Great Western Loop
|Great Western Trail|
|Length||6,875 miles (11,064 km)|
|Location||California, Oregon, Washington, Canada, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona|
The Great Western Loop is a 6,875 miles (11,064 km) long hiking route that passes through several states of the western United States.
It links together five long-distance hiking trails: the Pacific Crest Trail, the Pacific Northwest Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, the Grand Enchantment Trail, and the Arizona Trail. It features some of the most remote, beautiful, hostile, and pristine environments in the United States, including the Mojave Desert, the Sonoran Desert, 12 National Parks, and 75 wilderness areas.
Andrew Skurka, a professional backpacker, was the first to complete the Great Western Loop. On April 9, 2007, Skurka began the route from the Grand Canyon. Averaging 33 miles (53 km) per day, Skurka arrived back at the Grand Canyon on November 3, 2007, 208 days after he began. Jeff Garmire became the second person to complete route, doing so in 2018. Jeff Garmire started on April 30 and finished on November 24, totaling 208 days on the trail. Garmire completed Nolan’s 14 while on the expedition, reaching the peaks of fourteen 14ers in Colorado in under 60 hours. Mr. Skurka and Mr. Garmire are the only two people to complete the Great Western Loop in under a year.
In 2019, the Great Western Loop will officially become the Great Western Loop Trail and expanded to include the northern and southern termini of both the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and the Continental Divide Trail (CDT). The El Diablo Highway (not to be confused with Arizona's El Camino del Diablo) and the Mexican American Aquaduct Trail will connect the southern termini of the PCT and CDT, while the Pacific Northwest Trail will connect the northern termini. Upon completion, the trail will have an estimated length of 7285 miles.
- Duane, Daniel. "2007 Adventurer of the Year: The Walking Man". National Geographic Adventure. Archived from the original on 2009-06-20. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
- Skurka, Andrew. "Great Western Loop Overview". Andrew Skurka Official Website. Retrieved 2012-02-10.