Few people have heard of, much less attempted, the Great Western Loop, 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.
Only one person has ever completed the epic—professional backpacker and guide Andrew Skurka, who started the Loop in California and ended in Arizona. Jeff Garmire, a 27-year-old from Vancouver, Washington, plans to be the second. And judging by the more than 5,100 miles he’s already completed, he’s got a pretty decent chance at success.
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