A Webinar Series with Matt Berger
It’s wicked fun and informative. You will love it… just read a few reviews!
After two 2,650 mile thru-hikes botanizing the Pacific Crest Trail, Matt Berger shares both the extraordinary and everyday plants along each region of the trail in this 5-part webinar. This series of presentations will take us on an armchair journey from south to north and highlight the rich biodiversity of plants along the way while weaving in stories from the trail: hitchhiking adventures, animal encounters, epic trail magic, and more!
The series consists of 5 one hour webinars celebrating each major section of the trail. Matt will share many (many!) of the plants found along the way, featuring both common and rare plants. The trail passes through remarkable assemblage of landscapes including subalpine sky islands above the southern California deserts, the famed Sierra Nevada, and the volcanic Cascades in northern California, Oregon, and Washington.
The five presentations are:
- Southern California Mountains and Desert
- The Sierra Nevada of central California
- The Cascades and Klamath Mountains of northern California
- Oregon’s Cascades
- Washington’s Cascades
BONUS: Each session is accompanied by a downloadable plant list.
In addition to hiking about 30 miles a day, Matt spent time documenting all the plants and uploading them to Calflora and iNaturalist for scientists to be able to use the data in studies and range maps. He will share how this process works so others can contribute to this data set. At the end of each presentation, Matt will take time to answer questions, talk with folks, and just geek out some more about plants!
You will have 3 months to view the presentations as often as you like. Just be in touch if you need additional time.
Barb Byrne (verified owner) –
Just finished the last of five sessions and so sorry for it to end! This was a wonderful virtual journey along the entire PCT and all of the amazing cool and rare plants that Matt Berger found along the way. Also assorted trail magic and spooky mountain lion stories to keep things lively! I highly recommend this series — I am inspired to get out hiking.
Amy (verified owner) –
This was a fantastic webseries. The plants and stories were engaging; the pictures were clear. I would highly recommend this series to anyone.
Lisa Hughes (verified owner) –
Matt’s love of plants is contagious. Sometimes the technicality was over my head but it made me fall in love with the PCT in a new way. The plants are beautiful and he balanced it so well with a few trail stories. Great pics!
Deborah Holcombe (verified owner) –
What a marvelous event, thank you Matt and Allison. Each section of the PCT made me feel as though I was there. I learned so much about the botany and will keep my eyes peeled to hopefully identify what I find.
Marla Knight (verified owner) –
The fifth and last session of this series just ended and I am so sad it’s over! Matt’s photos are fantastic: of the plants, scenery, wildlife and trail buddies along the way. What really makes it is that Matt is incredibly personable, tells a great story, and is so willing to share his experience. The partnership that brought us this program is perfect, and I hope that all of the participants chose to show their appreciation by contributing more than $10!
Thank you so much, Matt, Allison at Backcountry Press, and the PCT Association for bringing us such joy!
Tara Lee (verified owner) –
Absolutely spectacular! I enjoyed every minute of Matt Berger’s presentation – incredibly gorgeous photographs, great botanical information and hilarious trail stories. Sorry it had to end! Thank you for this wonderful “edu-tainment” adventure!
Sue Andrews (verified owner) –
Matt had great photos of the plant and animal life he encountered on the Pacific Coast Trail. He was excellent at telling the stories that go with them – even when the photos and stories did not align correctly. on day #5. Totally enjoyable, along with being educational. Thank you
Loriel Caverly (verified owner) –
This botanist had many “WOW” moments meeting new plants during this series in Matt’s amazing slide show. His love of the trail and of plants is infectious! Wonderful hosting by Allison. Definitely recommend for plant lovers and trail hiking enthusiasts.
Les Gould (verified owner) –
I so much enjoyed watching all 5 episodes of the PCT Botanical Tales, the closest I’ll ever come to thru-hiking the PCT. With so many Netflix movies I’m struggling to keep my eyes open after 30 minutes. Not so with Matt Berger talking botany on the PCT. And Allison was a great host. The enthusiasm is contagious! I look forward to participating in other webinars put on by Backcountry Press.
Trevlyn (verified owner) –
Loved the series. Matt’s infectious enthusiasm and enjoyment of being out there finding and sharing botanical treasures had us itching to get out botanizing ! Learned so much. Thank you for the series. Thoroughly enjoyed this and also the Klamath series likewise. Lovely hosting by Alison too.
Karen Suher (verified owner) –
An amazing series! Beautiful photos and just the right mix of botany, trail description and stories. I had permit and planned to hike in 2020 and will keep trying! Allison is a wonderful host as well!
