The adventure of a lifetime

Thru-Hiking

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.

FAQs

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

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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.

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Explore the Trail

Interactive Map

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

Launch Map
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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
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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.

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Learn About

Equipment

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.

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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.

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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.