Breaking News
More () »

Mother, army veteran completes Pacific Crest Trail hike in record time

The army veteran and mother of three recorded the fastest-known time hiking the Pacific Crest Trail north to south.

SEATTLE — The Pacific Crest Trail is a 2,650-mile trek from the Canadian border down to the California-Mexico border.

"The PCT has roughly 500,000 feet of climbing, which is roughly climbing Mt. Everest 17 times," hiker Jessica Pekari said.

It tests even the best hikers. Only a couple hundred achieve the feat each year and spend an average of five months to complete it.

This year, Yakima Valley native Jessica Pekari did it in just 63 days, seven hours and 31 minutes.

"I would hike anywhere from 16 to 18 hours a day," the mother of three, who grew up in Wapato, said.

Tracked from start to finish, her pace set the women’s fastest known time hiking the trail from north to south.

"My biggest takeaway from the Pacific Crest Trail is it's OK to fail,” Pekari said. “It's OK to have bad days because you don't know what tomorrow is going to be. It taught me to accept my struggles.”

Pekari suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. The Army veteran served two tours in Iraq. However, she said she always found refuge in running.

“This is kind of the same thing except I'm not running. I get to kind of slow down a little bit and process my emotions,” Pekari said.

She set her sights on the famed PCT a decade ago. The hiker took on the terrain in 2020 only to be stopped 1,400 miles in due to California wildfires.

After training nonstop, she finally got back on the trail this summer. Pekari fought through storms and even Hurricane Hillary to complete the solo journey.

Pekari wrote a book about her first experience with the PCT.

Her next adventure is to hike the Colorado Trail, which is a hike through the Rockies.

Before You Leave, Check This Out