WILD WEST TRAIL OVERVIEW

Explore each unique section of the trail, from the Jarbidge Wilderness to the Grand Tetons and everything in between

Total mileage of the Idaho Centennial Trail and Jarbidge Wilderness portion: 914.56mi

Crown of the Continent Trail Section, from Idaho to Glacier National Park total mileage: 257.47 miles

Glacier National Park to Wild West Trail Southern Terminus 805.35 miles

Total Mileage: 2,0016 miles

*all trail mileage has been measured via Caltopo and is not 100% accurate. Mileage will be updated upon completion of the WWT 2018

Alpine lake located on the Idaho Centennial Trail and Wild West Trail

Find Your Hike and Experience the Great American Wilderness

Percent of trail through National Forest

42%

Percent of trail through Wilderness Area

37%

Percent of trail through National Park

12%

Percent of trail through National Forest, Wilderness Area, and National Park 

91%

The Wild West Trail is the realization of a vision to connect America’s largest and greatest open spaces with a backpacking trail. Combining parts of three long-distance trails, the Idaho Centennial Trail, Pacific Northwest Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail, while also incorporating new and existing routes, the WWT is a wilderness backpacker’s dream come true.

Backpack the largest wilderness areas in the lower 48 and experience extreme solitude, unlike any other trail. Walk through the Northern Rocky Mountains and witness an ecosystem nearly identical to the one Lewis and Clark discovered.

Jarbridge Wilderness

The Wild West Trail begins in the Jarbridge Wilderness, located in the most remote part of Nevada, and perhaps the most remote town in the lower 48. Following perennial rivers that hold the endangered Bull Trout, the hike ascends mountains and skirts alpine lakes.

Owyhee Desert

Dropping onto the flat and dry Owyhee Desert of Southern Idaho, the WWT links up with the Idaho Centennial Trail and follows it until the northern terminus. Follow the Bruneau-Jarbridge wilderness and gaze into the canyon below. This section of the hike does require water caches.

Sawtooth Mountains

Central Idaho’s beautiful and remote interior mountain range. Snow-capped peaks, high altitude lakes, and deep wilderness are hallmarks of this portion of the hike. Large roadless areas lie to the south of the official wilderness and provide a huge wilderness hike.

River of No Return/Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness

Combined, this wilderness area is the largest in the lower 48. Populations of Wolverine, Moose, Wolves, Black Bear, Elk, and rumors of Grizzly Bears promises an exciting hike. The Middle Fork of the Salmon River cuts through the mountains and offers views of white water rafters. Enjoy hot springs, trout fishing, and ultimate solitude.

Northern Idaho

Walk along the ridgeline that makes the border of Montana and Idaho. Enjoy pristine views and endless miles of National Forest. Rugged, remote, and relatively un-hiked, finding the trail can be just as much an adventure as walking it.

Part of the Pacific Northwest, the climate is much wetter in this part of the state than elsewhere. Dense forests of Douglas Fir cover the landscape. Walk along the shoreline of Priest Lake and finally, to the Canadian Border.

Crown of the Continent

Turn East and hike the eastern leg of the Pacific Northwest Trail. Thick forests and wild rivers lay in front of you. This part of the trail sees few hikers and it does pass through Grizzly territory. Inland temperate rainforests, virgin forests, and wild rivers lay ahead.

Glacier National Park

Awe-inspiring jagged peaks, immaculate air, and world-class trout fishing can all be found here. The WWT meets up with the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) as it turns southward. See the backcountry of one of America’s most beautiful parks.

Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex

163 miles of unbroken wilderness, spanning grizzly bear habitat, ensures the hike of a lifetime. Few hikers make it this deep into the wilderness. Rugged landscapes and ultimate freedom are the rewards for any hiker to this region.

Big Sky Country

Inspired by the Big Sky Variant of the CDT, this section of the WWT promises a backdoor view of Montana. Walk through rural landscapes and mountains that never end.  The Spanish Peaks on Yellowstone’s border provide epic backdrops. Backpack through the Gallatin Petrified Forest and have a glimpse back in time.

Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem

Staying in the greater Yellowstone biome for over 200 miles, the WWT follows the Lamar Valley, known as the Serengeti of North America. Bison herds and grizzly bears call this place home, we are just visitors. Hot springs, backcountry fishing, and a remote wilderness camping is available inside the Nation’s most popular National Park.

The Grand Tetons

South of Yellowstone lies the iconic Grand Tetons. The WWT traverses down the wild, western flank of the range before straddling the mountains and following the Teton Crest Trail to its southern terminus.

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