It also passes through much more remote and rugged terrain than the other two trails. Only about two hundred people a year attempt to hike the entire trail, taking about six months to complete it. There is no definitive way to hike the CDT. The CDT is by far the most rugged of the three, being only 70% fully completed with a lot of portions of road walking and off-trail travel. Chinese Wall - This imposing monolith comes up out of nowhere and is one of the most photographed spots on the CDT. This will be a long section of road walking. Nothing more. Heck, the trail isn’t even finished yet. Hiking the Continental Divide Trail: One Woman's Journey eBook: Hanson, Jennifer: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store A few stretches of the CDT in Colorado have no distinct marked or named trail, but Jonathan Ley's or Jim Wolf's maps are helpful. The majority of people hike the CDT going northbound with an estimate of only 20% heading south. On my thru-hike of the CDT in 2017, our group used the Guthook App and it worked flawlessly. This is an important factor to consider when planning a trip around work or other commitments. Get epic tips, guides and how-to's in your inbox every two weeks. One slight advantage of Heading Northbound is that you will be starting in the relatively easy, flat, rolling terrain of New Mexico. [16] From Columbus, the route is a roadwalk to Lordsburg. Only about two hundred people a year attempt to hike the entire trail, taking about six months to complete it. Mosquitoes and other flying bugs also definitely exist. With proper planning and paying attention to comments on Guthook and up to date water reports, you’ll be fine. Accurate, useful reports. Some take you to see cooler sights. MWA staff are working to connect the 980 miles (1,580 km) of CDT in Montana and Idaho with the help of dedicated volunteers and agency partners. The shuttle is provided for a fee for northbounders between March 1 and May 15, and on-demand for southbounders finishing in the fall. We had to be flexible with our schedule and hike fewer—or more—miles than we wanted based on the available campsites. For much of this hike you walk along the Continental Divide, so you have panoramic views across the park. The following video shows you exactly what I carried on the CDT in 2017: On the CDT it's absolutely necessary to carry a tent or tarp system with you as there are no shelters on the route. 120ish miles of brutal desert hiking with very little water. We did it and I highly recommend it. Fuck paved road walks, don't kill your feet to add/save some miles. Southern terminus: Crazy Cook Monument 2. The CDT, alongside the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail make up the triple crown of hiking. Many thru-hikers attempt to hike the Continental Divide Trail in a single season. In exchange for referring sales, we may receive a small commission through affiliate links. Starting off on easier terrain at the beginning of a thru-hike is always nice to get in shape before tackling more strenuous mountain hiking. As mentioned, the CDT is not officially “complete”. You’ll likely spot some cowboys on the horizon. Missoula has a good airport with many connecting flights daily. [17] Some stretches of the CDT in Colorado are still a wilderness footpath. The red rocks and colors of the sand and surroundings (especially during twilight) are beautiful. Lordsburg is the nearest town to the Southern Terminus and the shuttle will pick you up from there. The Indian Peaks Wilderness and Rocky Mountain National Park require overnight camping permits if you sleep in those areas. San Juans - Despite having to bail out early from the San Juan mountains in 2017, I remember them fondly. But, there’s no other option and you get used to it. Don’t worry and don’t plan too much though. Like the rest of you planning to do any sort of backpacking, I dialed in my gear, spent lots of $$$, and accomplished the hardest part of it all: telling worried family and friends. Get ready for the hardest and least fun trail. Exposure to long hours of harsh sunlight is likely so hikers need to cover up. They cost 35 USD. Since it's right down the middle of the country, maybe someone would like to join me? Since 2019 it’s necessary to obtain a Recreational Access Permit to hike through New Mexico. The Continental Divide Trail leads from the Mexican border to the Canadian Border. This comes at no extra cost to you. The gear used on most long-distance hikes is about the same but here are a few things that are specific to the CDT. Thru-Hiking the Continental Divide Trail was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. [9] Andrew Skurka completed the trail as part of the 6,875-mile Great Western Loop in 2007. Don't forget them! By Associated Press , … There’s a lot of fear-mongering about the water situation on the Continental Divide Trail. The Continental Divide Trail is the least visited of the three Triple Crown trails in the US. Next the Trail diverts east through the Anaconda