WATCH: 71-Year-Old Hiker Has Powerful Moment After Trekking Entire Length of Pacific Crest Trail

by Craig Garrett
Pacific Crest Trail marker - stock photo

A viral video of a 71-year-old hiker completing the Pacific Crest Trail has amassed over 2 million views after it was shared on Twitter. Pa’at is a veteran hiker. He completed the 2,653-mile Pacific Crest Trail Northern Terminus after walking each step of the way. He began his journey in Campo, CA on the Mexican border. Pa’at finished it at Manning Park, WA on the Canadian border.

The feat is impressive in itself for a hiker of any age. However, it’s capturing the hearts on social media due to Pa’at’s candid, emotional response to completing the trail.

Upon seeing the Pacific Crest Trail’s end, the senior hiker bursts into song. The lyrics, in part, are as follows. “I’ve been waiting… such a long time. Walking such a long way. Such a long way… just to be here, just to be here. Across deserts. I walked through rivers, I climbed mountains, just to see you. Just to see you. I’ve been waiting. Such a long time.”

Seeing the bearded 71-year-old, still wearing his gear as he sings with wonder is really something else. He steps up to the marker and touches it with reverence.

Thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail

Pa’at’s feat can’t be understated. Thru-hiking refers to hikers who complete long-distance trails from beginning to end in a single trip. It typically takes Thru-hikers between four and six months. Obviously, it is quite the commitment that requires both thorough preparation and dedication ahead of time. The Pacific Crest Trail Association estimates that most potential thru-hikers spend an additional six to eight months prepping. This includes planning, training, and getting ready for their trips before they even start hiking. Out of those who attempt it each year, only around 14% manage to successfully finish the hike.

The Pacific Crest Trail is a lengthy hiking and horseback riding path that mainly follows the Cascade and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges. These mountains are east of the Pacific coast, about 100 to 150 miles away from it. The northern end of the route is at the Canada–US border, where it continues unofficially to the Windy Joe Trail within Manning Park in British Columbia; it passes through California, Oregon, and Washington.

The Pacific Crest Trail is a long-distance hiking trail that runs from the Oregon–Washington border to the Sierra Nevada in California. The trail is 2,653 miles long and passes through 25 national forests and 7 national parks. Its midpoint is near Chester, California, where the Sierra and Cascade mountain ranges meet.

The Triple Crown of Hiking in the United States is made up of the Pacific Crest Trail, Appalachian Trail, and Continental Divide Trail. Also, the Pacific Crest Trail forms part of the 6,875-mile Great Western Loop.