Michele Coleman (verified owner) –
Each week, this was a tough event to stay up for as it started at 11pm my time but seeing Matt’s incredible photos and hearing his stories made the 2 hours fly by! We started our section near Sierra City in mid July 2019 and were going through Northern CA about the same time that Matt was passing through. He would have passed us somewhere in the Trinity Alps area. So I had seen most of what Matt was showing every week in each of my section hikes. It was like reliving our wonderful treks without having to get cold, dirty or tired! Since we couldn’t hike last year, and most likely won’t be able to finish the PCT this year, I had to live vicariously through Matt’s stories. They ended up being calming and restorative. I won’t remember the names of all of the flowers but I can now identify groupings or families. Seeing the views in northern Oregon and Washington state will have to wait for me but the previews were incredible. The presentation of Matt’s trek became my happy place for five weeks during the dark of winter. What was also very entertaining were the comments in the sidebar – jokes about grasses and lichen and sedges…. There were so many knowledgeable participants from all over the world that I felt I was in the presence of many smart people and they all included me in their party. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and felt it was the perfect topper to the end of a pandemic….. Thank you, Backcountry Press, for organizing this event!
Gabe E (verified owner) –
Very engaging and informative. I enjoyed each lesson.
Julia Miller (verified owner) –
I have followed Matt on Instagram for a few years now. His posts were always beautiful and informative. When I heard that he would be presenting a series for Backcountry Press, I knew that I had to sign up. Each presentation had tons of beautiful plant and landscape photos. Matt gave fascinating information about each species, as well as fun stories from the trail. A wonderful series that will make you want to hike the PCT ASAP!
Aja Rose Mathews (verified owner) –
Thank you Matt and Backcountry Press! Super fun and engaging series. Great mix of plants and trail stories. Certainly made me nostalgic for my thru hike and wanting to get back on trail to try and see more plants.
Jeff Fullman (verified owner) –
This was a great series. Matt was terrific. His enthusiasm is contagious and his knowledge is remarkable. I only wish I had a memory that could retain all the information that was delivered. So glad I can go back and review the presentations. I couldn’t believe all the wonderful plants I have been walking by all these years. I have a new perspective, thanks!
Patricia o (verified owner) –
I’m the person who says, “ooohh stop the car, flowers!” My hiking buddy is the person who reluctantly does so. This series was so engaging that the reluctant flower taxi driver watched each episode! I’m not a botanist – just a hiker who likes wildflowers and has hiked bits and pieces of the PCT. I learned a lot about both.
Marti Rutherford (verified owner) –
This was a very fun presentation bringing back memories of the tiny portion of the trail that I have actually hiked. It was wonderful to have someone identify the plants and have such beautiful pictures. Matt was fun to listen to and the little tidbits of botanical knowledge and trail stories added so much to the presentation. A huge thank you to both Matt and Allison. I just wish that we would have access to it for a longer period. And Matt, I agree, the Goat Rocks Wilderness was beautiful, especially Knife’s Edge and the surrounding area. Thank you Backcountry Press for making this botanical journey possible.
John Livingston (verified owner) –
Having section hiked the PCT I experienced many of the plant vistas Matt did. I enjoyed his energy and knowledge of the plant descriptions. His hiking advice was also good. I hope many people look into doing at least parts of the PCT. Matt, thanks for your diligence. You have made a fantastic contribution to the description of the PCT plant life.
Marilyn Bailey (verified owner) –
Ditto to all the comments made! What a delightful series to watch (and, btw, the longest I’ve ever managed to sit through on zoom…). My only wish is that the plant list had pictures – but I guess that would be called… a BOOK! Matt was so great – I loved the way the scientific names rolled off his tongue…
Terry Wilson (verified owner) –
I loved this series for Matt’s genuine enthusiasm for the PCT and all things plant related! I learned so much about wildflowers on the various sections. I also thoroughly enjoyed Matt’s photos and stories of the PCT.
Even my husband, who shows little interest in flora, happily watched each episode for the experience of feeling like we were on the PCT with Matt.
I hope Matt does other series on his future travels!
Karen Orso (verified owner) –
First there was “Conifer Country”. Next I discovered “Crime Pays But Botany Doesn’t”. Then Matt Berger’s botanic tour of the PCT became available. These three works for me are like a dream come true. I love to hike and backpack but not for the sake of hiking and backpacking alone. I want to see and understand and immerse myself in the web of life that once thrived on this planet. Fortunately fragments of the web can still be found here and there in remote places, usually the mountains. I’ve stumbled and bumbled around on my own to some success. Having some guidance has been helpful, inspirational and most of all, heartwarming. I feel like I have found my community.
Karen E. Isa (verified owner) –
I thoroughly enjoyed this series. Matt spoke as if he were visiting with either an academic peer or with a best friend. He was warm, friendly and a great ambassador for California Native Plants. I loved the outstanding photos, descriptions of flowers, the scenery and trail companions and their antics. Everything he touched was fused with fun and invitation to come along for the ride. I look forward to another series by him.