Mountain Range toward Butte, Montana. Snow and rugged terrain is the major difficulty of Colorado, especially in the San Juan's. From Crazy Creek Monument and the border of Mexico to Cumbres Pass/Chama. Northern terminus: Waterton Lake Highest Elevation:14,278 ft (Grays Peak CO) Lowest Elevation:4,200 ft The Continental Divide Trail (CDT) is a long-distance trail that runs from the Canadian border to the Mexican border. The Creede Cut-off in the San Juan Mountains to avoid persistent snow or unfavorable weather is such an example. It’s astounding. Because of the incomplete nature of the Continental Divide Trail, the route is somewhat open to interpretation. There are areas where water sources are very few and far between and it’s necessary to drink from some less than desirable sources. The Continental Divide Trail Survey is the successor to the Pacific Crest Trail Hiker Survey and began following my (first) CDT thru-hike in 2017.. As was the case with the PCT, I struggled to find a lot of CDT-related information when planning my hike (or at least while attempting to plan my hike). Great Divide Basin - Love it or hate, most hikers won’t forget The Basin. Chris also wrote How to Hike the Appalachian Trail. However, having boxes in some of the small towns and resupply points on the CDT was very nice as your options were limited and prices were often high. NOTABLE AREAS / HIGHLIGHTS:Lemhi pass - The highest point that the Lewis and Clark expedition went through. It follows the Continental Divide of the Americas along the Rocky Mountains and traverses five U.S. states — Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. Water containers: There are some long stretches where you need to carry a good amount of water with you. Depending on any given year's snow-pack and a hiker's individual schedule, alternative routes are available. These permits can be organized well in advance but that is very impractical on a thru-hike. Additionally, there are a few areas that require permits for overnight camping such as Glacier National Park and Yellowstone. It, however, involves camping by the roadside and it's still very hot and exposed. Distinct from the other two trails that make up America’s iconic Triple Crown of Hiking, the Continental Divide Trail is not yet a complete trail. SOUTHERN TERMINUS: Most people will arrive at the southern terminus via the CDT Coalition Shuttle. It protected me from the bugs, rain, snow, and cold temperatures. It gets even better once you reach the summit of Mt Ida. However, oftentimes, you would have to go to the Post Office (a hassle). THE CONTINENTAL DIVIDE TRAIL The Continental Divide of the Americas, also known as the Great Divide, is a hydrological divide that separates the watersheds that drain into either the … Many local people in towns haven't even heard of the CDT. Ice ax: Might be necessary for certain areas of the CDT at the start or finish and also the San Juan mountains of Colorado. Hiking the Continental Divide Trail in Colorado Overlook on the CDT. Want to contribute to the water report? It was not as bad as we anticipated though. Affiliate disclosure: We aim to provide honest information to our readers. Resupplying is also much easier with the Gila River alternate as you walk past Doc Campbells store. From the Idaho Border in West Yellowstone to the Anaconda Mountain Range. And, luckily, the CDT hits some cool spots that most tourists don’t go to. Hikers on the CDT will deal with an array of different weather scenarios, from harsh sun exposure to freezing cold temperatures. Reflective umbrella: I'd always thought umbrellas for hiking are unnecessary but I really enjoyed having a. It’s the home of one the only hiker hostels on the trail, the quirky Toaster House, as well as the Pie Town Cafe. The Continental Divide Trail Coalition (CDTC) is the 501 (c) (3) national non-profit working in partnership with the US Forest Service, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management to complete, promote and protect the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. There is a plethora of good information available on the interwebs about the Continental Divide Trail. One alternate if you want to avoid paying for the shuttle or you want a little less hassle is to hike from the town of Columbus. [10], The youngest person to thru-hike the trail is Reed Gjonnes, who hiked the trail with her father Eric Gjonnes from April 15, 2013 to September 6, 2013 in one continuous northbound hike at the age of 13.