Pacific Crest Trail Backpacking Expedition

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Mount Shasta, California

Applications for this event now closed.

All adult survivors 18 and older whose loss occurred more than one year ago are invited to join TAPS on the Pacific Crest Trail Backpacking Expedition as we find new purpose, gain radical perspective and remember what it feels like to live with determination. 

TAPS Expeditions are outdoor skills-based events that require dedication, preparation and a real sense of adventure.

TAPS Backpacking Expedition


Connect with the great outdoors and rejuvenate yourself on this backpacking trip on one of the country's best-known trails. The Pacific Crest Trail, a popular spot for adventurers to find peace in the journey, has minimal elevation gain and loss and is perfect for all levels of backpacking experience. 

An expert guide will provide unique insight into the region as we hike through the wilderness of California. Together, we'll experience the remote solitude and beauty that draws so many people to this trail. 

The expedition will be unique and rewarding, while also pushing you physically, mentally and emotionally. You’ll have the chance to gain or hone valuable outdoor skills and kayaking techniques. Read how a TAPS surviving sibling found healing by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.

This expedition is being put together through a partnership with REI Adventures.



Leading up to the expedition, we’ll form a team bond and gain familiarity with each other through a mandatory team meeting via conference call or video chat. During the meeting, we’ll discuss training regimens, gear lists and more. Your team will be a source of encouragement as you prepare for this adventure.

You’ll also have access to the TAPS Expeditions Facebook group, which will include participants from this expedition as well as those from previous expeditions so you can ask questions and learn from their experiences.


Day 1: Our backpacking adventure begins in the morning in Mount Shasta, California, with a trip orientation and gear check. Then, we'll make the trip to the Gumboot Saddle Trailhead to start our hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. As we hike along Gumboot Mountain, we'll be surrounded by tranquil open country. We'll set up camp on the shores of Porcupine Lake, where we'll have a chance to swim in the water or explore the area. Backpacking: 6 miles

Day 2: We'll continue our journey on the PCT toward the beautiful Deadfall Lake. The level trail will allow us to take in stunning mountain views and fully enjoy the beauty of the area. We'll make camp at the lake and cool off with a swim. Our serene location will provide the perfect opportunity to reflect on our journey. Backpacking: 6 miles

Day 3: We'll challenge ourselves a little on our third day with a hike to the summit of Mount Eddy. Once at the summit, we'll enjoy lunch and reflect on what we've accomplished. Then, we'll make our way back to the trailhead to travel back to Mount Shasta. Backpacking: 4 miles

*Note: Please be aware that this itinerary is subject to change due to a number of reasons, including weather and participant skill level.

This schedule is provided by REI Adventures. For a more detailed itinerary, visit


We fully expect your team members to become your family and an ongoing support network long after the TAPS Expedition is complete. You'll be provided with a directory following the expedition to keep in touch with each other.


A $50 deposit will be collected at the time of registration. Thanks to the generosity of our donors and sponsors, TAPS will cover the rest of the trip costs, with the exception of your transportation to and from California, your first night's lodging expenses and some meals.


You will need to cover the cost of your transportation to and from Mount Shasta, California. Please do not make travel arrangements until you receive a notification of your selection or waitlist status. You should plan to arrive in Mount Shasta on Oct. 4.

Your first night's lodging will be on your own, but we will be available to recommend lodging options that fit within your budget. TAPS will cover the costs for all subsequent lodging and meals.


This expedition requires no backpacking experience but does necessitate that you be physically fit and healthy. The expedition will include hiking around six miles a day.

Even if you don't have backpacking experience, if this adventure excites you we encourage you to submit an application. The TAPS Expeditions team will make sure you're prepared and well-informed of the nature of this trip.

To maximize your enjoyment of the trip and to avoid sore muscles, we suggest you engage in a regular exercise regimen leading up to the trip. Prior to the trip, we'll discuss training plans and gear.


Applications now closed. Applications will be reviewed approximately every two weeks. All domestic expeditions are based on a lottery system. If more applications are received than we have slots available all applicants will be placed in a random lottery. 

It’s our goal to ensure that as many survivors as possible have the opportunity to experience healing in the wilderness. Preference will be given to applicants who haven't participated in a TAPS Expedition within the past year, so long as they are capable of participating in all activities.


If you have any questions, please email or call 800-959-TAPS (8277).

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