American Long-distance hiking association-west 


save the date for our 2021 virtual rucks!

What's a Ruck?

It's an educational event organized by hikers for hikers and prospective hikers to share knowledge and talk about nerdy hiking stuff that your family is tired of listening to.

Who attends?

Everyone is welcome, from repeat thru-hiking aficionados to those who are beginning to toy with the idea of partaking in a long-distance hike.

How do I sign up?

Go to our events page and register!


Each Ruck will be $5 for members and $10 for non-members. Annual membership is $15. If you'd like to attend but cannot due to cost, or if you would like to sponsor a scholarship, please reach out to If you're not a member yet, become a member.


ALDHA-West stands in solidarity with the BIPOC community. We believe that long distance trails and all public lands should be accessible, safe, and welcoming spaces for people of all races, ethnicities, and backgrounds. We recognize that the outdoors, and specifically long distance trails, have not been a welcoming and safe space for Black hikers and hikers of color. 


ALDHA-West is committed to doing better and to demonstrating our commitment through action. Changes we will implement immediately include:

  • Showcasing a more diverse group of speakers at our events

  • Collaborating with more diverse groups within the hiking and backpacking community

  • Representing more diverse images on our online platforms

  • Seeking the perspective of more diverse groups in our Gazette articles

  • Providing fair compensation for the work and input of members of the BIPOC community

  • Developing a mentorship database to connect potential long distance hikers to more seasoned hikers who share similar life experiences

  • Offering Ruck attendance scholarships to members of the BIPOC community 

  • Providing a welcoming atmosphere online and at our live events for Black hikers and hikers of color

  • Continuing to seek diversity on our Board, in our membership, and in our volunteers

  • Educating ourselves and our community on how the public lands system and systemic racism has prevented Black people and other people of color from accessing public lands and feeling safe in nature


ALDHA-West is committed to making justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion a cornerstone of our organization, and we are in it for the long haul. We welcome your thoughts on how we can further this commitment in addition to what we’ve listed here. To share your feedback, email us at

2021 Online Ruck Schedule

Mar 10 5-7pm PT / 8-10pm ET

Trail-specific Sessions

PCT, CDT, JMT, AZT, TRT, PNT, High Routes, and Section Hiking

All Rucks (except the Affinity Spaces, which are free) will be $5 for members and $10 for non-members. If you'd like to attend but cannot due to cost, or if you would like to sponsor a scholarship please reach out to

covid-19 response

We want to thank you. Thank you for staying home, even though faraway mountains call to all of us. Thank you for heeding the advice put forward by organizations like the PCTACDTC, and ATC and making the gut-wrenching decisions that you have to make to support the trails and community that we love in light of COVID-19.

Much in the same way that land management agencies restrict permits to protect the pristine places we treasure, now respective authorities are...

To inspire, educate and promote fellowship among long     distance hikers and those who support long-distance hiking.

Group Gathering 2019.jpg

about us

The American Long-Distance Hiking Association-West (ALDHA-West) is an organization of individuals interested in the pursuit of all aspects of long-distance hiking. Our membership covers a wide range of ages, from teenagers to octogenarians, and many experience levels, from wannabes to members who’ve logged tens of thousands of trail miles spanning the globe.


ALDHA-West provides a forum for the exchange of ideas on every aspect, from gear, food, travel, dangers, expectations, trail weather, all the way to how to ease back into normal life after months on the trail.


Many of our members have hiked all three of America’s premier long-distance trail, the Appalachian Trail (2160 miles), the Pacific Crest Trail (2650 mile), and the Continental Divide Trail (3100 miles). To honor these individuals and their enormous accomplishment, we initiated the Triple Crown of Hiking Award. Each Fall at our annual Gathering, a new crop of inductees are presented their awards.


We also publish the Gazette, an online newsletter which highlights many aspects of long-distance hiking.


Lastly, we offer a source for inspiration. Each year at The Gathering hikers put on video talks and slide shows of previous hikes. These forums plant the seeds of new hikes we’ll strive to do in the future.