Pacific Crest Trail: A Journey in Photographs cover image

We are very excited to announce pre-orders for our book, Pacific Crest Trail: A Journey in Photographs. The book consists of large, high quality landscape images from our Pacific Crest Trail thru hike. It flows sequentially, beginning at the Mexican border and proceeding north to Canada. Each individual photograph is a piece of art. As a collection, they visually tell the story of the landscapes along the Pacific Crest Trail, from the deserts of Southern California, through the high passes of the Sierras, and into the rain forests and volcanoes of Oregon and Washington. All pre-ordered books will be signed by Chris, and will ship in late February.

Pre-order a signed copy here.

Here is a peek behind the scenes at the work we’ve done to make this book a reality.

Shutterbug edits photos on a cross country train trip
Shutterbug reviews photos on a cross country train trip

Backpacking the 2,660-mile trail with a keen eye for composition, light, and color was of course the first step. Shutterbug reached Canada with 13,000 images from the 5.5 month hike.

The next challenge was to narrow the selection down to roughly a hundred of the best images. To be included, a photograph had to distill the essence of a place, representing a particular section of the trail. This selection process took hundreds of hours.

While Shutterbug edited photos, North Star researched paper types, cover cloths, page sizing, bindings, inks, and printers. We are happy to report that Pacific Crest Trail: A Journey in Photographs will be printed in Minneapolis, MN by Shapco, a highly regarded printer with good environmental practices. The electricity used to produce our book will come from renewable wind energy, the ink is soy-based, and the paper is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

Reviewing paper samples
Comparing paper samples

Concurrently, we were also making many design choices. We flipped through hundreds of art books in libraries and bookstores to spark new ideas for our cover, captions, and overall layout. The MyFonts website helped us compare font options, each of which would lend the book a different feel. We were constantly testing out ideas, and visualizing photos that would be paired on facing pages, in the Adobe Lightroom book module. After wrapping up our design choices, we moved to InDesign for the final layout.

happy holidays in several fonts
Fun with fonts

In January, the color separation and proofing process will begin. By the end of February we’ll get to see the project as a physical book! We hope you are as excited as we are! If you want a signed edition of one of the first books off the press, please visit our pre-order page.


  1. Just ordered mine. I am so excited that your book Is being printed— it will make it easier to share your adventure with others. A BIG. Congratulations.


  2. We need these photographs and others taken on all the national scenic trails to tell us where they were taken, when, and by whom, to become a part of the sequential recording of the trail for posterity and for scientific elucidation, as well as incentives for adventure. Books are obsolete.


    1. Bubba, our blog already includes hundreds of photos from the PCT, complete with detailed location information. Our PCT photo book serves a different purpose. It contains only the absolute best images from the hike, most of which we did not post on the blog. Plus, in today’s world, people are constantly multitasking, especially while online. Our book will encourage the viewer to slow down and focus on each image, the same way backpacking helps one to focus. You are correct that books predominantly containing text are being replaced, but sales of high quality art and photography books continue to rise.


  3. Just ordered mine! I know from the quality of pics on your blog the book will be awesome!

    I’m gearing up for the PCT in 2013 and as a newby backpacker have learned a lot reading your blog, thank you! Have narrowed my backpack search down to either an Osprey Aether 60 or an Atmos 65. Any comment on those? Tent will likely be a FC UL2, as I am 6’1″ and would like more room than a UL1. Most other gear has been purchased. Still trying to decide whether I really need a down jacket considering that I have long underwear, a fleece and rain gear. 4 months from now I’ll be on the PCT!


    1. Thanks for ordering, Dwane! We haven’t tried either of those backpacks, so we can’t comment on them, except that they are both relatively heavy packs. For warmth we each carried a Patagonia Houdini wind jacket and a thin insulated jacket. With jackets, as with all equipment, we recommend testing it on short hikes first to see what works best for you. Good luck on your PCT hike — very exciting!


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