The Inertia

With the Pacific Crest Trail season well underway, two lucky hikers will get paid $5,000 each to make a minor detour. 

The cash reward is being offered by the tourism branch of Nevada’s capital, Visit Carson City, as a way to promote the newly opened 16 miles of single track trail coined “Capital to Tahoe” that connects Carson City with the picturesque Lake Tahoe. 

To get the cash, the two hikers need to start their hike at the Nevada Capitol and trek 1,600 miles to Canada. PCT hikers who started in Mexico are also eligible if they make the detour to Carson City on their journey. The application period ends on May 31. 

“Our downtown sits in the middle of all of our trails,” said Lydia Beck, Visit Carson City’s marketing manager. “And people have no idea that Carson City has a beautiful stretch of the east side of Lake Tahoe. We’re trying to bring awareness to our proximity.”

A few rugged, dirty PCT hikers might get a nice cash infusion on their way to Canada. They’ll earn $3.13 for every mile they walk from Carson City – not a bad gig to get paid while you hike. However, a bizarre May snowstorm might make them really earn those dollars. Last weekend’s Sierra Nevada flurry dropped 26.4 inches, the most on any single day of the entire season, with summer just around the corner. 

The late season storm will most certainly leave some slushy snow on the ground at the Sierra Nevada’s higher elevations. The stop in Carson City might be a bit more work than the applicants bargained for, but something tells me they’ll be happy to take the five grand, regardless.


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