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Seeking 'Transformative' Power Of The Pacific Crest Trail More Popular Than Ever

Anna King
Northwest News Network
Case Conover has spent about 140 days hiking the Pacific Crest Trail this summer. He was four days from the Canadian border finish line here at Stehekin, Washington.

More people from across the globe than ever are seeking to transform themselves on the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada. And as fall comes, the through-hiker season is wrapping up.

The book “Wild” and Instagram pictures have inspired increasing numbers seeking change to hit the iconic trail. Case Conover is one. After his relationship ended and his best friend died of brain cancer, he had a realization.

“Just realized I had this window of opportunity, before I get into the next relationship, next career move -- like I should do this,” he said.

Beth Boyst, the Pacific Crest Trail program manager for the U.S. Forest Service, said she hears that a lot.

“Being given the time and space to be outside and to connect with nature is truly a gift for all Americans,” she said.

Last year saw more than 600 finishers. This year’s numbers will come out in winter.

Anna King calls Richland, Washington home and loves unearthing great stories about people in the Northwest. She reports for the Northwest News Network from a studio at Washington State University, Tri-Cities. She covers the Mid-Columbia region, from nuclear reactors to Mexican rodeos.