Happy Fourth of July, America! The US has arguably some of the best hiking in the world and what better way to see all of the natural beauty this large country has to offer than on the Triple Crown of Hiking. The Triple Crown is the name given to capture the three large thru-hikes of the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail and the Continental Divide Trail. These three trails run the length of the country, on the east (Appalachian Trail), the west (Pacific Crest Trail) and the central west (Continental Divide Trail). Read on for more details about the Triple Crown:
The oldest of the three, the Appalachian Trail was completed in the 1930’s (although changes have been made to the trail over the years) and is 2198 miles through the Appalachian Mountains. From the southern terminus of Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine, the trail goes through fourteen states in total, and draws thousands of long distance hikers (and day hikers as well) to its well-trodden path every year. The best months to hike this trail are between April and October.
Pacific Crest Trail
In the western US, the 2653 mile long Pacific Crest Trail stretches from the California/Mexico border up to the Washington/Canada border, going through California, Oregon and Washington. Originally conceived in the 1930’s, the PCT wasn’t completed fully until 1993 but has since attracted thousands of hikers to the majestic peaks of the Cascade and Sierra Nevada mountains each year. The best months are between April and September.
Continental Divide Trail
The newest of the Triple Crown, the 3028 mile long Continental Divide Trail extends from Chihuahua, Mexico to Alberta, Canada. The trail follows the continental divide, which separates the watersheds that drain into the Pacific from those that drain into the Atlantic, mainly along the Rocky Mountains. The CDT goes through the states of New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. The trail was formally established in 1978 but it still isn’t fully completed. The best months to hike this trail are between April and September.
To date, there have been about 600 people who have completed the Triple Crown. Finishing just one of the three thru-hikes is quite an achievement so hats off to those with the dedication to accomplish this amazing feat. Happy hiking!