Supporters of a proposed back-country trail stretching from Canada to Mexico say the route would be among the three major trails in the nation.
Known as the Great Western Trail, the multiuse corridor would link many of the nation's national parks, winding through Utah, Arizona, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana, said Lyle Gomm, Uinta National Forest recreation staff officer.Gomm, one of the route's original promoters, said the 3,500-mile trail would intersect 10 national historical trails and cross about 16 plant life zones, areas with distinct vegetation patterns. The Appalachian Trail crosses 10 plant-life zones.
Gomm, promoter Dale Shewalter, who will become the outdoor recreation planner for Arizona's Kaibab National Forest in two weeks, and representatives from the states will meet June 15 in Provo to discuss the idea.
In Utah, the trail would provide access to Bear Lake, Wasatch Mountain State Park, Timpanogos Cave National Monument, the Timpanogos and Mount Nebo wilderness areas and Capitol Reef and Bryce Canyon National Parks, Gomm said.
He said the trail has received support in Utah and Arizona, and promoters are working to convince representatives in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana of its potential to boost tourism in the Mountain West.