Hiking's Triple Crown

Discussion in 'The Great Outdoors' started by Scaramouche, Nov 12, 2018.

  1. Scaramouche

    Scaramouche Student of the Columbian Exchange Supporting Addict

    Sep 15, 2015
    The knife edge on Mt. Katadhin in the Great State of Maine

    There are three long distance hiking trails in America that are held in reverence by those who hack around the boonies; the oldest, the 2167 mile Appalachian Trail (AT) running from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mt. Katahdin in Maine. Highest point on the trail is Clingman's Dome at 6,643 feet. The speed record for completing the entire length of the trail, unsupported was set in 2018 by Karel Sabbe at a high stepping 41 days, 7 hours, 39 min. The oldest person completing the trail was Mr. Dale Sanders at age 82 in 2017.


    The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) starts at the Mexican border and runs about 2700 miles up to the Canadian border, it starts a sea level in desert and rises up through the backbone of the Sierra Nevada to top out at 13,153 feet. Skipping high and lonesome through the Cascades with long periods of no cell service or convenience stores. Unlike the AT there is no established series of shelters and in many areas it's a multi-day trek back to "civilization".

    Trailside view in the high Sierras

    In 2013 Ms Heather Anderson set the speed record of duck walking from Mexico to Canada in a blistering 60 days, 17 hours and 12 minutes.


    The third crown in these long distance trails is the wild child Continental Divide Trail (CDT) that basically follows what is known out west as the Carnivore Corridor. 3,111 miles long following the spine of the Rocky Mountains topping out at 14,278 feet this trail is long, remote, potentially more dangerous than the others. Your exposure to Mother Nature on this walk is extreme, both in good ways and less positive ways.


    As a for instance, passing through Colorado the trails seldom drops below 11,000 feet, the trail guidebook route traverses five 13,000 foot peaks in one day. Not for the faint of heart. If you run into a thunderstorm up there it would not be fun. In Wyoming the trail takes you through the Wind River Range and Yellowstone, prime real estate for things with big teeth. In Montana, the breathtaking Bob Marshall Wilderness and Glacier National Park.

    The trail takes you past the 1,000 foot escarpment known as the Chinese Wall in the Bob Marshall Wilderness.

    The CDT is only about 70% complete, to thru hike it you got some serious bushwhacking to perform. I don't know if anyone has completed this trail in one season, I doubt it given the nature of the high country, you could be shut down for a couple days should a mid summer snowstorm surprise you. Most folks approach the CDT piece meal.

    I never hiked the full length of any of these trails but have been on parts of all of them. I'm posting this to see if we have any "Thru-Hikers" on this forum. I know most of you didn't always spend your days sitting in front of a computer in your boxers and wife beater.

    This is a typical Adirondack Lean-To that are placed about every 20 miles on the Appalachian Trail.
    rmac, ronin11, jimmy james and 16 others like this.
  2. Wheels No More

    Wheels No More Long gone

    May 12, 2015
    I think the question here is what got would you carry on each trail. :p:p

  3. nmbuzz

    nmbuzz Livin Large

    Apr 9, 2013
    I too have been "on " parts of all of them a number of times .....as I drove from NE New Mexico to the Pacific ocean and back several times. And I have "hiked" the Santa Fe Trail numerous times.....
    for short distances.... tru but I Envy you Mooch!
    wcanterbury likes this.
  4. SparkyAZ

    SparkyAZ It is a dry heat, right... Supporting Addict

    Sep 11, 2012
    You are a mountain of information @Scaramouche
    Thank you for letting us tag along...
    WHEELS likes this.
  5. Karsten

    Karsten Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2013
    I have rode my ATV over many miles of places i would have never gone and my ATV and me aren't going over that Chinese Wall B.S. Hell, you couldn't force me to crawl across that.......


    ronin11, xerts1191 and Colorado Sonny like this.
  6. Yellowsupersport

    Yellowsupersport Well-Known Member

    Sep 1, 2015
    Check out the series of videos on YouTube by Dixie and her channel Homemade Wunderlust. She’s just completed the CDT, and with the PCT and AT already under her belt. It’s very eye-opening to see what you really need (and don’t need) with you out on the trail.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    wcanterbury likes this.
  7. Old Sea Dragon

    Old Sea Dragon Well-Known Member

    Feb 10, 2018
    A uncle did the Appalachian trail in his late 60's. He gave me several years worth of the AT magazine before he passed and they sit on a shelf, quietly waiting. It would be quite a adventure to complete any one of them.
  8. Greg45acp

    Greg45acp Double Secret Banned Supporting Addict

    Oct 31, 2016
    The AT holds no appeal for me. Staring at trees with no view except for roots and rocks on the trail.... I'll pass.

