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Outdoors, Leisure and Sports

Pacific Crest Trail Association Postpones 2021 Permits

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Nick Pritchard, courtesy of Pacific Crest Trail Association
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"Descending Mount Whitney"

The nonprofit that helps organize long-distance hiking trips on the Pacific Crest Trail announced on Tuesday that applications for the 2021 permitting cycle will not open as planned this October.

Organizers with the Pacific Crest Trail Association wrote on their website that because of the ongoing pandemic and continuing spread of the coronavirus they’re not opening permits in October. Instead they’ll be monitoring the situation for next year and will reevaluate 2021 permits by mid-January.

They cited the fact that, so far, over 14,000 people have died from COVID-19 in California, Oregon and Washington, and that there have been nearly half-a-million coronavirus cases in the counties the trail passes through on the way from Mexico to Canada.

The non-profit first discouraged travel on the 2,600-mile hiking trail last March as cases of the coronavirus were increasing all along the West Coast. Still, they can’t legally close the trail. That’s because it passes through numerous types of federally managed public lands that don’t have travel restrictions. That’s led some hikers to ignore the advice.