Lauren Lester (verified owner) –
Mat’s PCT talks were lots of fun. He shared so many wonderful plants. I enjoyed his hiking stories….maybe more? Thanks Allison for sharing recordings as we couldn’t always make originals. I would watch another of his talks.
Scott Schlesier (verified owner) –
The series was fantastic, amazing plant photos, accompanied by plenty of insights. Listening to Matt speak each evening with such enthusiasm for the botany, the trail, the people was inspiring. I wish the series were longer, and look forward to a similar series in future.
Bill and Diana Waycott (verified owner) –
Having hiked parts of the PCT and being native plant enthusiasts, we thoroughly enjoyed Matt’s presentations. The anticipation of each installment would grow stronger and stronger throughout the week, as the Tuesday evenings approached, and we were never disappointed! Of particular interest were his photos of the smaller plants, many of them annuals, using his cellphone with a clip-on macro lens, to capture stunning floral designs, about which most of us pay no attention. This was especially rich because with a pack on one’s back, the juxtaposition of doing “belly botany” while keeping one’s balance and also trying to stay current with one’s fellow hikers, is a very difficult task!! But we know the urge to record images of the amazing floral diversity of the western mountains is just so strong, the risk to losing one’s balance and/or falling behind, is easily worth it! So, awesome work Matt!
Mary “Fireweed” Kwart (verified owner) –
Watching Matt’s presentation I was reminded of all the pleasant times along the PCT observing and keying out wildflowers and other plants. His excellent photos were like seeing old friends.
Howard McCauley (verified owner) –
Matt’s description of his two PCT through hikes were fun and inspirational. I definitely have changed my hiking approach to be more engaged with the plants I’m walking through and am really interested in learning more about the tools to identify them.
Kathleen Moyer (verified owner) –
Loved the presentation. Now I want to go to CA desert in March-May and to the Goat Wilderness in July-August!
keegan.orourke (verified owner) –
Excellent series presented in a way that made it a joy to learn about the plants along the PCT.
Jaunting Jan (verified owner) –
A+ presentation. I really appreciate that the sessions were recorded so I could enjoy at my leisure. Quality content and information. Engaging and motivational. The very affordable price with option to increase contribution is a perfect way to encourage participation by those more budget conscious. Where else can you get 6-8 hours of entertainment for $10+? I hope Matt offers future presentations based on his latest jaunts.
David Govatski (verified owner) –
What a great series by an engaging, smart, and funny presenter. Matt shares many experiences along the way, of trail magic, of distant mountains, wildlife, his favorite plants, and the people he meets. You do not have to be a long-distance hiker, or flower lover to enjoy this series. You could live anywhere on the planet and enjoy what you see and learn from this bio-geography trip. There is something for everyone here to enjoy. I hope he is willing to do another series next winter.
CAROL (verified owner) –
Enjoyed the entire series. I doubt I will ever do the entire trail, although I did make a note of the sections Matt recommended. Would like to try a portion of the trail. Great armchair adventure. Wonderful photos, great stories throughout. Enjoyed both the flower shots (what amazing photos one can get with a phone these days) and the panoramic scenes. Hope he can offer another series at some point, perhaps on the Continental Divide Trail. Or, if he does the Great Basin Trail or the Bigfoot trail, I would like to see those too. I am glad to have happened upon this offering and look forward to the next series BCP is offering. Thanks Allison and Matt for putting this together.
Joel Ferree (verified owner) –
This was a terrific experience. There was an engaging balance of botany and trail stories and neither got old. Matt’s sense of humor is really great and breaking it down into five installments really presented the feel of hiking a section of the PCT.
Elizabeth Smith (verified owner) –
I looked forward to every Tuesday night for 5 weeks, just because I knew I’d get to spend a couple enjoyable hours listening to Matt share his love and knowledge of plants and funny stories of his hikes along the PCT. I learned a lot and am so happy I tuned in!
Amanda Gonser (verified owner) –
I truly enjoyed this series – each week Matt shared not only the botanical wonders of the PCT but fun stories and experiences he had along the way – it really brought so much more energy and light to the entire journey and the amazing things he saw along the way; it was more than just plants! I loved all the photos and descriptions as well as his love of learning about and sharing what he knows about the plants he saw! Thank you!
Dee Shea Himes (verified owner) –
It was an absolute delight seeing all the wonderful plants that Matt saw along the trail. The photography and interpretation of his trip, and the amazing trail tails are hilarious and heart warming. Incredible talks by an incredible botanist! Thank you for sharing your journey with us.
