The 48 State Hike started as a 10 day motorcycle trip. I didn't have the time or the money to take the trip and I also didn't like the idea of riding on the east coast. I quit riding when I started backpacking frequently in 2010. I'd backpacked many times before, but in 2010 my son and I got into it.
I decided to convert the trip into a 48 State Hike. I'm one of those strange people who like to hike on the roads. Sure, I enjoy backpacking in the Colorado Mountains. Road walking is a different experience I also enjoy.
The route for the 48 State Hike is realistic for a real hike. It's not as impossible as it sounds on the surface. Now that I have the route planned, I'm micro-planning it and starting to write a comprehensive trail guide.
The route is about 8,600 miles long. It starts and stops in Pueblo, Colorado. I chose Pueblo because that's where I live.
The timing of the route is important. The earliest start date is March 15th. The latest is about April 1st. This is based on weather patterns around the country. In order to make it work, the route has to be hiked clockwise.
The Road Walker can wear whatever clothes they like. There is no sense in debating what is best, because people walk long distances in all kinds of clothes.
As long as a walker walks most days of the year, clothes are irrelevant. They figure out what to wear and they acclimate to the weather. Even hot weather is not an issue. I take long walks many times during the summer when it's around 110 and I seldom carry water with me.
Resupply on the 48 State Hike is easy. It passes right by a supermarket every two or three days. Water takes some thought. The longest distance between water stops is 78 miles. They are on HWY 50 in Nevada. Most people do these stretches in two days.
If anyone is interested in hiking the route, I'll give them my complete plan in GPS format or as a Streets and Trips file. I don't mind if someone hikes it before me as I doubt I'll get the chance. I'm hiking it virtually now, meaning I hike the miles for real and log progress on the map.