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Posts tagged “nevada thru hike

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’.

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

nevada thru hiking movie - outdoor adventure film documenting 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

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Basin and Range Trail Movie Release Date

After much delay, I am happy to announce that you can watch my Basin and Range Trail movie on July 1st for FREE on youtube! Be sure to tune in and have a look if you are so inclined, and later this year I will release a 10 part series documenting this Nevada thru hike in more detail. I look forward to sharing the BRT with you!

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Pioneering Nevada’s Basin and Range Trail: Official Movie Trailer

I haven’t been very active here lately, but a LOT has been going on behind the scenes. Since I returned from my Basin and Range Trail thru hike last summer, I have been hard at work documenting the journey. Since November, I have been working non-stop on this project; building a dedicated website for the BRT, writing a guidebook, creating maps for navigation. The website is now live, and you can visit it here: https://basinandrangetrail.com/

Additionally, I have been working on a feature film called “Pioneering Nevada’s Basin and Range Trail”, and today I am pleased to share the trailer for the movie with you:

movie trailer thumbnail for pineering nevada's basin and range trail movie

 

The movie is to be released on streaming and video on demand services late spring/early summer 2021. More info to come soon! Also in production is a much more detailed 10 part series on the Basin and Range Trail. The movie barely scratches the surface of the adventures to be had on the BRT, and the series will really give you a chance to immerse yourself in the full experience.

How you can help: Marketing is the biggest factor that can make or break the success of a film. If you enjoy the trailer, please take a moment to share it on facebook, reddit or the social media platform of your choice.

Thank you all for your patience and support!

 

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Basin and Range Trail Thru Hike Complete!

hiker walks ridgeline in great basin national park on thru hike of the basin and range trail in nevada
Pioneering America’s newest long distance hike: The 1000+ mile Basin and Range Trail in Nevada

Woohoo!! 1000+ mile Basin and Range Trail thru-hike complete!

The BRT is a brand new long distance thru hike route that I created and hiked over 67 days through Nevada this summer.  Nevada is the most mountainous state in the country, outside of Alaska, with over 310 separate mountain ranges. The BRT aims to combine as many of the best mountain ranges in the state as possible in one long loop-style thru hike route. In  much of the Great Basin, specifically central Nevada, the term “Basin and Range” is used to describe the topography… an alternating landscape of parallel mountain ranges and valleys. Hence, the name Basin and Range Trail. 

I created the Basin and Range Trail to satisfy my curiosities about Nevada. For a chance to explore a mysterious region almost entirely untouched by the backpacking community. I never knew what to expect, whether or not the route down this mountain or canyon would pan out. Whether or not I would find water. With so little available information about the area, water sources etc, every single day was a real adventure. Every single day, I felt like I was walking into the unknown.

Nevada is crazy wild. The majority of the state sees extremely little human use. Mostly hunters and ATV riders, and exponentially less use by hikers. You will seldom be the “first person to walk here”, but you will often feel like it. There aren’t many places left like that. The towns are small and isolated, often around 100 miles from the nearest/next anything. Many towns don’t even have a grocery store, and rural Nevadans routinely drive 200 miles for food. Things are spread out here on a scale that you must see to comprehend. That is one of the things that brought my attention to Nevada, and a big part of the draw to hiking here. 

Along my 1000+ mile walk on the BRT, I encountered hundreds of wild horses, many elk, deer, big horn sheep, badgers, and only two rattlesnakes. I discovered numerous caves, countless creeks, waterfalls, and summitted the high points of several mountain ranges. I dodged lightning strikes, saw the oldest living things on earth (Bristlecone Pine trees), swam in hot springs, walked the pony express trail, cowboy camped under the starriest night skies imaginable, visited a nuclear test site, found arrowheads and Indian artifacts, had 6am wake up calls from the sonic boom of military aircraft, explored forgotten mine shafts, battled 102 degree temperatures and crossed dried lake beds, bushwhacked my way to hell and back, collected rocks along the way including many garnets, cowboy camped in a cave, and nearly got swept off a cliff by a dislodged boulder. I feel incredibly lucky to have seen and experienced what I have, and to have returned relatively unscathed. 

I ended my 67 day BRT journey in the town of Baker, NV which has a population of 68. Ending alone, in a small town like this, is rather anti-climatic. It’s a quasi-loop route, with no definitive start/end points like the CDT, PCT, AT etc. No monument to celebrate at. I stretched out the miles on my final day walking into town, giving myself a little time to process the completion of my most ambitious adventure yet. The array of emotions one feels at the end of such a journey are varied and quite intense. All the trials and triumphs of a months-long expedition have passed, and suddenly, your goal is complete. It’s a great feeling, a relieving feeling, to be done and to be able to relax. On the other hand, it’s difficult to comes to terms with… is it possible this may have been my greatest adventure, never again to be topped? What does the future hold? Indeed, much to ponder, an entirely different topic on it’s own. It’s been a real privilege to spend a summer roaming here.

**I’ve filmed the entire hike (carried 6lbs of camera gear, roughly 1/3 my baseweight) with the intent of producing a movie, as well as a vlog-style video series for YouTube. 𝐒𝐮𝐛𝐬𝐜𝐫𝐢𝐛𝐞 𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐲 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐨𝐮𝐜𝐡:

👉 https://www.youtube.com/c/SeekingLost

I also plan to release detailed info on the route (website/guidebook) for anyone who would like to take on the Basin and Range Trail themselves. And finally, I plan to write a book about my journey, as it has been just too powerful of an experience not to share in greater detail!

Stay tuned for more updates throughout the fall. Happy trails! 

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