Thru-Hiking the Idaho Centennial Trail

The Idaho Centennial Trail is more of an idea than a completed trail. Running from the desert bordering Nevada clear to the cool mountain forests of north Idaho, the trail covers between 900 and 1,200 miles of the state.

“I would guess 10 people have thru-hiked it,” said Clay Jacobson. “In history.”

Jacobson’s goal this summer is to join the ranks of those ambitious hikers. On June 30, 2015, he and his girlfriend, as well as two other friends, started out on the border of Idaho and Nevada—ready to begin their hike.

The trek will take them from the canyonlands of southern Idaho to the Sawtooth Wilderness, through 300 miles of the Frank Church-River of No Return and Selway-Bitterroot wildernesses, and along the Continental Divide Trail on the Idaho-Montana border. The trail ends in the Panhandle at the border of the United States and British Columbia, Canada.

It’s not exactly well maintained, though. “There are parts in the Frank Church where no one has been back for 10 years, so the trail is just gone,” Jacobson said.

The party expects to reach the trail’s end in 52 days, right around Aug. 20.

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