From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
Rate this:
At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother's death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life: to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State -- and to do it alone. She had no experience as a long-distance hiker, and the trail was little more than "an idea, vague and outlandish and full of promise." But it was a promise of piecing back together a life that had come undone. Strayed faces down rattlesnakes and black bears, intense heat and record snowfalls, and both the beauty and loneliness of the trail on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780307592736
Characteristics: 315 p. : map ; 25 cm


From Library Staff

gribbles Sep 27, 2013

Very emotional read, hard to put down.

List - Armchair Travel
RCPL_Librarians Jun 08, 2013

A powerful, blazingly honest, inspiring memoir: the story of a 1,100 mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe--and built her back up again.

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Feb 25, 2018

I would read it a second and a third time. Her writing is poetry.

Aug 19, 2017

What to say? What to say? I find myself in a bit of a connundrum. on the positive side, I think Cheryl Strayed is a fantastic writer; her adjectives alone make me grin with glee (who outside of a hematology lab even knows what "crenulated" even means?) On the other hand, I found her story simply too convenient, too perfectly "Hollywood", too unbelievable. Do I think she hiked the Pacific Crest Trail? Absolutely! Do I think it happened exactly as is written? Not a chance. As a work of fiction, I would have given this book four stars but as a memoir I am reluctant to give it higher than three.

Aug 08, 2017

After her mother's death, Cheryl Strayed, lost her way. Cheating on her husband and doing drugs weren't filling the hole her mother's death caused. On an impulse she decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail in the hopes that along the way she could find herself again. While the book has it's moments, this isn't as lighthearted as Bill Bryson's <i>Walk in the Woods</i>. She pushes herself to extremes and doesn't always make the wisest choices. Still it was an interesting trip.

Jun 18, 2017

Lovely book.

AL_HOLLYR May 24, 2017

A good read for anyone who loves hiking or has ever felt a little lost in life. Strayed recounts her attempt to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail through a series of narrative anecdotes and personal recollections.

Mar 27, 2017

I loved the book, (and the movie)!

I don't often read just for pleasure, but this was a wonderful journey. When I got to the last twenty pages, I didn't want it to end.

Jan 24, 2017

I hadn't seen the movie, but was excited for the book. I love the outdoors and was glad that this book told it like it is (and didn't gloss over the hard parts of hiking/ backpacking). Great read!

Jan 09, 2017

Cheryl, the author did a great job in describing what it felt like to hike over 1,000 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail, with no experience behind her to find herself.
I loved this book, couldn't put it down.

Nov 08, 2016

In a brief, sudden moment of inspiration while visiting an outdoor recreation store, Cheryl Strayed impulsively decides that hike the Pacific Crest Trail -- alone -- is just what she needs to get her life back on track and to find herself again after several years of personal hardship and tragedy.

Excellent travel writing! I rarely laugh out loud while reading, but the scene with the tiny frogs had me giggling in bed, trying not to awaken my spouse. As was my experience reading 'Planetwalker' (John Francis), another highly recommended title, 'Wild' book made me want to do nothing more than to lace up a pair of boots myself, throw on a backpack and hit the trail -- any trail. Though I'll likely never make it to the PCT myself, I feel as though I've experienced it vicariously.

AL_FELICIA Aug 17, 2016

I thought this book was ok. The journey as a whole that the author endured was interesting, but reading about her days on the PCT became a bit boring to me and I had to force myself to finish. This may be because I watched the movie before completing the book, but I fast-forwarded through most of the movie as well.

View All Comments


Add a Quote

Jul 22, 2015

Perhaps by now I'd come far enough that I had the guts to be afraid.

Jul 01, 2015

"My boot was gone. Actually gone. I clutched its mate to my chest like a baby, though of course it was futile. What is one boot without the other boot? It is nothing. It is useless, an orphan forevermore, and I could take no mercy on it... I lifted it high and threw it with all my might and watched it fall into the lush trees and out of my life."

May 25, 2014

I walked until walking became unbearable, until I believed I couldn't walk even one more step. And then I ran.

Jul 09, 2013

Uncertain as I was as I pushed forward, I felt right in my pushing, as if the effort itself meant something. That perhaps being amidst the undesecrated beauty of the wilderness meant I too could be undesecrated, regardless of what I’d lost or what had been taken from me, regardless of the regrettable things I’d done to others or myself or the regrettable things that had been done to me. Of all the things I’d been skeptical about, I didn’t feel skeptical about this: the wilderness had a clarity that included me.

May 31, 2013

I don't know how living outdoors and sleeping on the ground in a tent each night and walking alone through the wilderness all day almost every day had come to feel like my normal life, but it had...and something inside of me released.

btmslt Apr 03, 2013


Jul 31, 2012

I felt fierce and humble and gathered up inside, like I was safe in this world.


Add Age Suitability

Jan 09, 2017

runningbeat thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

KATYA DOBROGORSKAYA thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 1 and 99


Add a Summary

Jul 01, 2015

This memoir by Cheryl Strayed tells of her decision to hike a large portion of the Pacific Crest Trail, alone, following the death of her mother. The book details the events surrounding her decision to hike the trail, and the resulting struggles and triumphs of her journey.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at SMPL

To Top