sightings. My best to you.

  7. Diane Strycker
    Diane Strycker says:

    I am so proud of you and so is your entire fan club. I have been on pins and needles, checking your blog several times a day hoping to get this message about your success of getting to Canada. You have a huge fan club and it seems to be growing with every adventure you accomplish. What a huge accomplishment. I bet your parents are relieved as they have been an important link to making this happen. It is a little sad that it is over, but you have no time to think about it as you have something new to look forward. I knew you could do it, even when you had some obstacles, you endured and made it through. You, a through hiker, are now through hiking. Yeah!!!!!
    Be sure to register with the Pacific Crest Trail Association 2600 miler list, and get your certificate.
    Job well done.

  8. Leslie in Canada
    Leslie in Canada says:

    Congrats on completing the PCT. I followed and enjoyed the blog all summer. As a birder, I was envious of all the great birds you saw along the way. I look forward to your posts from Ecuador.

  9. Bob Welch
    Bob Welch says:

    Bravo. As one who did just a smidgeon of what you did, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought about you true thru-hikers and said, “How do they do it?” You’re my hero. Once you rest up, let’s break bread. Quizno’s on me.

  10. Lorene Berger
    Lorene Berger says:

    Congrats, Noah!!
    So glad you made it and are OK. Since we didn’t see anything on your blog for several days, we were worried. Now … rest and celebrate before the next adventure begins.

  11. Pam Otley
    Pam Otley says:

    How wonderful that you finished, Noah! You hiked the entire PCT!! Wow, and on such a difficult snow year. An epic accomplishment, indeed. Thanks for sharing the adventure and providing much entertainment with your tales of the trail and your beautiful pictures! Congratulations!

  12. Judy J
    Judy J says:

    Hooray for you, Noah! I was kind of worried when you hit the North Cascades in September. Rainy Pass can be a bugger. But all is well. It is fun to keep up with you. I shared your Penguin Book with my teenage granddaughters. We can’t wait for the PCT book. Have fun in Maine!

  13. donald falk
    donald falk says:

    oh what a mix of wonder and delight to think of your dad meeting you at the monument, yesterday, just like you predicted back before timothy lake where we met. a few years back richard and i surprised tim after he had to wait a year to complete the pct because of 2008 major snow past rainy pass. i trust the bird work will keep you and inspire you. enjoy maine. but first welcome home. and thanks for much for taking us all along, sincerely don

  14. AnonyMoose
    AnonyMoose says:

    1) Glad you made it!
    2) Glad you didn’t “Spike” your iphone when you entered the end zone.
    3) Glad your dad wasn’t waiting for you where he dropped you off (South end).

    and last, but not least…

    4) Stay away from the “all you can eat” places for a while (Megamunch).

  15. Tony
    Tony says:

    Great work, a real pleasure to follow your incredible adventure. Can wait to read the book!

    Good On Ya!!! And HAVE A GREAT SECOND SUMMER IN ECUADOR! That is epic!


  16. jimc
    jimc says:

    Thanks for sharing your adventure. Ive looked forward to your posts throughout the summer, and and enjoyed hiking vicariously with you through familiar and new landscapes. You have earned something that no one can take away-well done!

  17. Margie Paris
    Margie Paris says:

    After reading your blog raptly all summer, I’m both relieved and sorry to see this project come to an end. Congratulations! Hiking nearly 2700 miles along the PCT is a huge accomplishment. I look forward to reading about your work and experiences in Maine and then in Ecuador. Please keep on blogging! Yours is a blog that I look forward to every day.

  18. Lake
    Lake says:

    I was inspired by your journey and am thrilled by the completion of the trail, yet saddened the blog and adventure are over. Would love to be one of the first to buy your book. Take extra special care.

  19. Dorothy Abelson
    Dorothy Abelson says:

    Congratulations! It has been a delightful treat to experience your journey. Your blog was so well done, with the daily narrative and photo providing a great insight into the reality of hiking 20 plus miles daily for four months, with all the various ups and downs. Thanks so much for allowing us to share.
    Larry Wibbenmeyer
    Dorothy Abelson

  20. Tim R
    Tim R says:

    Woo-hoooooooooooooo! Most excellent Mr. Noah. May all your new adventures be exciting, fun and full of great memories.

    Happy trails,

  21. Matt Wibbenmeyer
    Matt Wibbenmeyer says:

    Noah – Congratulations on making it the whole way, and good luck on your next adventures. Following your trip this summer has been quite the inspiration.


  22. Wally Oliver
    Wally Oliver says:

    Noah-Congratulation!!! You are a walking animal! I enjoyed having a beer with you at VVR when we were waiting for Krista(Skipper). She is a couple weeks behind you! Good luck in your future and great hiking!! Way to out stare that Kitty!!!

  23. Karan and Jim Fairchild
    Karan and Jim Fairchild says:

    Congrats, Noah!!! It was great fun to read about your adventure- all that snow in CA, heat, animals, interesting people…….. we’re really glad you made it okay! Your pictures were beautiful too. Thanks for the fun armchair adventure! See you in December at Corvallis Audubon.

    Karan and Jim

  24. Chris
    Chris says:

    Nice blog dude. I was able to hike on the PCT for a bit this year, but not a thru hike. Thanks for sharing about the adventure. I think Ill thru hike it next year, cause it sounds like you had a blast.

  25. Nina
    Nina says:

    YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Way to GO Noah! I’ve not had the pleasure of personally meeting you, but I look forward to that honor some day soon….perhaps in a birding class.
    You have inspired me to think seriously of hiking the pct through oregon next summer….what a great way to celebrate turning 65.

  26. Lorna Waltz
    Lorna Waltz says:

    Congratulations Noah on completing your PCT hike. It has been an adventure to follow
    your tracks,words and pictures. Come share your adventures with us again…Pendleton Bird Club. Lorna

  27. Rich "Cisco" Combs
    Rich "Cisco" Combs says:

    Hey birdbrain, CONGRATULATIONS! Enjoyed meeting you and hiking together for a few hours. Impressed by your planning, doing it without a stove, actually thinking about your nutrition, and the 137+ species of birds you logged. And it was trail magic to meet your mom and dad when I did. Enjoy your work/adventures this winter. ….Cisco

  28. Michael Fazio
    Michael Fazio says:

    I enjoyed your blog. I am researching for my PCT hike. I was thinking of doing just Oregon in 2012 due to work, but your blog and pace has inspired me to think of thru hike.

  29. Cricket
    Cricket says:


    Congrats on the hike; just read your article in the Register-Guard….nice! I finished myself on the 24th, and so for quite some time was reading your comments in the registers. I’m now in Eugene for school, so if you’re ever back from those birding adventures, look me up; it’d be great to trade stories from the trail.

    All the best,

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