Triple Crown of Hiking

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Hikers on the Bob Marshall Wilderness trail. The trail is maintained by The Montana Wilderness Association (CDT Montana).

The Triple Crown of Hiking informally refers to the three major U.S. long-distance hiking trails:

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.[4] 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 October 2012, 174 hikers have been designated Triple Crowners.[5]


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).[6] Reed Gjonnes, age 13, is the youngest to have completed the Triple Crown. Along with her father, she hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 2011,[7] the Appalachian Trail in 2012,[8] and the Continental Divide Trail in 2013.[9]


The first person to walk the Triple Crown back-to-back was Matthew Hazley from Northern Ireland, who took 239 days in 2005.[10][11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ Gailey, Chris (2006). "Appalachian Trail FAQs" (accessed September 14, 2006)
  3. ^ Karen Berger. "America's Triple Crown—Hiking on the Appalachian, Pacific Crest and Continental Divide Trails". Gorp. Retrieved November 25, 2009. 
  4. ^ Glenn Adams, Associated Press Writer (October 27, 2001). "Hiker Achieves 'Triple Crown'". Washington Post. Retrieved November 25, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Triple Crown", American Long Distance Hiking Association - West
  6. ^ "Eric Ryback". Cold Splinters blog. November 5, 2009. Retrieved March 5, 2016. 
  7. ^ Amelia Templeton (August 18, 2011). "Field Notes: From Mexico to Canada, in Time for 6th Grade". OPB. 
  8. ^ Kitson Jazynka (June 25, 2012). "Reed Gjonnes, 12, walks the Appalachian Trail with her dad". Washington Post. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Out & About: Girl, 13, youngest triple crowner". Spokesman-Review. September 22, 2013. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  10. ^ Steubner, Steve (October 8, 2006). "Hiking the Continental Divide Trail". AmericanProfile .com. Retrieved November 16, 2016. 
  11. ^ Hazley, Matthew; Butler, Robert III (2005). "Matthew Hazley - TrailCast 12 (43:00; audio talk)". TrailCast. Retrieved November 23, 2016. 

Further reading[edit]

  • 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.

External links[edit]