February 23

3 Thru-hikes You Don’t Have to Quit Your Job For

In my twenties and thirties, I was single and unencumbered. My life consisted of working, saving money, and taking a long hike. I walked the length of the long green tunnel, traversed the crest and followed the great divide. My life consisted of wonderful memories, experiences and moments made over the years.

Then my priorities shifted a bit.  I married Mrs Mags, formed a community I care about and started to plan for more than my next-big-hike. I, frankly, don’t want to be gone for four to six months at a time anymore.  Four to six weeks sounds about right.


Currently, my goal in life is the creating of flexibility so I may attain my less time intense goals on a regular basis. Where I can maintain a marriage, a community and a career and still explore the backcountry for an extended period of time.

In the mean-time, I still need my outdoor fix. Working full time, while working towards a goal of more flexible time, means I have vacations that range from one week or, if I am lucky, one month.

These lesser length hikes help maintain my sanity and get my needed outdoor fix.

The type of journeys I enjoy doing in this time frame are different than the usual suspects of the Long Trail, the John Muir Trail or the Wonderland Trail. These more well-known trails are great, but I prefer trails a little more off the beaten path…or perhaps have no path at all.

Here’s some suggestions that may work for people in a similar position.


One Week

The nearly 100 mile long Highline Trail in the Uinta Mountains of Utah,  commonly called the Uinta Highline Trail, takes in glacier carved valleys, is within striking distance of the highest point in Utah and starts in the sage brush and traverses through alpine terrain. The Uinta Mountains themselves are said to have nearly 2000 lakes, contain the largest expanse of above tree line area in the lower 48 second only to Colorado’s San Juan Mountains and is the rare range that goes from east to west.

The trail itself is not defined in many areas and does require a person to pay attention to the terrain ahead of them.  But the rewards of hiking this relatively unused wilderness area, other than Kings Peak itself, are excellent.  A memorable adventure for anyone.


Be sure and check out the second part of the article