May is the month most thru-hikers begin their quest of the Pacific Crest Trail. I started at the pictured three wooden pillars on May 7, 2007. That picture was taken just before dawn at the Mexican border. Some hikers trek south from Canada to Mexico, but most hike north.
The PCT is a magnificent hike. Much of it takes place along a "crest" with scenic views of the Sierras and other mountain chains. Starting from the south, you begin in flat and dry terrain. The first day, I drank five liters of water as I tramped twenty miles north to reach the next guaranteed water spot.
Another picture shows Crater Lake in Oregon. This exquisite lake (deepest in the US) was formed from the crater of a volcano, and the hump you see in the lake is a volcanic cinder cone.
A highlight of hiking the PCT is the traverse you make of Yosemite National Park. You hike right through it, and, for a while, the PCT actually follows the famed John Muir Trail.
Timing is everything when you plan a PCT thru-hike. If you start too early, to avoid the seasonally increasing temperatures in the southern desert, you will encounter unmelted, impassable snow in the Sierras. Start too late, and you not only have to contend with the arid and dry south, you will be stopped by frigid autumn weather and snow in the northern cascade mountains.
When your planning works, the Pacific Crest Trail is the hike of a lifetime.