Shawn Lyons, a well-known outdoorsman who was considered the authority on exploring southcentral Alaska by foot, died in February from unknown causes. He was 66. 

Lyons grew up in Boston and was a hiker from an early age; he completed the Appalachian Trail at 17. In Alaska he became renowned for his backcountry fortitude. He won the 105-mile snowshoe division of the Iditaski wilderness race nine times and won the 100-mile Coldfoot Classic ultramarathon three times. Even during regular outings he plowed across incredible miles. In 1990, he hiked the 12 tallest peaks of the Chugach front range in 27.5 hours. Lyons shared his adventures as a hiking columnist and as the author of four hiking guidebooks.

Described by many as a Renaissance man, Lyons was also a classical guitar player, teacher at the University of Alaska, and the one-time owner of the Anchorage restaurant Villa Nova.


Alexander Deedy formerly worked as the assistant editor and digital content manager for Alaska magazine.

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