Nick “Chezwick” Gagnon.
Thirteen pairs of hiking boots, 17 pairs of socks, and five headlamps. Nine U.S. states, six national parks, and 25 backpacker hostels. Approximately 15 million steps and 6,875.5 total miles.
These dizzying metrics come from hiker Nick Gagnon’s recent completion of the Great Western Loop, a massive thru-hike that links together sections of the Pacific Crest, Pacific Northwest, Continental Divide, Grand Enchantment, and Arizona trails in a nearly 7,000-mile circle.
Nobody knows how many hikers have completed the route, but only two others have documented their successful journeys: backpacker Jeff Garmire in 2018 and guide Andrew Skurka in 2007.
Garmier completed it in 208 days and 15 hours, while Skurka finished it in 213 days and six hours. …