Principal photography began in October at locations around Oregon and California, including Bend, Ashland and Portland. 

Reese Witherspoon optioned Portland writer Cheryl Strayed's memoir weeks before it was published in 2012 and put it on a development fast track with her new production company,Pacific Standard. Witherspoon's career stalled after she won an Academy Award for "Walk the Line" and she strongly connected with Strayed's account of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in the wake of her mother's death.