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How to become a Pacific Crest Trail Angel

 

"Through hikers" heading north on the PCT in central Oregon just north of Crater Lake National Park heading up to the Canadian border.

If you don't want to wait for the inevitable to become an angel, you can sign up right now to be one. Tehachapi has a list of Pacific Crest Trail Angels that you can join. Angels give rides, lodging, and/or information to travelers hiking the 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) that starts on the Mexican border and ends on the Canadian border. The PCT is a National Scenic Trail that follows the pacific crest through the states of California, Oregon, and Washington. It also passes approximately 10 miles east of downtown Tehachapi. The PCT attracts hikers from all over the U.S. and many foreign countries. It has been estimated that over 1/3 of the hikers on the PCT in the Tehachapi area last year came from a country other than the U.S. PCT hikers fall into two major categories: "through hikers" (who attempt to hike the entire PCT in one calendar year) and "section hikers" (many of whom are attempting to hike the entire PCT over two or more calendar years).

The majority of PCT hikers start their hike around April at the Mexican border. The bulk of PCT hikers come through the Tehachapi area between the middle of April and the middle of June. The most requested service a PCT Angel can provide is a ride from the trailheads to town and from town back to one of the two trailheads. The two trailheads are located on Tehachapi/Willow Springs Rd. where it intersects with Cameron Canyon Rd. and at Highway 58 where it intersects with Cameron Canyon Rd. overpass. If you see a PCT hiker walking to one of our supermarkets, motels, airport or the post office, be an Angel, and give them a ride. As an Angel, you can do as little or as much as you like.

Although most hikers are young adults, they range in age from 12 to geezers over 70. PCT hikers often jokingly refer to themselves as "hiker trash" as they can easily be recognized by their somewhat strange attire, their backpacks, and, if they haven't yet had a chance to wash their clothes or shower, by their smell. So why would you want to assist these almost homeless-looking folks? Tehachapi Angels have found these hikers to be some of the most interesting people you could ever meet. Coming from all over they all seem to have a fascinating story to tell. Tehachapi is one of the few towns of any size within a short distance of the PCT and has developed a very positive reputation among these international travelers. Angels and PCT hikers jointly contribute to Tehachapi's economy and its notoriety as a desirable place to live, work, and visit.

Not an organization, Trail Angels are a list of individuals who volunteer to assist PCT hikers. Depending on their capabilities, Angels usually give rides to anywhere from one to four PCT hikers at a time. Angels need to keep in mind that they may need room in their vehicle for backpacks as well as hikers. Most Angels don't host hikers overnight but that is a possibility if one feels comfortable with it. If you are interested in being one of Tehachapi's Trail Angels, please contact Georgette at (661) 822-4371 or Kathi at (661) 855-4101. Your first name and contact phone number would be placed on a list of Angels posted at trailheads and at businesses in town. If you are not available to help a hiker/caller, the PCT hiker is directed to call some other Angel on the list. Don't wait for the Grim Reaper to arrive before you request your Angel wings, do it now!

 
 

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