Family finds healing after father’s death by hiking 100 miles

Traci Zimmerman

The Zimmerman children at Silver Lake. The family set a goal hiking a 100 miles this summer and are continuing it after the death of their father Zachery “Zac” Zimmerman.

LEHI — On the morning of June 17, Zachery “Zac” Zimmerman woke up his wife, Traci Zimmerman, to say goodbye before leaving for a planned group run up Alpine along the ridge to Lone Peak. As was customary before sending her husband off on his early morning adventures, she told him to have fun.

Those were her last earthly words to the man she says meant everything to her and their beautiful children, as it was that same morning when Zac Zimmerman would fall from the ridge of Lone Peak into upper Bell Canyon, dying instantly.

Not only was Traci Zimmerman facing the rest of her life without her husband, but their three children were now without their father.

It was just weeks before, over Memorial Day weekend, when the Zimmermans spent time at Zac’s family cabin. They went on a 4-mile hike that Traci Zimmerman said was “filled with a little bit of complaining and a lot of laughter and smiles.” While on the hike, the conversation shifted to talking about a race Zac had done the previous year — the Wasatch 100, which is a 100-mile endurance run.

Zachery “Zac” and Traci Zimmerman and their three children at Yellowstone. The family set a goal hiking a 100 miles this summer and are continuing it after Zac’s death on June 17. | Provided by Traci Zimmerman

“The kids were pretty impressed by their dad’s accomplishment and wondered how long it would take them to do 100 miles,” Traci Zimmerman said. “After talking about that for a while, we decided that over the summer (from Memorial Day to Labor Day) we would hike 100 miles as a family. This summer was deemed ‘The Summer of 100 Miles.’”

For the next few weeks, the family was able to hike to Silver Lake and then in the…

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