The adventure of a lifetime


Thru-hiking the A.T. is the adventure of a lifetime. But trekking the 2,190+ miles of the A.T. is no easy feat — make sure you’re prepared!

What to Expect

Completing the entire 2,190+ miles of the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) in one trip is a mammoth undertaking. Each year, thousands of hikers attempt a thru-hike; only about one in four makes it all the way.

  • A typical thru-hiker takes 5 to 7 months to hike the entire A.T.
  • After deciding when and where to begin and then registering your thru-hike, you will need to plan your resupply points and know the camping regulations along the A.T.
  • Learn the camping regulations along the A.T. and the ATC’s expectations for hikers who want to be officially recognized as a 2,000-miler.
  • In addition to these logistics, physical and mental preparations become important factors in a successful thru-hike. Learn more about all these subjects below.


Voluntary thru-hiker registration

The voluntary thru-hiker registration is a tool that helps prospective thru-hikers share their start dates with other thru-hikers and plan their itinerary in order to avoid the social and ecological impacts of overcrowding.

Register your hike now


A.T. Hangtags

Hangtags distributed by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy are frequently seen dangling off an aspiring 2,000-miler’s pack, marking their intent to traverse the entire Appalachian Trail.


Explore the Trail

Interactive Map

You can explore many locations along the trail including shelters, A.T. Communities, Trail Clubs, and more.

Launch Map
Plan and Prepare

Maps and Guides

Thru-hiking guides and planners, official A.T. maps, and more are available from our partners at Mountaineers Books.

Visit the Store

Safety on the A.T.

Learn about the hazards you may face when hiking the Appalachian Trail and how to best prepare for a safe, healthy hike.



Bear Canister Lending Program

Bear canisters are the food storage method that provides the most flexibility and surety for camping anywhere along the A.T. – no trees required. To try a bear canister and stay safe during your backpacking trip, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and BearVault have partnered with the Georgia Appalachian Trail Club, Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest (C-ONF), Amicalola Falls State Park and four North Georgia outfitters to create a free program that makes borrowing a bear canister simple.


Learn About


The most predictable mistake thru-hikers make when they start is carrying too much stuff. Put as much effort into determining what you don't need as what you do.

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Learn About

Food & Resupply

There's no need to carry more than 3 to 6 days of food on most parts of the A.T. Thru-hikers have techniques for resupplying in towns along the way.

Read More

Finish Well at Baxter State Park

Celebrate the history and significance of Katahdin and your thru-hike by following these guidelines while hiking to the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail.

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Report a Successful Hike of the Entire Appalachian Trail

Section hikers and thru-hikers who complete the entire A.T. can report their journeys to us by filling out the 2,000-miler application. Those who submit their applications will be added to our roster of 2,000-milers and will receive a certificate of recognition, an A.T. patch, an accompanying 2,000-miler “rocker” patch, and be featured in the Spring issue of A.T. Journeys magazine. Click below to view our 2,000-miler recognition policy and submit your application today.

Learn More

Report an Incident

While the Appalachian Trail is a relatively safe place to visit, that does not mean that there are not potential dangers while you are hiking or camping. If you see something, say something — this will help us keep the A.T. as safe as possible for our visitors.