From shortest to longest, these six thru hiking trails are all bucket list worthy! It takes a lot of planning and training to finish any of these trails. They are definitely for the most adventurous hikers, but don’t let that scare you away.
Never even been backpacking before but want to try it? Make sure to stay tuned as we will be gearing up for summer and posting our top tips for getting into backpacking. Our next issue, which comes out on May 1st, 2020, will also include a beginner backpacking article written by the backpacking pro, Emily Pennington, AKA Brazen Backpacker!
1. Lost Coast Trail (LCT) 24.6 Miles (California)
Located on the beach in Northern California, the Lost Coast Trail is the shortest hike on the list. It is a great beginner thru hike as the terrain is relatively flat and local shuttles for transport between the start and end can be easily arranged. It is unique in that is one of the few wilderness coastal thru hikes in the US. For more information visit:
2. High Sierra Trail (HST) 72 Miles (California)
The HST starts in Crescent Meadows in Sequoia National Park. It heads up through canyon of the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River, crosses the Great Western Divide, over the Kaweah Gap at 10,700 feet. It winds down to the Big Arroyo, and into the Kern River Canyon to the junction with the John Muir Trail. Next you will follow the John Muir Trail to the summit of Mount Whitney! For more information visit:
3. John Muir Trail (JMT) 215 Miles (California)
Starting in Yosemite, the John Muir Trail travels 215 miles through some of the most beautiful areas of the Sierra. Some of the areas you will see are the Ansel Adams Wilderness, Sequoia National Park, King's Canyon National Park, and ending on top of Mount Whitney at 14,496 ft. For more information visit:
4. Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) 310 Miles (Minnesota)
A thru hike in Minnesota? This 310-mile hike explores the trailline above Lake Superior from the south of Duluth, Minnesota to the Canadian border area. The trail winds through the unique features of Lake Superior’s North Shore including accents to rock outcroppings and cliffs, views of sweeping vistas of the region, many prominent rivers, streams, lakes, waterfalls, and ponds and through diverse forest settings. For more information visit:
5. Oregon Coast Trail (OCT) 362 Miles (Oregon)
The Oregon Coast is magical to say the least. Iconic expansive ocean views lined with towering pines and large ornate rocks that dot the horizon are what we think of. The OCT’s 362 miles consist of this plus sandy beaches, forest-shaded corridors, headlands and pass through 28 coastal towns.
For more information visit:
6. Colorado Trail (CT) 567 Miles (Colorado)
This trail covers 567 miles between Denver and Durango and consists of some of the most beautiful scenery in the Rockies. Hikers that complete the trail experience high mountain lakes and tall peaks in six wilderness areas while climbing 90,000 feet in gain. This is a high-altitude trail, with the average elevation at 10,300 feet, and topping out at 13,271 feet. For more information visit: https://coloradotrail.org/