Carolyn ‘Ravensong’ Burkhart

Carolyn ‘Ravensong’ Burkhart

Carolyn ‘Ravensong’ Burkhart’s adventures on the Pacific Crest Trail started when at six years old she began backpacking with her mother and brothers. After she took the Mountaineer’s Basic Climbing Course at 14 and learned to drive, Carolyn started trekking on her own, including winter snowshoeing and camping on Mt. Rainier. In 1974 she was a hired on as a token female seasonal Interpretive Ranger for North Cascades National Park in Stehekin. No skirt for her! She insisted on wearing the same uniform as the men! Women were not yet allowed to work as rangers in the backcountry back then, so off she went on her own whenever she could. Carolyn hiked most all the surrounding trails on her days off and got a reputation for being the wild woman on the trail. In her explorations that summer in the Cascades, she discovered ‘The Way Through’ on the Pacific Crest Trail. Two years later, on March 30, 1976, at he the age of 20, she headed north by herself out of Campo on the PCT. On a beautiful autumn day September 30, 1976, Carolyn celebrated her completion of the PCT with her parents at Manning Park Lodge. As far as anyone knows, Carolyn Ravensong’ was the first woman to solo through hike the PCT.

Later, when she became a mother, she began hiking by herself with her young children, as her mother had done with her. She hiked with her 6 year old daughter on the PCT from Canada to California back in the mid-80′s. Ravensong hiked through Washington 4 more times and did many section hikes on the trail further south with 3 more children. Her life was full to the brim with raising five children. She has often reflected how it was her journeys on the PCT every summer which kept her going! Now that her kids are out of the house she loves teaching parents how they too can long distance hike with their young children and have fun on the trail! Today, Ravensong’s excited to give back to the hiking community in another way. This fall she began trail angelling at Ravensong’s Roost in Mazama, Washington, the closest one can get to the intersection of the PCT and the Pacific Northwest Trail. She looks forward to you and fellow hikers joining her at the ‘Roost’ on your journeys in the North Cascades!

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One Response to Carolyn ‘Ravensong’ Burkhart

  1. William Jennings says:

    When did you acquire the trail name ‘Ravensong”?

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