Posted by Logan Watts
For Immediate Release (Carbondale, CO): On October 22, 2017 at 11:49 am (MST), Craig Fowler, of the One of Seven Project became the first person to complete both the thru-hiking and bikepacking triple crowns. Over 11,600 miles of humnan powered adventure.
Fowler already stood in elite company being one of only about 300 thru-hiking triple crowners and by completing the bikepacking triple crown he become only the 20th person to do so. Combine those two lists and Fowler becomes, One of Seven Billion to have completed both.
Fowler completed the Hiking Triple Crown consisting of the Appalachian Trail in 2001, Pacific Crest Trail in 2007, and the Continental Divide Trail in 2015—a total distance of 7574 miles. In 2017 he started the Bikepacking Triple Crown with the Tour Divide in June, a distance of 2732 miles. Up next was the Colorado Trail in July, a distance of 539 miles. The final trail, the Arizona Trail was 757 miles, for a total of 4028 miles of bikepacking and 11,602 miles for both.
When asked which was hardest, Fowler had this to say, “If we’re talking hiking, the CDT was the hardest and on the biking side I would say the AZT.”
Fowler went on to say why these two were the hardest, “On the CDT, the elements, weather, elevation and shear ruggedness made it hard. Heat, lack of water and a very rocky tread made the AZT hard.”
Fowler is a Professional Adventurer, who specializes in hiking and cycling pursuits. A competitive cyclists since 1990, Fowler has raced a wide variety of cycling disciplines, with cyclocross and most recently endurance mountain biking being his favorite disciplines. As the 2007 Washington State B Cyclocross Champion and 4 time champion of the MAD Racing Master A Cyclocross category, Fowler is no stranger to pain and suffering. When Fowler isn’t on the bike or hiking in the mountains other activities like fly fishing, disc golf, reading, and writing fill his days.
Through this project Fowler has realized that despite the immense effort and the suffering, and the sense of accomplishment one gets from large adventures like this, the most valuable part of his travels has been the people he has met and shared experiences with. Realizing he wants to encourage everyone to find their passion that makes them unique and their own one of seven billion people on the planet was a major shift in this project. He will now push the One of Seven Project forward by encourage people to follow their passions regardless of what others think—through motivational speaking, writing, social media, and personal interaction with the people he meets during his adventures and daily life.
Bikepacking Triple Crown
Tour Divide (TD) – 2732 miles – From it’s start in Banff, AB the TD follows lonely dirt roads and rough jeep track through five states ending at Antelope Wells, NM on the Mexican border.
Colorado Trail (CT) – 539 miles – Alternating from year to year the CT travels from Denver to Durango, with an average elevation over 10,000′ and is mainly single track.
Arizona Trail (AZT) – 757 miles – Traveling from Mexico through desert and pine forests, the AZT doesn’t reach the Utah border until it traverses the South Rim to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.
Hiking Triple Crown
Appalachian Trail (AT) – 2168 miles -From Georgia in the south, along the length of the eastern seaboard in the Appalachian mountains, ending on Mt Katahdin in Maine the AT crosses 14 states.
Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) – 2655 miles – Starting at the Mexico border the PCT traverses California’s Sierras and Oregon and Washington’s Cascade Mountains on it way to the Canadian border.
Continental Divide Trail (CDT) – 2751 miles – Stretching from Mexico to Canada the CDT travels along the crown of the continental divide, passing through five states.
Thru-hiking, or through-hiking, is hiking a long-distance trail end-to-end within one hiking season.