Alumni Luke Weaver hikes trail from New Mexico to Canada


Ty Harris, Staff Writer

The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail is a 3,100-mile-long hiking trail running from New Mexico to Canada and passing through five American states: Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. Typically taking between four and six months to complete it, hikers on the trail face the risk of many hazards such as avalanches, severe weather and dehydration. Recently, BHS alumni Luke Weaver, Sommer Brecheisen and David Tuley completed hiking this trail.

Beginning in early June and finishing in mid-December, the three hikers completed the trail in about six-and-a-half months. Weaver and Brecheisen’s two dogs also walked with them for a part of it.

“We were on the trail for 195 days and walked almost 3,000 miles,” Weaver said. “Sommer and I had our two dogs hike with us for 1,000 miles.”

The three hikers faced several difficulties while hiking the trail.

“The hardest part was knowing that there was a deadline for the time we wanted to finish the trail,” Weaver said. “We wanted to finish before Christmas which meant hiking extra miles in order to do some side trails like Mt. Elbert.”

In addition, they endured natural hazards including severe weather.

“Weather is always an issue when hiking any trail,” Weaver said. “We hit hip-deep snow, hail, lightning, extreme heat and wildfires.”

For meals, they brought ready-to-eat foods which they carried in their heavy backpacks.

“My pack ranged from 40-60 pounds,” Weaver said. “I packed freeze-dried meals from several brands: Knorr pasta sides, instant mashed potatoes and lots of Reese’s peanut butter cups.”

Despite the difficulties, the hikers were able to see many beautiful sights that the trail offered on their long hike.

“Each section of the trail had its own beauty,” Weaver said. “All was very scenic. What stood out most to me was the sight of the Milky Way in Idaho and the spires on the canyons in the Gila National Forest.”