Hike your own hike
A wise man once said that the key to hiking is to "hike your own hike". It's true. Only you know what your expectations are for this and other journeys in life. With that in mind, we realize that the Highline Trail is large and unpredictable, and most people hiking this trail likely don't have the first hand knowledge needed to know where to go, what will be around each corner, and how much time to expect to be on the trail each day. For that reason we have put together a series of routes that will help you gauge were you need to be each day to get the most out of your journey. These routes will vary with each individual hiker, but a good rule of thumb is that most people hike at a pace of 2 miles per hour. Keep this in mind as you start planning your trip. It will help you set realistic mile goals each day.
Four day - 20 mile per day pace
Hiking the Highline trail in four days is not our preferred way to do the trail, but it will definitely prove you have the heart of a champion. One of the biggest factors you'll be facing is the unpredictable nature of weather at high elevations. You will need to be prepared for long days and near perfect weather conditions to pull this off. Expect to have little free time to take in the sights and sounds of the trail, and get some extra mole skin because you'll likely need it. We're not saying that it cannot be done though. And the bragging rights you will have by having accomplished such a feat might be just enough motivation do it. We recommend beginning or ending at Leidy Peak Trailhead if you plan to hike the trail at this pace.
Leidy Peak to Fox Lake
Fox Lake to Yellowstone Creek
Yellowstone Creek to West Fork of Blacks Fork
West Fork of Blacks Fork to Hayden Peak Trail Head
Seven day - 12 mile per day pace
Hiking the Highline trail in seven days is probably the most popular time period to hike the trail. It will allow you to only miss a week of work and still have a good experience hiking the trail. You'll still need to be flexible enough to put in a long day or two though if weather delays your plans. Expect to have time to take some long breaks each day. However, you will still need to maintain a 12 mile pace each day to make this happen. So it's definitely not a walk in the park.
Leidy Peak to White Rocks
White Rocks to Taylor Lake
Taylor Lake to Kidney Lakes
Kidney Lakes to Anderson Pass
Anderson Pass to Oweep Creek
Oweep Creek to Ledge Lake
Ledge Lake to Hayden Peak Trailhead
Ten day - 10 mile per day pace
If you choose to hike the Highline trail in ten days then you will be able to get experience everything the trail has to offer. You will be move an average of 10 miles day, which is plenty of time to stop and enjoy the sights and sounds at every major highlight along the trail. In all honesty, this pace may be too slow to for some people as you will find yourself with a lot of free time during the day. But you'll have plenty of flexibility too if weather issues arise, or if you just want to have a short day or two. With this much time, we would recommend hiking the entire Highline Trail to get everything that the trail has to offer.
McKee Draw to Mill Park Trail
Mill Park Trail to Hacking Lake
Hacking Lake to Whiterocks Lake
Whiterocks Lake to Taylor Lake
Taylor Lake to Painter Basin
Painter Basin to Yellowstone Creek
Yellowstone Creek to Oweep Creek
Oweep Creek to Dead Horse Lake
Dead Horse Lake to Rocky Sea Pass
Day 10 Rocky Sea Pass to Hayden Peak Trailhead