Generally, thru-hikers and long-distance hikers should look to obtain a six-month multiple entry B-2 visa from their local U.S. embassy. International visitors on a six-month B-2 visa should plan to complete their hike (including time before and after the trail) within their six-month window. This is an important aspect that you need to consider while planning your hike. You’ll need time to get organized in the United States before even setting foot on the trail. This may include adjusting to jet lag (international time change), buying fuel and food, or making transportation plans. You may or may not be able to extend your stay once you’re in the United States. A multiple entry visa should allow you to re-enter the United States if you hike into Canada. All other permits apply.
Follow the steps from the U.S. State Department website. You’ll fill out a form, upload a photo, pay a fee and schedule an interview. Prepare for your interview by gathering the required documentation. Ensure that your passport won’t expire while you’re in the U.S.
On the application, you’ll be asked for a contact in the United States. We apologize, but please do not use the Pacific Crest Trail Association as your contact. With thousands of international hikers every year who we do not know and can’t vouch for, it is not a role that the PCTA performs.