Before you lace up your hiking boots, you need to decide what kind of hike you want to go on. Do you want to commit to a long-distance thru-hike, or would you prefer a shorter section hike?

Here are some pros and cons of each option to help you decide.


A thru-hike is defined as a hike that covers the entire length of a trail in one journey.

The most popular thru-hike in the U.S. is the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail, which extends from Mexico to Canada along the West Coast. Other popular thru-hikes include the Appalachian Trail (2,190 miles) and the Continental Divide Trail (3,100 miles).

Thru-hiking can be a great way to see some amazing scenery and really get away from it all. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential dangers before embarking on such a journey.

Thru-hikers are often exposed to extreme weather conditions, including heat, cold, rain, and snow. Wildlife can also be a hazard; bear attacks are not unheard of on thru-hikes. Finally, thru-hikers need to be prepared to deal with psychological challenges, such as loneliness and homesickness.

Section Hiking

Section hiking is defined as hiking sections of a trail over the course of multiple trips.

This allows hikers to complete even the longest trails without having to commit months or years at a time. Some popular section hikes include the John Muir Trail (211 miles) and the Vermont Long Trail (272 miles).

Section hiking has many of the same benefits as thru-hiking, but it also has a few advantages. First, section hikers don’t have to worry about getting homesick since they can return home between sections.

Second, section hikers can take their time and enjoy the scenery since they’re not under pressure to reach their destination within a certain timeframe. Finally, section hikers don’t need to carry all their gear with them since they can leave gear at home between hikes.            


So, should you go on a thru-hike or a section hike? The answer depends on your preferences and goals.

If you’re looking for an adventure and you don’t mind being away from home for an extended period of time, then thru hiking might be right for you.

But if you want to take your time and enjoy the scenery without having to worry about bear attacks or bad weather, then section hiking could be a better option. No matter what you decide, getting out there and enjoying nature is always a good idea!