The first solo woman to hike the American Discovery Trail with Briana DeSanctis “Rocky Mountain High”


On January 1, 2022, Briana DeSanctis began her longest and most difficult trip yet.


Two years later, when she walked into California, she would become the first woman to thru-hike solo the entire 6,800-mile American Discovery Trail.









During the 2 years it took to complete the hike, Briana braved extreme weather and challenging terrain as she forged on through all four seasons in the United States’ diverse landscape.









Briana will discuss her journey to becoming a thru-hiker, from car camping to completing the Appalachian Trail, and how the knowledge she gained from her first thru-hike aided in her preparation for her most challenging undertaking yet. She will explain how she prepared for this amazing journey, complete with a live “show and tell” of her gear. She will describe the trail and highlight positive and negative experiences along the way. She will describe the advantages of hiking as a solo woman. Briana will shed light on the importance of doing something, anything, you’ve dreamed of doing and taking the first step to expand, not necessarily get out of, your comfort zone.






Briana DeSanctis is an avid outdoorswoman, journalist, and public speaker. Originally from Farmington, Maine, Briana shares her trek to inspire others, empower women, and knock down fear mongers and naysayers by proving that confidence, a little faith in humanity, and a lot of perseverance pay off in the end.

This program was organized by Phoebe Piper.