Until Now Only One Person Had Completed This 7,000-Mile Hiking Route of the West
Jeff Garmire just became the second.
- CategoryLife Outside
According to Outside, The Great Western Loop is “a 7,000-mile route that patches together portions of the Pacific Crest, Pacific Northwest, Continental Divide, Grand Enchantment, and Arizona trails, with sections of trail-less walking through the Sonoran and Mojave deserts. No official designation exists for the Great Western, which traverses some of the West’s most beautiful, rugged, and remote terrain, dipping into nine states, 12 national parks and more than 75 wilderness areas.”
Until recently, only one person has completed the hike, a professional backpacker and guide named Andrew Skurka. But in November, another accomplished the same feat. He did it in 208 days and 15 hours according to his Instragam.
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Although the Great Western Loop reaches some of the highest elevations in the U.S., Outside reveals Garmire chose to summit 14,505-foot Mount Whitney. Previous hiker Skurka notes that both weather and timing play a huge role in making it happen in one shot. “You have to complete about 4,600 miles of trail in about four months.” In other words, you have to hike the entire distance of the Appalachian Trail twice in less than the length of a single season.
Read more about Garmire and his path here.
It may sound counterintuitive, but there’s more to the picture.