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American Discovery Trail in Colorado

You'll find no better way to discover America than this lengthy hike across 15 states, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. For such a long journey, one needs at least a year of time reserved

American Discovery Trail
American Discovery Trail

How to explore a large country like the USA? One can buy a plane ticket to a few cities or visit a couple of National Parks by car, or climb a mountain or two. Whatever you may decide to do, keep in mind that there is one perfect option to discover America to its fullest, via American Discovery Trail. It's split into north and south routes that cross the entire country from the Atlantic coast in the east to the Pacific coast in the west. This corridor covers 15 states, which is quite a lot, isn't it?

Its eastern terminus is located in Delaware, at the Cape Henlopen State Park. Limantour Beach in California's Point Reyes is the western terminus. A long way between Delaware and California runs through the states of Maryland, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. Somebody counted its northern route stretches for 4,834 miles (7,780 kilometers), and southern one—for 5,057 miles (8,138 kilometers). If you venture with a round-trip, the total length you're supposed to cover is 6,800 miles (10,900 kilometers). In spite of the considerable length, the trail's complexity varies from easy to strenuous, being probably the most demanding along Argentine Pass in the Rockies of Colorado, for this is the trail's highest point. Among numerous highlights of the scenic natural corridor across America are 14 national parks and 16 national forests.

The first people who made this thru-hike were Marcia and Ken Powers, a family team from California. They started the journey traditionally in Delaware in February of 2005 and returned home in October of the same year, so nine months were enough. The first one who did both north and south routes was Mike "Lion King" Daniel. He started in June of 2007 and finished in November of 2008, in roughly one and a half years. The greatest benefit of the trail is the unlimited season—you can do it year-round. All you need for such an adventure is free time, as you see, so when you feel like discovering America, leave all your hectic life for a year and create some worthy life-long memories.

Practical info

What is the American Discovery Trail?

The American Discovery Trail is a hiking trail that runs from Delaware to California. It covers 15 states and is divided into north and south routes, showcasing the scenic beauty of America. Show more

How long is the American Discovery Trail?

The American Discovery Trail covers 6,800 miles in round-trip. The northern route is 4,834 miles long while the southern route is 5,057 miles long. Show more

What is the highest point of the trail?

The Rockies in Colorado have the highest point of the American Discovery Trail, the Argentine Pass. This stretch of the trail is challenging and offers beautiful natural views across America; the trail spans 14 national parks and 16 national forests. Show more

What are some highlights of the trail?

Hikers on the American Discovery Trail can enjoy a diverse mix of natural attractions, national parks, and historic landmarks; it traverses 15 states, highlighting various cultural differences. The Sierra Nevada Mountains, Blue Ridge Mountains, the Rocky Mountains, and the Great Plains are just a few of the natural wonders available to visitors. The trail includes 14 National Parks and 16 National Forests. Show more

Who was the first person to hike the trail and how long did it take?

Marcia and Ken Powers were the first family team to complete the thru-hike of the American Discovery Trail. They began their journey in Delaware in February 2005 and returned home in October the same year, with a duration of nine months. Mike “Lion King” Daniel was the first to undertake both north and south routes, completing the journey in one and a half years from June 2007 to November 2008. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin