Videos Capture the Thru-Hike Experience on the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail

By Eric Wollberg

On the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Trail, thru-hiking season is underway. In celebration, here is a collection of some of our favorite videos about the trail made by PNT thru-hikers. We hope they help inspire you to #findyourtrail in 2018.

This assortment of short clips and feature length films show just how much the PNT has changed over the last decade and how different each hiker’s experience can be. Each film captures a glimpse of the challenges and natural beauty experienced by trekking against the grain of seven different mountain ranges, on a 1,200 mile #crowntocoast adventure.

Andrew Skurka, Pacific Northwest Trail, 2007

Follow adventure athlete Andrew Skurka as he tangles with a classic PNT bushwhack in
this short clip. Skurka shares, “what it’s sometimes like to hike the PNT,” with this video
taken along the Leola Creek Trail–a nearly “lost trail” notorious for being difficult to
follow and choked with fast-growing alder and other dense brush.

Experience the PNT from Jeff Kish on Vimeo.

The joy of thru-hiking and unmatched natural beauty of the Northwest is revealed in
Experience the PNT, a short film created by Jeff Kish. These enchanting images of the
trail were captured during his formative end-to-end journey along the Pacific Northwest
Trail in 2014.

Alex “Money Shot” Maier, A Sense of Direction, 2015

Alex Maier’s feature-length film, A Sense of Direction, captures the camaraderie and
friendship forged hiking the Pacific Northwest Trail from end-to-end. Maier’s interviews
with the group of long-distance backpackers who braved the PNT in 2015 give a sense
of the challenges and rewards hikers face along the trail.

Long walks through wilderness offer ample time for reflection and demand we face
adverse conditions. Filmmaker Julie Hotz’ mesmerizing short, Wandering Thru, pairs
dream-like imagery with her meditation on the hard-earned gifts granted those who
struggle against the grain.

Explore the most inaccessible portions of the trail through the keen eyes of a thru-hiker.
David Zermeno’s carefully and thoroughly documented film is shot in the first-person
perspective without comment. The rugged beauty and solitude found on the PNT are
driven home in Zermeno’s short–its sparse soundtrack lets the sounds of nature of

“Iceberg,” The Yaak, 2017

Like mountain weather, the mood at the onset of a long-distance trip can change suddenly.
Iceberg’s earnest narration expresses the raw excitement, joy, and frustration experienced
during the first hard-felt weeks of a thru-hike, and the help friends and good samaritans
lend along the way.