    I've done sections of the PCT in OR. The logistics becomes a real limitation.
  9. limbkiller

    limbkiller Pulling my hair. Supporting Addict

    Aug 18, 2011
    In 1980 I worked as a guide for Big River Camps Inc. in the Great Bear Wilderness. It is 110 sq. miles located between Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness Area. We were 19 miles from the nearest road and the seasons opened Sept. 15th which was earlier than just about anywhere else in the state. The reason was you either crossed the Continental Divide or another pass west to get in and out. Some years you would have to leave early or not get out. LOLOL

    It is magnificent country for sure. Of course horses and mules were the only way to get around or walk.

    Anyway, my hunters (2) had tagged out on mule deer that morning and we had about 3 hours of daylight left so we headed out of camp to see if we could get on any elk. Had about an hour ride but that left us a couple of hours to hunt. Just as we were leaving I ran into our wrangler coming back into camp. Said he had run into a woman and talked to her. ??????? What the Hell. We were about as far back in as you get in the lower 48 states.

    As we rode along I would turn around every so often and say boys do ya smell that? The first time they asked what. Pu$$y I answered. Well they said it must be your wife, as she worked as the camp cook. No the wind was the wrong direction and boy does it smell good. I built it up and kept talking about that smell when I rounded a curve and GUESS WHAT? There sat a woman under a tree!!!!!!!! Of course she had to of heard me running my mouth and I was shocked as hell as I sure didn't expect to see her, as I half thought the wrangler was kidding. I know my face had to turn red as hell. We talked to her for a few minutes as she was more than willing to talk. Lonely I guess.

    She told us she was with a guy and another woman and she was waiting on them to catch up. Asked how far it was to Canada. 70 miles or so I told her. It seems that the 3 of them left the Mexican border early Jan. and were having a blast but were ready for it to end. This was the middle of Oct. if I remember correctly.

    Well we wished her luck and told her to be careful as we were in Grizzly country. I saw seven that year as a side note. As we rode off the look on those guys faces was one of wonderment. How long have you been in the mountains? You have the best sense of smell of any human on the planet. Smell us up a couple of elk and other questions. I told them I could wander through a bar and smell which women were horny and looking for a good time. The two of them left camp a few days later and were never told I didn't smell that woman. Bet they told everybody in Pennsylvania about that guide that could smell that good.:roflmaro::roflmaro:
  10. Troutman27

    Troutman27 Active Member

    Feb 10, 2019
    I live just a few miles from the AT trail and it’s business is starting to pick up from now till the end of March. I’ve never hiked it before other than using it to get to a good hunting spot. It’s kinda funny the look on hikers faces when your dragging a bear or hog or dear out. But any of the 3 would be a great accomplishment.
  11. The Mulberrian

    The Mulberrian Well-Known Member

    Feb 7, 2019
    I live within 5 miles of the OHT (Ozark Highland Trail).
    I think its 320 miles thru the Arkansas Ozarks...
    Its a beautiful Hike!
    WHEELS likes this.
  12. The Mulberrian

    The Mulberrian Well-Known Member

    Feb 7, 2019
    Postcard quality!

    That said, Ive had some VERY GOOD LUCK Bear Hunting the OHT in the past (havested 2) from that trail.

    Sad to say it was probably from hikers leaving food on the trail.

    Whats worse is, Ive encountered 20-25 people hiking it during Deer Season with NO HUNTER ORANGE ON.

    I have warned them (& given them what orange I could spare), to DO THEIR research on hunting seasons where they are going to be hiking beforehand.
  13. 41 Charlie

    41 Charlie Get off my lawn...

    Feb 4, 2014
    Not sure how I missed this one, mouche! Good stuff, thanks for sharing!!
    Scaramouche likes this.
  14. Usp45ct

    Usp45ct Well-Known Member

    Aug 24, 2012

    Pretty sure on 2 of the 3 trails you would get arrested in some states for carrying anything. In fact, if these are part of the National Parks, it might be illegal to carry on all of them.
  15. jimmy james

    jimmy james 1911 Fiend

    Aug 29, 2017
    Met a thru hiker on the AT one time. He was solo. Couldnt do that. I need some sort of human companionship. Have hiked from just north of Springer up into VA. Far as I have gone. I was all into the backpacking thing when I was young. Now a days, staying at a Hampton Inn is about as rough as it gets for me. Getting ready to start shooting a series of bench rest rifle matches in 2 states and will be roughing it at some motor lodges and motels. I need quiet and a firm mattress and those things are hard to find.
    rmac, Scaramouche and Mike Meints like this.

You need 3 posts to add links to your posts! This is used to prevent spam.

Draft saved Draft deleted