Hiker begins 4700 mile journey around Alaska

Long distance hiking legend Andrew Skurka is off on another adventure, this time taking on a trek through the Alaskan wilderness that will take seven months to complete, and will cover more than 4700 miles. Dubbed the Alaska-Yukon Expedition, the journey will take Skurka through eight national parks, six in the U.S. and two in Canada, while crossing four mountain ranges, and some of the most remote wilderness found anywhere in North America.

Skurka set out from Kotzebue, Alaska a few days back, and will now travel south to the Iditarod Trail, then east to the Alaskan Range and the Lost Coast. From there, it’s on to the Inside Passage, up the Yukon River to the Ogilive and Richardson Mountains, before eventually turning west, and running the length of the Brooks Range, one of the last great wildernesses on Earth. Finally, he’ll return to Kotzebue, completing the circuit and ending the adventure back where he began.

For now, Skurka will be traveling on skis, but much of the journey will be completed on foot and with the use of a packraft, a small, inflatable boat that he can carry with him. For most people, the thought of covering more than 4700 miles through remote backcountry, under your own power, would seem like an insurmountable challenge, but for Skurka, it is just another long hike to add to his resume. In the past, he has hiked both the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails, as well as a route from the Atlantic to the Pacific that covered more than 7700 miles. His 6875 mile Great Western Trails Route a few years back also earned him the title of National Geographic Adventurer of the Year.

You’ll be able to follow Skurka’s adventures with weekly updates on the National Geographic Adventure Blog and through his Twitter feed @andrewskurka. If all goes according to plan, he should be finishing up the journey in the early part of October.