Walking across the US...

The goal is to walk from any east coast beach to a west coast beach. Assume that we’re dealing with just the land itself, no roads,

  1. what would be the most direct, navigable route?

  2. when would be the ideal time to start (Weather considerations, etc)?

  3. how long would it take? (so i know what to tell my work :rolleyes: )

The Turtle Moves

  1. can i crash at your place for a night?

Is crossing roads okay? (I predict it’s gonna be real tough to find an entirely road-free route.)

of course…wait for it…i’m no chicken…

Are you TRULY walking across america from point barrow alaska to key west florida?

Mike, that was east to west.

heavens no…not necessarily. it could be from any point - jacksonville area to san diego area springs to mind, but then you’ve got to contend with crossing arizona. or would, say, baltimore-portland be easier? but then you’d have to worry about snow and freezing your butt off (not that it’s not cold in nm, az at night)…

The Turtle Moves

I’d guess that the best path from the east would probably be the one furthest south. You could start in the winter, so by the time you reach the really dry arid southwest, it’ll hopefully be spring or summer. The mountains would still be a problem though.

The instructors in my snowcamping class know the last fellow I heard of who did it - don’t recall his name but a few years ago he did the “Triple Crown” (Transcontinental hike, the PCT and one other I think is the Appalachian) in one calendar year, thus dealing with nasty weather and so on.

The American Discovery Trail goes across the US but it’s 4800 miles long, obviously not a straight line.

Anyhow, this guy averaged 30 miles a day, 7 days a week. That’s a huge amount of hiking and he told one of my instructors that he “fell down a lot”. If you aren’t used to that kind of activity I’d say give yourself a year to complete the hike and do a lot of planning first.

And frankly I’m jealous!

I had to read a book “Walk Across America” in 7th grade, I think it was written in the 80s. The guy trained for 2 months and I know he went through ~12 pairs of shoes…or was it 40? Anyway, it takes a LONG time and plan on training for it.

This guy walked around the world. But he used roads and a couple pack mules.

Did anyone else envision the King/Bachman book “The Long Walk”?

Paging Forrest Gump…

This is the reason that I would say go from west to east starting in late winter / early spring. The southwestern deserts are not a place you want to spend time hiking through in the middle of the summer.

Here you go: The first couple to walk the American Discovery Trail. There were a number of articles about them at the time. They quit their jobs at Wal-Mart in New Hampshire, started walking, overwintered in North Dakota (where they worked again for Wal-Mart for a little while), and relied a great deal on the kindness of strangers (esp. since the ADT is not as established/hiker-friendly as, say, the Appalachian Trail: much of the ADT goes right past suburban backyards, etc., not through wilderness with camping areas).

Here’s one quick account:


My bad: They wintered in Pueblo, Colo. I was thinking of Lewis & Clark, I guess.


Pick the right place in southern Florida and you can do it in a couple of steps.