2014 Appalachian Trail Thru Hiker Stats Are In and They Are Surprising

Today Jennifer Pharr Davis and I sent a tweet asking the AT Conservancy if the updated 2014 Thru Hiker stats were online and low and behold they let us know they online.

Without further ado here are the 2014 Appalachian Trail Thru Hiker Statistics (as of January 15,2015):

Northbound Attempts: 2500 (in 2013: 2,250)

  • Made it Harpers Ferry: 1267 (51%)
  • Made it to Harpers Ferry in 2013: 1130
  • Completed: 644 (26%)
  • Completed in 2013: 589

Southbound Attempts: 242 (in 2013: 336)

  • Made it to Harpers Ferry: 168 (69%)
  • Made it to Harpers Ferry in 2013: 167
  • Completed: 70 (29%)
  • Completed in 2013: 94

Flip Flop Attempts: 122

  • Completed: 69 (or 57%)
  • Completed in 2013: 141

This year the completion rate equaled out to be at 26% which is exactly what it has been the last two years.

The biggest surprise of the year was the drop in SOBO attempts this year, down 32% from 2013 (45% since 2012). After the report from the Baxter State Park Association indications led this hiker to believe the SOBOs were creating some serious havoc, but with the numbers reported as low as they were I am not sure that is the case.

Because I am a data nerd I put together a few charts to show the NOBO and SOBO data over the course of the 6 years. It highlights the massive drop in SOBO attempts over the last few years.




The full statistics are available on the Appalachian Trail Conservancy website.

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Comments 8

  • Laurie Potteiger : Jan 28th

    Nice-looking charts and interesting article, Jeff!

    For the record, the numbers for 2014 will continue to rise, as we have no deadline for reporting (just a deadline for the A.T. Journeys annual listing). We are still getting a 2,000-miler application or two coming in the mail each day. That means you’ll see the success rate climb a little higher in the next few months.

    What’s going on with the sobo start numbers decline? An interesting question!

  • Hiker BigTex : Jan 28th

    It would be good if GSMNP and Shenandoah NP would release the numbers of thru-hikers who completed permits. That would give a number of hiker before Harpers.

    • JD : Jan 28th

      A good handful did not acquire permits…

      • Hiker BigTex : Jan 29th

        True….the numbers will never be totally accurate. We never registered at Amicola but did GSMNP, Shens, Harpers and Baxter, I know hikers that didnt register in Baxter but did report their hike to ATC. Also the amount registered at Baxter is more than those who reported their hike to ATC. So you can never get a perfect representation, but an idea would be nice.

  • Jonathan Mace Bent : Jan 28th

    There are probably another dozen SoBo completions not listed. I sent my application to the ATC a few weeks ago, and it is not included (I am not listed on the site yet). When I was in Maine, last June, several people told me they had never seen so many SoBo’s. I guess there were just a lot of SoBo’s starting early June.

  • Bill Garlinghouse : Jan 31st

    Fewer sobo starts, but completions are up? Sounds like a good trend to me. Keep the ill-prepared out of the 100 mile wilderness!


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