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 Entering the Sierra Early is a choice not a necessity. It creates adversity. The odds of completing a thru-hike are against you. Introducing additional adversity will not improve those odds. Get the facts. 


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Postholer.Com - Resource for Hikers

Topographic Maps

Pacific Crest Trail, Appalachian Trail, Continental Divide Trail, John Muir Trail and many other print and PDF topographic maps for you favorite trail.

Blogs & Journals

This is not vanilla, one size fits all blogging. Keep all the daily details of a hike that you'll really appreciate long after you're off the trail. Integrated maps, guest book, gear list, itinerary, training, geo-location aware, remote update, SPOT integration for your blogs & journals. Create your Journal Now!

Google Trail Maps

Full topographic google trail maps with trail traces and distances. Way points, resupply locations, etc, with many weather and fire overlays. Google trail maps are fully integrated into your journal.

Data Books

The most complete on-line data books available for all the major trails and then some. A planning tool without equal!

Trail Planners

Comprehensive planning. The only dynamic trail planners that knows where and when you'll be there. The complete planner! Create Your Plan

Gear Lists

Hundreds of complete gear lists by those that walked the walk. See what other hikers are doing.

Snow Conditions

Snow conditions for the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail, Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Northwest Trail. Snow pack is not trail snow. Get trail conditions every half mile from November 1st through June 28th. This is the most complete trail snow evaluation to be found anywhere.

Wall Maps (free)

Mega wall maps. These maps print in very large format, from 1x3 feet to 3x12 feet! Free image download.

Elevation Profiles

Elevation profiles that cover the whole trail. These compliment the section elevation profiles found in the data books.

Gear Builder

Create your own gear list! Easy to use for designing your personalized gear list. Descriptions, weight, cost, standard and metric. Integrated in your journal or stand-alone. Have a different gear list for each hike.

Miscellaneous: PCT FAQ :: Current Snow Conditions :: PCT Planning Synopsis :: PCT Resupply Locations :: PCT Stockmen :: Sample Plans :: Trail News :: Join a PCT Trail Crew :: PCT Photo Atlas :: PCT 2017 Snow Notes

  Postholer Trails App: Update your journal on or off-line, complete data book for 9 trails and point forecasts with numerous pre-defined locations.  
  Topographic Maps: Pacific Crest Trail Map :: Appalachian Trail Map :: Colorado Trail Map :: Continental Divide Trail Map  

Postholer Forums - Recent Posts

Re: Trail Planner
frito - Mon, Dec 4, 2017
Unsuccessful in accurately using the slide bar in the Planner. If I move it too far to "relax", it goes crazy and star...

Early Sierra Entry - False Information
postholer - Fri, Dec 1, 2017
Entering the sierra early is a choice not a necessity. It creates adversity. The odds of completing a thru-hike are against you....

PCT Class Of 2018
postholer - Sun, Nov 26, 2017
Well, let's hear for the PCT Class of 2018! Check in let us all know what's going on. If FB is your thing, which it probably i...

The AT Guide Webpage Gone Dark
Swagman1956 - Wed, Nov 8, 2017
Hello everyone, was surfin the web yesterday and noticed that AWOL's The AT Guide website has gone dark. Did the company go bel...

Re: Six Weeks On The PCT 2018
Terminator - Tue, Nov 7, 2017
Depends on when you can go and what type of trail you are looking for. I am either doing the whole trail or perhaps Lone Pine to...

PCT Maps Updated For 2018!!!
postholer - Mon, Nov 6, 2017
The Pacific Crest Trail Pocket Maps are updated for 2018! These are not 40 year old scanned USGS topo maps. This year was a ma...

Six Weeks On The PCT 2018
streety - Mon, Oct 23, 2017
Hello all, The wife has granted me (after months of negotiation) six weeks on the PCT next summer. Can any suggest a good sec...

Planner Destination Suggestions
Swagman1956 - Tue, Oct 17, 2017
Hello to Postholer and thank you for hosting this awesome site. It's a wonderful resource and am immensely grateful for your di...

Re: River Flows: Average Year, 2015 And 2017
postholer - Tue, Oct 10, 2017
The elephant in the room is, you don't know *when* the melt will occur on a seasonal basis. However, using a weather forecast yo...

Re: River Flows: Average Year, 2015 And 2017
gg-man - Mon, Oct 9, 2017
Have you been able to correlate the stream flow with melt rate meaning higher stream flows would show higher rate of melt at poi...

River Flows: Average Year, 2015 And 2017
postholer - Sun, Oct 8, 2017
So, I've been tinkering around with river flow data as it's sorely missing from the postholer site. The objective is to build a ...

Re: Is Any Of New Mexico Hikealble During Nov/dec?
skimaxpower - Mon, Sep 18, 2017
The area around Deming would probably be the best candidate for NM winter hiking. It's the lowest elevation section of the CDT. ...

