American Long Distance Hiking Association - West

Triple Crown Award FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What are the requirements for the Triple Crown award?

    Complete all three trails in their entirety (Appalachian Trail, Continental Divide Trail, and Pacific Crest Trail). “Entirety” includes walking from terminus to terminus with complete footsteps. We understand that detours happen when trails experience things such as wild fires, washouts, and other situations. ALDHA-West just asks that before you apply for your award that you either walked an alternate at the time or came back at a later date to complete a missed section, making your hike a continuous footpath.

  2. How does ALDHA-West know that I completed all three trails?

    We don’t. ALDHA-West uses the Honor System. We trust you to be truthful with us and yourself regarding your completion of the trails. 

  3. Does it matter how I hiked the trail? Section hikes over multiple years, thru hike, etc.?

    Nope. As long as you have hiked each trail in its entirety, section, thru, flip-flop doesn’t matter.

  4. I’ve hiked all three trails. How do I receive my Triple Crown award?

    Please fill out our online application and include your 4 required pictures. Pictures are used for the slide show at the Triple Crown ceremony and the personalized posters.

  5. Where do I receive my Triple Crown award?

    Triple Crown awards are presented once a year at ALDHA-West’s Gathering. The Gathering is usually in late September. The location varies each year, rotating between Washington, Oregon, and California. If you can’t attend the Gathering, we will mail your plaque and poster to you. More information about the Gathering here.

  6. Is there a fee for the Triple Crown award?

    Hikers who attend the Gathering and participate in the Triple Crown award ceremony receive their plaques for free. If you do not attend the Gathering, you will need to pay for the plaque plus shipping costs. Plaques are generally around $30 (we pass through whatever we are charged and get a bulk discount by running them once a year). Instructions for payment are sent after the Gathering in late September and can be made by PayPal or by mailing check/money order.

  7. Is there a deadline to submit my Triple Crown application?

    All TC applications should be completed and sent by September 1 (including photographs). Hikes should be completed before you apply for the award, so if you are still on trail we ask that you wait until you complete your hike before applying for the award.
  8. Why can’t I submit my application after September 1st?

    We get this question a lot. Here is why:
    1. All the plaques need to be ordered on this date to ensure they are completed in time with the correct spelling of names, trail names, etc.
    2. We need time to organize the TC class slideshow, and the personalized posters if you ask for one.
    3. We need this time to ensure we have shipping addresses correct and can plan for the ceremony and make sure the length of time is manageable at the gathering.
    4. We are all volunteers and we ask that you provide us enough time to complete these jobs in a timely manner and still provide us with time for our families and friends.  A lot of work goes into the gathering and the TC Award is one of the pieces to make a great weekend.
  9. I’m attending the Gathering but I missed the deadline for this year’s TC Award. Can I still be a part of the TC ceremony?

    If you are a current year hiker and you completed the TC but missed the deadline, have no fear.  We want to celebrate your achievement with you! So if you finish up your TC this year and come to the Gathering we will make sure to recognize you during the ceremony.  You will be included in the award presentation (but you may not make the video/slideshow or get a poster).  We will have a blank award for you to hold up during the class photo and will work with you afterwards to get you your official award and poster if you like one. Of course you are welcome to come the next year to receive your official award if you like.
  10. What happens at the TC ceremony? 

    The ceremony usually starts with a slide show featuring photographs of the hikers receiving the TC award. Then, each hiker is awarded his/her plaque individually and can make a brief speech. If you have a sponsor, your sponsor may also say a few words about you. However, speeches are not required. The ceremony finishes up with a few group photos for our newsletter.
  11. What is a sponsor?

    A sponsor is a person who has supported you throughout your Triple Crown journey.
    1. Am I required to have a sponsor?
      No. A sponsor is not required to receive the TC award.
    2. Can my sponsor attend the ceremony?
      Absolutely! In fact, we encourage it
    3. Does my sponsor need to be a previous Triple Crowner?
      No.
  12. I’ve just completed my second Triple Crown (or third…). Can I receive another TC award?

    We know of a few repeat offenders out there, and frankly we are jealous.  If you are applying for a second, third or fourth Triple Crown, please note that on the application so that we make sure your award is special and distinguishes your remarkable achievement.

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ALDHA-West is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization.

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