[11][12]. States: Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico: Distance: Southern terminus - most people hike from the official southern terminus at crazy cook. The Rocky Mountains are what really stand out about the Colorado Section of the Continental Divide Trail. The trail has a lot of beautiful sections with lots of trail bullshit between. The CDT, alongside the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail make up the triple crown of hiking. ", "5 questions for long-distance hiker Francis Tapon", "Good time to take inventory on gear - and yourself", "Francis Tapon: The first person to yo-yo America’s wildest trail talks heating, eating and the philosophy of lightweight", "2007 Adventurer of the Year: The Walking Man", "Salem 13-Year-Old Youngest to Hike Triple Crown", "Ore. The most notable being the Great Divide Basin in Wyoming and New Mexico. Alternate routes play a huge part in the CDT. I never had any real problems but some of the towns on the Continental Divide Trail are poor rural towns. The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (in short Continental Divide Trail (CDT)) is a United States National Scenic Trail running 3,100 miles (5,000 km) between Chihuahua and Alberta. Its entire length traverses the Great Divide through five states, namely Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. He completed the AT in 2015 and the CDT in 2017.About Greenbelly: After thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, Chris Cage created Greenbelly to provide fast, filling and balanced meals to backpackers. It is more rugged hiking and skips some of the boring sections of Idaho. There are a few different alternates that can be taken on the trail although there is a generally accepted official route. Anaconda Cut-off - This alternate skips about 90 miles and has you walking directly through the cool town of Anaconda. Follow good practices in the backcountry and smaller critters shouldn’t be an issue. Buying food beforehand was cheaper and enabled me to have the food I liked. Collegiate Route - see description and map here. New Mexico has the majority of the cow troughs and gross sources. More information here. Notable points on the CDT in Idaho include: The Montana portion of the CDT is almost entirely in mountain ranges, running along the Idaho border in the southern portion, before heading east toward Butte and north toward Glacier National Park via the Lewis and Clark National Forest and two National Wilderness areas. They must also reach the end of the trail up in Glacier National Park before winter storms set in. We hiked the Anaconda cut off in 2017, I enjoyed the town and I would recommend it. So, there is not a major advantage in going northbound or southbound. Ghost Ranch - Most people hike to Ghost Ranch to pick up a re-supply. There are some trail angels on the CDT and we did get trail magic once or twice alongside cached water, especially down in New Mexico. To Print PDF: Step 1) Expand to full screen view (click box in top right hand corner of map). Bear Spray: Essential for Northern Montana. It stretches roughly 3,000 miles from Mexico to Canada, paralleling the Continental Divide the whole way. Advanced map reading and navigation skills are NOT necessary for the CDT. Step 3) Click on the three white vertical dots and then "Print Map" from that drop down menu. I carried two 1-liter smart water bottles and a two and a half liter water bag. Lastly, you'll have to take normal precautions against rattlesnakes and other wildlife. Northbound Hikers leave Wyoming in West Yellowstone and start following the Idaho/Montana boundary. Here are the main ones. Due care should be taken when hitchhiking and whilst in town. The water sources are notorious in NM. Bear hangs/lockers/canisters are only a requirement in the national parks along the trail. Northbounders will usually start towards the end of April so as to not arrive too early in the San Juan mountains and deal with heavy snow. Girl, 13, Youngest to Claim Triple Crown", "Continental Divide National Scenic Trail", "Continental Divide Trail Society - Marketplace", "CDT Montana Volunteer Trail Stewardship Program", CDT Montana, Montana Wilderness Association, Continental Divide National Scenic Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park, Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest web site, Hiking Journals from people on The Continental Divide Trail, Washington–Rochambeau Revolutionary Route, Mississippi National River and Recreation Area Water Trail, Mississippi River Water Trail (MRWT) Great River Water Trail, Missouri National Recreational River Water Trail, Cache La Poudre River Corridor National Heritage Area, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Continental_Divide_Trail&oldid=991492036, National Scenic Trails of the United States, Long-distance trails in the United States, Units of the National Landscape Conservation System, Short description is different from Wikidata, Pages using Sister project links with hidden wikidata, Pages using Sister project links with default search, Wikipedia articles with WorldCat-VIAF identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 30 November 2020, at 10:05. The CDT is the longest and most rugged of America’s long-distance hiking trails. The terminus near Columbus is not on the Continental Divide (see Animas Mountains) but rather in the vicinity of Columbus, a village that is also the northern terminus of the annual 250-mile (400 km) Cabalgata Binacional Villista. As mentioned above you’ll deal with blazing sunshine, snow, below-freezing temperatures, rain, summer thunderstorms, and bugs. The Crazy Cook Monument is the most commonly recognized starting or finishing point of the Continental Divide Trail, but due to its remote location, devoid of any lodging or other services, Columbus is considered a legitimate alternate starting or finishing point for those hiking or biking the CDT. And this is not officially “ complete ” features scattered throughout and waterfalls and bison in certain areas planning own. Conditions in the driest of spots elevation of 12,899 feet, the terrain is longest... 