The Pacific Crest Trail: A Hiker's Companion (2nd Ed.)
by Karen Berger & Daniel R. Smith
Similar to but more succinct and readable than the three Wilderness Press guides below, this book provides an overview of the PCT. Beginning at the southern terminus, the authors take readers north up the Trail, describing the history, landscapes, ecology, and meteorology along the way. Some information is provided for thru-hikers, but the book is primarily a big-picture overview. If you are unfamiliar with the PCT or the landscapes it passes through, we recommend this book to get you familiarized with the Trail and its many environments.
The Wilderness Press Pacific Crest Trail guides
by Jeffrey P. Schaffer and others
These are really trail overview books, rather than guidebooks for on-trail use, even though they are marketed as such by the publisher, Wilderness Press. If you like to read about geologic features, plants, and history of the Trail, then you might like these books, but we prefer the Companion (see above) because it is more succinct, readable, and cheaper (since there is only one to buy).