Triple Crown of Hiking

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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 (300,000 m) (190 miles). 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]

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,[6] the Appalachian Trail in 2012,[7] and the Continental Divide Trail in 2013.[8]


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).

Back to Back[edit]

The first person to walk the Triple Crown back to back was Matthew Hazley from Northern Ireland, who took 239 days in 2005.[9]

The Super Triple Crown (Three-Headed Snake)[edit]

The new, more advanced Triple Crown of Hiking extends beyond the US, with two of the three routes reaching into Canada. The "Three-Headed Snake" comprises the Eastern Continental Trail, the Sea-to-Sea Route and the Great Western Loop. No one has completed all three routes to this point, though all three have been thru-hiked at least once. Andrew Skurka is the only person to successfully thru-hike the Sea-to-Sea Route or the Great Western Loop, having done so in 2005 and 2007 respectively.

The Quad[edit]

The US Hiking Quad consists of the country's four longest trails. This includes the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, the Continental Divide Trail and the North Country Trail.

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 2010-12-30. 
  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 2009-11-25. 
  4. ^ Glenn Adams, Associated Press Writer (October 27, 2001). "Hiker Achieves 'Triple Crown'". Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-11-25. 
  5. ^ "Triple Crown", American Long Distance Hiking Association - West
  6. ^ Amelia Templeton (August 18, 2011). "Field Notes: From Mexico to Canada, in Time for 6th Grade". OPB. 
  7. ^ Kitson Jazynka (June 25, 2012). "Reed Gjonnes, 12, walks the Appalachian Trail with her dad". Washington Post. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Out & About: Girl, 13, youngest triple crowner". Spokesman-Review. September 22, 2013. Retrieved October 22, 2013. 
  9. ^