Triple Crown of Hiking
The Triple Crown of Hiking informally refers to the three major U.S. long-distance hiking trails:
- Pacific Crest Trail – 2,654 miles (4,270 km) long, Washington, Oregon, and California between Mexico and Canada following the highest portion of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Range.
- Appalachian Trail – 2,184 miles (3,515 km), between Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine.
- Continental Divide Trail – 3,100 miles (5,000 km), between Mexico and Canada following the Continental Divide along the Rocky Mountains and traversing Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico.
The total length of the three trails is about 7,900 miles (12,700 km); vertical gain is more than 1,000,000 feet (190 mi; 300 km). A total of 22 states are visited if the three trails are completed. The American Long Distance Hiking Association – West (ALDHA–West) is the only organization that recognizes this hiking feat. At the ALDHA–West gathering, held each fall, the Triple Crown honorees are recognized and awarded plaques noting their achievement. As of January 2017, 290 hikers have been designated Triple Crowners.
The first person to ever achieve The Triple Crown of Hiking was Eric Ryback. Ryback completed the Appalachian Trail in 1969 as a 16-year-old. He completed the Pacific Crest Trail in 1970 and chronicled it in his 1971 book The High Adventure of Eric Ryback: Canada to Mexico on Foot. Ryback completed the Continental Divide Trail in 1972 and chronicled it in his second book, The Ultimate Journey (now out of print).
Reed Gjonnes, at age 13, became the first child and youngest person to thru-hike all three trails to complete the triple crown. A thru-hike is defined as completing a long trail in a single trip. She hiked all three trails as continuous northbound hikes in one hiking season each.  Along with her father Eric Gjonnes, she hiked The Pacific Crest Trail in 2011, the Appalachian Trail in 2012, and the Continental Divide Trail in 2013.
Christian Geiger, age 9, is the youngest person to have hiked all three trails to complete the Triple Crown. Christian, known by his trail name Buddy Backpacker, completed all three trails with his step-father Dion Pagonis. Together they completed the Appalachian Trail in 2013 when Buddy was 5, the Pacific Crest Trail when he was 6 in 2014 and began the Continental Divide Trail in the spring 2016 and completed it in September 2017 when he was 9.
- Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association (ALDHA–East)
- Backpacking (wilderness)
- Continental Divide Trail
- European long-distance paths, 11 European long-distance paths
- Hiking equipment
- Long-distance trail
- Long-distance trails in the United States
- National Millennium Trails, 16 trails reflecting U.S. history and culture
- Pacific Crest Trail
- Pacific Crest Trail Association. "Pacific Crest Trail – Frequently Asked Questions". Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail: Online Map and Guide – Mexico to Canada. United States Forest Service. Retrieved December 30, 2010.
- Gailey, Chris (2006). "Appalachian Trail FAQs" Outdoors.org (accessed September 14, 2006)
- Karen Berger. "America's Triple Crown—Hiking on the Appalachian, Pacific Crest and Continental Divide Trails". Gorp. Archived from the original on May 13, 2010. Retrieved November 25, 2009.
- Glenn Adams, Associated Press Writer (October 27, 2001). "Hiker Achieves 'Triple Crown'". Washington Post. Retrieved November 25, 2009.
- "Triple Crown", American Long Distance Hiking Association – West
- "Eric Ryback". Cold Splinters blog. November 5, 2009. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
- "Buddy Backpacker". BuddyBackpacker. Retrieved 2017-10-15.
- "About Buddy". BuddyBackpacker. Retrieved 2017-10-15.
- "Being Buddy Backpacker". Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine. 2014-03-13. Retrieved 2017-10-15.
- Kindergarten Can Wait: The Story of Buddy Backpacker, retrieved 2017-10-15
- "Meet Andrea (Buddy Backpacker's Mom) – Hike Like A Woman". hikelikeawoman.net. Retrieved 2017-10-15.
- "Buddy Backpacker". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2017-10-15.
- Steubner, Steve (October 8, 2006). "Hiking the Continental Divide Trail". AmericanProfile .com. Retrieved November 16, 2016.
- Hazley, Matthew; Butler, Robert III (2005). "Matthew Hazley – TrailCast 12 (43:00; audio talk)". TrailCast. Retrieved November 23, 2016.
- Berger, Karen and Daniel Smith (1993). Where the Waters Divide: A Walk along America's Continental Divide. New York: Random House.
- Bruce, Dan (2000) The Thru-Hiker's Handbook Hot Springs, North Carolina: Center for Appalachian Trail Studies.
- Norton, Russell (1997) Long Trail End-to-Ender's Guide. Waterbury Center, Vermont: Green Mountain Club.
- Shaffer, Earl V. (1983) Walking With Spring. Harper's Ferry, West Virginia: the Appalachian Trail Conference.