Justin Lichter

Posted on by Sierra Mtn Guides Smg
Justin really likes to hike. He grew up about an hour north of New York City and has since based himself in several locations across the US, culminating in Truckee, California, where he currently resides. Really, he has lived a good part of his adult life in the mountains carrying all he needs with him on his back. Since 2002, Justin (aka trail name “Trauma”) has hiked over 35,000 miles in the backcountry. Just to contemplate that distance, imagine hiking the length of the entire Sierra Nevada mountain range… 88 times.


Here is a list of some of the big thru-hikes that make up that total:
2002 – Cross-country map and compass trip through the canyon country of southern Utah
2003 – Hiking from Georgia to Cap Gaspe, Quebec following the Appalachian Trail and International AT
2004 – Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada and then the Pacific Northwest Trail to the Washington coast
2005 – Continental Divide Trail from Mexico to Canada then on the Great Divide Trail from the Canadian border up into northern Alberta
November 1, 2005 to October 23, 2006 – The Eastern Continental Trail (Cap Gaspe, QC to Key West, Florida, incorporating the AT), Pacific Crest Trail, and Continental Divide Trail in under a year, a total of over 10,000 miles.
2007 – Traverse of the Southern Alps and the South Island of New Zealand.
For some good stories, ask Justin about his 2009 hike of 1800 miles unsupported through Africa, or his 2011 hike of around 2,000 miles across the Himalaya Range, or the 500 mile traverse of the Copper Canyon region of Mexico he did in 2013. And if you want to learn a thing or two, check out the books on ultralight hiking and backpacking he has written: Trail Tested and Ultralight Survival Kitpublished through FalconGuides. If you want to learn a few more things, take him out for a hike!


Clearly Justin is a prolific hiker and mountain athlete, but on top of that he is an incredibly enjoyable, humble, and overall high-quality human being with a passion for the mountains. He demonstrates natural talent as a guide and outdoor educator and SMG is proud to offer innovative lightweight backpacking courses and adventures with Justin as an amazing resource.


When Justin is not hiking (it happens) or guiding, he works as a ski patroller. He also enjoys backcountry skiing, nordic skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking, surfing, and anything else active.

Guide Qualifications:

Guides: Backpacking
Mountain Running