Thru hiking & Backpacking adventures: photos, videos, gear reviews, trail maps, GPX files, and more!

Latest

NEW 675 Mile Thru Hike: The Mojave-Sonoran Trail

 

New Thru-Hike Creation: The 675 Mile Mojave-Sonoran Trail

I’m excited to announce a new, original 675-mile thru-hiking route across the southwest, which I will begin in early November 2021. The route begins at Valley of Fire State Park (Vegas area), roughly traverses the Colorado River (though seldom near its banks) south to Kofa National Wildlife Refuge in southern Arizona. I’m calling it the Mojave-Sonoran Trail, because the route begins in the Mojave desert and transitions to Sonoran desert as the route enters Arizona. This is a part of the country that is not represented by any other long distance hiking trails or routes, yet offers the thru-hiker so much potential for adventure.

The route begins in the Mojave desert environment, and transitions into Sonoran desert as it enters Arizona along the second half of the hike. This region is home to many jagged peaks and lonely mountain ranges, deep and narrow canyons, and big desert views. There are almost no marked hiking trails along the way, perhaps 5% or less of the route. Best of all, this route can be hiked from the mid-fall to spring timeframe due to the warm climate in the region.

The first 250 miles or so are almost entirely within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area, which encapsulates 12 wilderness areas on its own! This route will hit 8 of the 12 wilderness areas in Lake Mead NRA by hiking the west side of the Colorado River instead of the east. South of the LMNRA, the route crosses to the east of the Colorado River, leaving Nevada and entering Arizona. In Lake Havasu, a $2 ferry ride across the river provides access to the west side again, entering California. A few days later, the route crosses the Colorado River again at Parker Dam, entering Arizona. It’s all Sonoran desert from here on out. The hike ends with a 150+ mile route through the New Water Mountains and the 500,000 acre Kofa Wilderness.

Here’s some quick facts on the route:

675 miles across 3 states
Roughly 250 miles in Nevada, 50 miles in California, 375 miles in Arizona
9 Sections, 8 Resupply points
15 Wilderness Areas
1 Wilderness Study Area
2 National Wildlife Refuges
1 National Recreation Area
1 State Park

I’m expecting the hike to take roughly 7 weeks, including some zero days. My planned resupply points are as follows:

Echo Bay, NV (food cache)
Callville Bay, NV (VERY minor resupply)
Boulder City, NV
Searchlight, NV
Bullhead City, AZ
Lake Havasu, AZ
Bouse, AZ
Quartzsite, AZ

I’ve spent the last week driving along the route, doing some scouting and placing a few caches. Just driving the route was an adventure on its own. Some of the scenery was downright jaw-dropping from the road. Up close, there is going to be some truly great stuff.

I did a few hikes along the way, testing one steep and narrow canyon, proving it to “probably” be passable. While there will be some excellent peaks, ridges and highpoints along the way, I’m looking forward to a lot more deep and narrow canyons along this route than I’ve done anywhere else. Additionally, this route is LAODED with old mines to explore along the way, which is great for the rockhound in me.

Challenges along this route, besides the terrain and lack of trails, is the lack of daylight at this time of year. Fewer hours in the day means shorter mileage days, in terrain that is already slow going when off-trail hiking. The Mojave desert is not quite as thorny as the Sonoran, so the second half will inevitably have more cactus encounters. I predict, pain. Lots and lots of pain. Water will also be an issue in some stretches, with a couple of 30 mile water carries along the way. I would have cached water to cut these down, but they are not in places that can be reached by a vehicle, or a vehicle plus a reasonable hike. Half of the resupply stops have poor/nearly non-existent food selections.

As always, the rewards will outweigh the challenges. In fact, the challenges are often the reward in disguise. Overcoming them is where we feel truly alive, and THAT is the real gift. 

After the hike, I’ll post a detailed write-up and guide about the Mojave-Sonoran Trail. To follow along during the hike, check out Seeking Lost on instagram, facebook and patreon

Time to get walkin’.

1000 Mile Nevada Thru Hike Documentary: Pioneering Nevada’s Basin and Range Trail

 

In 2020, I walked a new 1000 mile thru hiking route across Nevada’s backcountry. The unique Basin and Range topography here is stunning and remote, difficult and rewarding. I’ve filmed this trek and have produced a 60 minute film that documents this epic journey across one of the last true wilderness areas in the west. And now, you can watch “Pioneering Nevada’s Basin and Range Trail” to experience this journey for yourself!

nevada thru hiking movie - outdoor adventure film documenting Nevada's basin and range trail