Natalie Parker (verified owner) –
Loved this series! I’ve followed Matt on Instagram for at least 3 years now, and find his enthusiasm for plants so infectious. This series got me super excited for my upcoming pct hike this year, even though I’ll be going southbound and probably won’t see any of the same plants in bloom that he did!
Marcy (verified owner) –
I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of these five sessions! Matt shared so much great info about native plants, including photos and characteristics that help with identification. It was also nice to hear stories from the trail, especially about wildlife. I love pikas too! Thanks, Matt and Backcountry Press!
Kat Schut (verified owner) –
This class was awesome!!! Absolutly loved getting to learn about the plants along the way while hearing interesting stories about real experiences on the PCT from a thru hiker. I have a lot of appreciation for Matt’s dedication to the project, he was inspiring!!!
Sharon Kenyon (verified owner) –
This was such a fun hike with Matt. I gave it 5 stars, but it deserves 500 stars! I really enjoyed the hiking stories of PCT tied in with the plants and animals. We have day hiked 110 different areas of the PCT in all three states over the years. I really enjoyed hearing the names pronounced and the interesting details of the plants. Thanks Matt for for brightening our winter days here in Washington with wildflowers on the PCT. I had donated $20 and my husband loved this series so much that he donated an additional $100 to Matt. Happy Trails!
Leah Cogan (verified owner) –
This series was absolutely brilliant. I learned about so many interesting plants and habitats, and Matt’s stories of the trail were inspirational and entertaining. I liked the plant lists that were sent out ahead of time so I could follow along and make notes about things I want to look up later.
Sue Kelso (verified owner) –
This was a fantastic webinar series. Matt is both engaging and extremely knowledgeable about the flora along the PCT. He did a lot of research before his thru hikes and it paid off in his many observations. Plus, he takes wonderful photos! I have day-hiked a bit over 500 miles of the PCT and it was interesting to see parts I haven’t hiked yet (or may never get to hike) and to learn about the flora along the trail.
Sharon Bonorden (verified owner) –
Thank you so much for putting this together and making it available for us! While I live right beside the PCT and often get to talk with hikers, I have never been able to hike the PCT. Now I have enough physical problems I will probably never get to BUT I did get to through this series! The only problem is that it wasn’t long enough – I didn’t want the adventure to end. Looking forward to “hiking” with Matt again.
Deborah Weinmann (verified owner) –
I loved the format of the web series in that participants were able to help a variety of organizations as well as support Matt in his future endeavors. I also very much appreciated the ability to watch the taped webinars when I was unable to attend the live presentations.
The webinar is fast-paced and the volume of material was overwhelming. As a suggestion, I would have loved to pay an additional fee to have unlimited future access to use the presentations as a reference after hiking different areas covered in the web series.
Matt was engaging and his enthusiasm for the topic was contagious. The photographs were outstanding and his knowledge of the topic seemed unending. Matt’s stories about his PCT experiences added to the webinar. I would wholeheartedly recommend this webinar series.
Diana Doyle (verified owner) –
This was an outstanding webinar series—a must-see. Matt’s botanical knowledge is incredible and his presentation was professional and entertaining. There was so much content I watched them over again! Allison was the perfect host and did an excellent job of coordinating and communicating the logistics. I looked forward to each installment and, like Matt finishing his PCT hike, was sad to have this virtual botanical community end.
Hannah (verified owner) –
I’ve always wanted to do a PCT thru-hike ever since I was a kid. I also love plants and botanizing. So having Matt walk me through the PCT has reignited my desires for this adventure, and has shown me the feasibility of doing the hike while still taking the time to look at plants!
Leslie F Lewis (verified owner) –
Lots of good information. Fun. Hope to see other videos from Mr Berger. Especially the Big Foot Trail.
Rebecca Reynolds (verified owner) –
Some of us are slow. I just finished watching Part 5 last night. But the whole series was a real treat. Besides how beautiful the pictures were to look at, I learned a lot about wildflowers in general. I also liked that Matt included vistas of the trail and the habitat of some of the plants. Matt’s delivery is great too, upbeat and direct with some, but not too much, detail. His passion for what he is doing is obvious and a little contagious—makes you want to go out there and see these for yourself (though maybe at a slower pace for me!).
Ryan Balkcom (verified owner) –
Amazing class, Matt is a great storyteller and an even greater botanist.
Jacky Taylor (verified owner) –
Easy 5 stars, this series was a gem. Completely inspiring to take a closer look at the plants you walk by each day, and to think about how we can care for our environment. Matt has an infectiously chipper and humurous angle on his botany passion and his adventures on the PCT. His stories were just as valuable to the webinar and often had me laughing and wondering how someone can be so upbeat about the trials of a PCT thru-hike. Great series and I would watch again in a heartbeat. Thank you Matt and Backcountry Press!