People like to play with Google Maps to find “the world’s longest walk.”
But how can you find the world’s longest hike?
It’s simple. Look up “list of mountain ranges by length” – and then see which ones you can string together.
…oh, you’d like me to do the work for you? Well it just so happens-
LONGEST CONTINUOUS HIKE IN SOUTH AMERICA
PITCH ONE: The Greater Patagonia Trail, from Ushuaia to Santiago de Chile (1900mi)
PITCH TWO: Santiago to La Paz (1,200mi as the crow flies)
PITCH THREE: PERU (2,000mi as the crow flies)
PITCH FOUR: ECUADOR, COLOMBIA, VENEZUELA, ending in Caracas (1,400 miles as the crow flies)
LONGEST CONTINUOUS HIKES IN NORTH AMERICA
The Greater Rockies
PITCH ONE: CENTRAL AMERICA – The Darien Gap to Salina Cruz, Mexico
PITCH TWO: MEXICO – Salina Cruz to Ciudad Juarez
PITCH THREE: THE CDT (3000mi)
PITCH FOUR: THE CANADIAN ROCKIES (1700mi as the crow flies)
Ending at either Utqiagvik, Alaska or Point Hope, Alaska, depending on if you’re going “most north” or “longest”
The Greater Sierras
PITCH ONE: BAJA CALIFORNIA (Cabo to Campo: 7,60 miles)
PITCH TWO: THE PCT (2,650 miles)
PITCH THREE: MORE CANADIAN MOUNTAINS (like 1,400mi to Whitehorse)
PITCH FOUR: ALASKA – to Ikatan Bay, Alaska (or canoeing out to… Russia?)
LONGEST CONTINUOUS HIKE IN AFRICA
The Great Escarpment Horseshoe (Luanda, Angola to Cape Agulhas, South Africa, then up to Port Said, Egypt)
…going monodirectional, it’d be Agulhas to Port Said – about 6,500mi road walk, or 4,500mi flies-the-crow.
LONGEST CONTINUOUS HIKES IN ASIA
The Northern Route: Cape Dezhnev, Russia, down through the Altai, the Tian Shan, the Hindu Kush, and the Caucasus Mountains, to Sebastopol.
…as a direct line, this is 4,500 mi, which distance measure could not possibly be more meaningless.
The Southern Route: Shanghai, across the Himalayas, the Hindu Kush, the Elburz, and the Taurus, to Istanbul.
… 5,000mi, by Airbus
LONGEST CONTINUOUS HIKE IN THE MIDDLE EAST
The Hijaz Trail: The west coast of Saudi Arabia, up the Levant, ending in Tripoli or Homs
LONGEST CONTINUOUS HIKE IN EUROPE
Start in Istanbul, follow the Balkans, the Alps, and the Pyrenees, ending in Santiago (the Camino)
OTHER MAJOR RANGES
The Appalachian Trail (at its most extended, Pensacola to Cap Gaspe)
Florida Trail (at its most comical, Key West to Pensacola)
The Atlas Mountains – Morocco (east-west)
The Dolomites – Italy (north-south)
The Carpathians – Eastern Europe (they’re doin’ their own thing)
All Of Norway Lol (north-south)
The Urals (north-south)
The Entire Ass East Coast Of Australia
Te Araroa (NZ, 1900mi)
A Shit Ton Of Islands In The Pacific Have Mountain Ranges That Are Even Longer Than Te Araroa
Madagascar (north-south or loop)
Iceland (cross or loop)
Ain’t Even Touching The Subcontinent, Here
And, Again, There Are Just A LOT Of Himalayas
What, then, are the longest thruhikes that you can make by combining these hikes/ranges?
There are, broadly, four.
THE GREAT AMERICA THRU
The Andes + one of the two North American route
= Antarctic to Arctic thru
THE GREAT RIFT THRU
Eastern Africa + The Levant + The Taurus Range + The Carpathians + Norway
= Antarctic to Arctic thru
THE LOOP OF HERCULES
The Atlas Mountains + West Africa + South Africa + East Africa + The Levant + Turkey + The Balkans + The Alps + The Pyrenees + The Sierra da Estrelas + Beginning and Ending at Gibraltar
THE LONGEST WAY
Cape Dezhnev to Santiago de Compostela
(Shanghai to Santiago… “The Chinese Way”?)
THE LOL, LMAO
Singapore to Novaya Zemlya, I don’t even
I shall write about the GAT in the future. For now: to bed.