Postholer Journals - Recent Entrys

Roads All Day Then 3 More TA Hikers
TAT - aandg - Yesterday
I have to get up at 4:30 then decide to write yesterday's notes in the tent as the loud birds have started their morning chorus already. We get up at 6:00, it is a cooler morning maybe because...
Give Me Shelter
CDT - SlowBro - Yesterday
Sleeping out in the open under the stars has a certain romantic appeal, but the romance wears off pretty quickly when it starts to rain. Ditto for wind, bugs, and such. A blanket of snow is no...
Camped At Lee's Ferry Put-In
OTHER - Homework - Thu, Dec 14, 2017
I woke up in my truck shell, took some time to repack gear in the new light of the morning, then headed down the hill into Flagstaff. I stopped by McDonald's for a biscuit sandwich, then arriv...
A Rose By Anyother Name
Entry Image
AT - Swagman1956 - Thu, Dec 14, 2017
I had a rather remarkable encounter during my 2012 AT adventure between New York state and Massachusetts. I normally don’t run with any group, pretty much hike by myself, but for the pas...
102 Days To Go
Entry Image
PCT - KLubs - Wed, Dec 13, 2017
I don't have an agenda for this entry. What was a beautiful day outside, my home kept me in; I went from project to project, pile to pile, moving and cleaning all the while thinking and plann...
Getting Ready
FT - Day-late - Wed, Dec 13, 2017
Well it looks like everything is a go for a Florida Trail Thru hike this winter. I should be starting on the 1st of January, give or take a day. I have all my equipment ready to go and have 3 ...
A Little About Me
PCT - mgundry - Sun, Dec 10, 2017
Hi, I’m Mike and I’m attempting to hike the entire Pacific Crest Trail. I say attempt because that’s all anyone can do. I plan on being successful and completing the entire...
Grand Enchantment Trail
GET - ryandax - Thu, Dec 7, 2017
This spring I will be hiking again. I plan to hike the Grand Enchantment Trail (GET) from Phoenix to Albuquerque. Traversing the Sonoran desert thru the sky islands of the southwest I will hik...
Entry Image
AT - chaseat99 - Thu, Dec 7, 2017
We finished up yesterday pretty early. It started raining shortly afterwards. It wasn't too hard to decide to go back to camp in the RV rather than the plan campsite a mile ahead. especially s...
A Little About Me
PCT - Brody - Fri, Dec 1, 2017
I grew up in Orange County California. The day I graduated high school I packed up my car and moved to Washington State while there a friend of mine introduced me to backpacking. We did a coup...
Flip-flop Complete!
Entry Image
AZT - drewsmith - Thu, Nov 30, 2017
I completed the trail Oct 30 after starting at the Utah state line Oct 4 and hiking south. My trail journal is here:
Got Permit!
Entry Image
PCT - SwampFox6a - Mon, Nov 27, 2017
Got official notice from PCTA that my 2 April 2018 start date was approved! Also weighed out the pack and it is sitting about 14.5 lbs. May do some more adjustments to push downward, but feel...

Blog & Journal Entrys Past/Present

AT photo

Forest cathedral on the way up White Top Mt

Otter - AT - May 27, 2017 - 048 - May 27 - MM 480.9 To Wise Shelter
Today is the kind of day that makes the entire hike worth it. The trail was very tough, but I was rewarded with absolutely stunning views and, at the end of the day...PONIES!
It rained overnight so the tent was wet when I packed up this morning. Tupelo Honey and I left camp at about the same time. Our campsite was next to a pond, but, in the morning light, the pond was so stagnant, I didn't even want to try filtering the water for fear of clogging my filter. Blehh!
The trail was pretty much uphill all morning, but there were plenty of running water sources so no worries there. Within 2-3 hours, I was on White Top Mountain, 2,100 feet higher than I started the day.
I ate some lunch and pressed on, first dropping down into Elk Garden,a nd then climbing back up te shoulder of Mount Rogers (Virginia's highest mountain). I passed a side trail to the summit and opted not to go up because there are no views, and I needed to make time.
I reached Thomas Knob Shelter by 4:30 and sat down to wait for Tupelo to catch up. It was honest too early to stop for the day, but I wanted to consult before I pushed on. I wrote an entry in the shelter register, filtered some water, had a snack, and chatted with an older couple, John and Cheryl, who are section hiking. They are coming southbound right now and gave me some valuable tips about the trail ahead.
After about an hour, I still hadn't seen Tupelo, and I needed to move on if I was going to make the next shelter before dark. I left another entry in the shelter register, letting Tupelo know where I was going, and letting her know we would rejoin next week after dad's birthday.
I did hike on, and the tril became vry rocky as we entered the Grayson Highlands. A previous thru hiker (trail name: "No Name") hiked past and said that this terrain reminded him a lot of the White Mountains in New Hampshire. I successfully made it through a narrow rock tunnel known as "The Fatman Squeeze" so I guess all the recent exercise has paid off!
Rocky trail or not, the views are absolutely incredible, and the Grayson Highlands hosts herds of feral ponies. They are very well socialized to humans (and used to being fed by them), so they will approach hikers very closely, practically begging for food. It's also foaling season so there are quite a few very young ponies running around. The mares are quite protective of them. So, all in all, I kept a respectful distance. This sort of thing will really spoil your hiking day. Seriously, do not stand behind a pony.
I managed to get through the herds of killer ponies unscathed, and, along the way, passed the 500-mile mark on the trail. Amazing!
and No Name and I arrived at Wise Shelter just before dark and just as thunder started rolling through the valley. Managed to get my tent set up (No Name is a hammocker) just before rain started to fall, and the storm was a doozy! At one point, I saw a flash of lightning, counted "One one thou..." and then, CRASH, the thunder broke. Although the thunder and lightning did eventually move on, the rain hung around for several hours. But, in my tent, it didn't really matter much.
I am safe, dry, and warm tonight!

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