News Blog

Bellingham woman hikes Pacific Crest Trail in record time

A woman from Bellingham and a man from California set unofficial records this week for the fastest time spent hiking the Pacific Crest Trail - 2,655 miles from Canada to Mexico.

Heather "Anish" Anderson of Bellingham completed the hike in 60 days, 17 hours and 12 minutes on Wednesday, Aug. 7 - averaging about 43 miles a day, the fastest ever for a female hiker. (Note: An earlier version of this story said she finished the hike in 61 days, but Anderson updated her "official" time on her Facebook page, Anish Hikes, on Friday).

A day later, Josh Garrett, a 30-year-old Santa Monica College track coach, finished the hike in 59 days, 8 hours, 59 minutes.

Both hikers surpassed the previous record of 64 days, 11 hours, and 19 minutes set by distance hiker Scott Williamson in 2011.

On her Facebook page, Anderson said trail hiking changed her life.

"I was an overweight child, a bookworm who sat with her nose in an adventure book and daydreamed," she wrote. "I never exercised and couldn't make it around the track without walking."

Both hikers covered terrain ranging from the Mojave and Anzo Borrego Deserts, where daytime highs exceeded 110 degrees in mid-June, to the steep Sierra Nevadas and Cascades of the Pacific Northwest.

Garrett, who became a vegan about two years ago, has said he made the hike to support the animal-rights group, Mercy for Animals.