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Pacific Crest Trail at Ebbetts Pass

Hiking Trail or Trailhead
Northern Cascades - Pacific Crest Trail – Sean F. Sweeney

Conceived by Clinton C. Clarke in 1932, the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) was designated a National Scenic Trail in 1968. It was constructed through cooperation between the federal government and volunteers organized by the Pacific Crest Trail Association; it was completed in 1993.

The 2,650-mile long trail crosses Highway 4 just east of Ebbetts Pass in Alpine County. While the PCT is best known for its long-distance backpacking opportunities by the infamous thru-hikers, a number of great day hikes are available from the two trailheads at Ebbetts Pass. To the north, the trail follows scenic, rolling terrain about three miles to Upper Kinney Lake, passing smaller Sherrold Lake along the way. Hardier hikers can follow the trail southerly as it enters the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness and climbs about four miles to Noble Lake and beyond, affording spectacular views of Noble Canyon and Highland Peak, as well as a profusion of wildflowers in mid-summer.

Take Note: Long-term parking for day and overnight use is available in the parking lot at the
south trailhead. A limited number of short-term spaces for day users only are available at the
north trailhead. Do not park at the trail crossing.

For local trail information, contact the Alpine County Chamber of Commerce in Markleeville, at (530) 694-2475 or

More about the PCT:

Starting at the California-Mexico border, the trail zigzags its way to Canada through California, Oregon, and Washington, passing through six ecozones and nine mountain ranges along the way. Hikers and equestrian travelers enjoy spectacular alpine scenery and landmarks including the Mojave Desert, Big Bear Lake, Mt. Whitney, Kings Canyon, Yosemite and Lassen Volcanic National Parks, Mt. Shasta, Mt. Hood, Crater Lake, Columbia River Gorge and Mt. Rainier.

Every year, about 300 hearty souls, aka thru-hikers, attempt to hike the entire trail in a single season. Part of the journey and tradition for these PCT thru-hikers is their self-appointed trail name, an alter ego if you will, that cleverly captures a pivotal moment along the trail or their state of mind. Names like Out There, Hilton, Amtrak, Brutus, and Fool have already been used.

Pet Friendly Notes

Pets are allowed on the trail.

Trail Distance

Distances vary from the Ebbetts Pass trailheads. Visit for distances and maps.

Nearby Places