Bentley Hiking Pacific Crest Trail

Reed Bentley, 2010 graduate of Leedey High School, is currently hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2,650-mile national scenic trail.
Popular among hikers, backpackers, and equestrians, the PCT stretches from the Mexico-US border, just south of Campo, California, to the Canada–US border near Harts Pass in Washington. The trail passes through California, Oregon, and Washington and is closely aligned with the highest peaks of the Cascade and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges.
The Pacific Crest Trail Association estimates that 700 to 800 people attempt to thru-hike it each year, and about 15% to 35% succeed. Thru-hiking is a specialized form of backpacking that involves hiking an established long-distance trail end-to-end continuously, most commonly in one single stretch. On average, it takes someone approximately 5 months to complete the PCT in its entirety.
Reed is planning for a traditional northbound thru-hike; however, due to California’s historically high snowfall in the Sierra Nevada mountains, where the peaks range from 11,000-14,000 ft in elevation, this year may require hikers to adapt their plans. While some have opted to leave the trail and return sometime in the future, many are traveling around the Sierras and continuing northbound to Canada from Northern California. Others are choosing to “flip-flop” their agenda and begin southbound from the northern terminus in Washington. Both strategies may allow hikers to return to the Sierras later in the season after more significant snow melt; however, this can increase risk as rivers and other water crossings may rise and become more dangerous.
Reed began on April 21 and has since hiked over 750 miles of the trail as of early July. This section of the trail has included the entire desert and Southern California sections of the PCT, as well as the first 50 miles of the Sierra Nevada mountains. Currently, Reed plans to travel around the majority of the high snow in the Sierras for the time being and continue northbound to Canada from the California- Oregon border.
While hiking the trail, Reed is also working to raise awareness and funds for an Oklahoma City-based non-profit organization. Freedom OK advocates and organizes across Oklahoma and within the 39 sovereign tribal nations to build an Oklahoma where all 2SLGBTQ+ people have the safety to thrive by engaging in advocacy for protections at every level of government. To donate, folks can go to the “Hiking for 2SLGBTQIA+ Oklahomans” GoFundMe page or to Freedom Oklahoma’s website directly.
After graduating from Leedey High School in 2010, Reed attended college at Oklahoma City University where he earned a BFA in Acting and Minor in Directing in 2014. He has lived and worked in Buffalo, New York, Chicago, Illinois, Prescott, Arizona and Toronto, Ontario.
Reed is currently pursuing a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling and an E.d.S in experiential counseling, which includes incorporating nature and adventure-based activities, from Prescott College in Arizona. Reed is the son of Randy and Priscilla Bentley of Leedey, Oklahoma.

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