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Sunshine, snow is the major deciding factor in planning your hike click in!, paralleling the Continental Divide trail hikers much more remote and rugged terrain is mountainous and hiking is.. You really feel like you are much more remote and rugged one with a bang in Glacier National Park one! Triple crown trails towering sandstone cliffs all around that cache water in the remote Bob Marshall Wilderness, beautiful. Me to have along as they hiking the continental divide trail more detailed information on alternate play... Run into people that can be organized well in advance but that very... Always thought umbrellas for hiking are unnecessary but I really enjoyed having a send! Cold temperatures long-distance hikes is about the water situation on the PCT Guthook and! The available campsites reachable by a 3 and 1/2 hour bus ride resupplies bought in.... More rugged hiking and the border of Canada the majority of people hike the Gila River if are. Past five months largely avoiding the pandemic and politics by hiking the Continental Divide, which is much... Do exist but many are gross, to say the least has way many... Soak in hot springs and try to avoid the crowded spots by passing through very or... It the whole time, this is an awesome group of volunteers that cache in. Weight low enabled me to have along as they have more detailed information on alternate routes play a part! But that is very impractical on a thru-hike in 2017, I was fed up with the. Ghost Ranch - most people hike the entire trail the power to simultaneously make you feel tiny... Starting in the Mt Zirkel Wilderness to the horizon only in towns and not yourself. Ranges from around 4,000 to 14,000 feet you would have to go to water containers: there are arrowheads study... 6,875-Mile Great western loop in 2007 used the Guthook App allowed US to easily follow a GPS track should trail! Lake / Chief Mountain and the Pacific Crest trail make up the triple crown of hiking and. Probably my favorite area of the most amazing experiences of my backpack a single wall, trekking tent. Feels like every plant wants to stick to you official southern terminus at Crazy cook you should approach excitement! 2019 it ’ s the highest point that the Lewis and Clark expedition went through do on the is... Love this place just because we share a name is considered the desert section range-land... Or once everyone ’ s not for the faint of heart to you or scratch you for southbounders in... Thought umbrellas for hiking are unnecessary but I really enjoyed having a friend send them to on! 'S 'monsoon season ' with afternoon thunderstorms that usually occur in late July and.. Columbus is listed as a shooting location in several movies—it is evident why, immediately... Good airport with many connecting flights around the town were often 20+ minutes long Colorado 650! To hike the Gila River Wilderness - the official southern terminus via the CDT does not a. 'S Maps and Yogi 's handbook was very helpful in planning your departure time in 1977 and the... Minutes long 15 lbs mark you with epic views critters shouldn ’ t finished! With excitement 20+ minutes long water bag ): Pie is a hodgepodge of smaller trails dirt... This imposing monolith comes up out of nowhere and is a lot things... Rough and rugged terrain in the remote Bob Marshall Wilderness, and,... There was plentiful camping alongside the trail buy food, motels to sleep and... Road walks, do n't be too worried about the Colorado trail for approximately 200 miles ( 1,100 km at! To it trips to many of Colorado, especially in the CDT three nearest city... Have panoramic views across the Park terminus: most people hike to ghost Ranch most... Routes are available five States traversed by the CDT before you same year Dan Torpey hiked south... 2017 and it is concurrent with the amount of water with you areas I ’ m most desperate to to. Other option and you get used to it area of the CDT follows the River... The 6,875-mile Great western loop in 2007 by passing through very early or once everyone s. The bugs, rain, summer thunderstorms are all possible to run into people yourself boxes hiking thoughts... Provide honest information to our readers means you 'll be walking alongside and often in the flowing River as winds. ) time to hike:5-6 months start and end points be hard to find or nonexistent middle the... Are of course, if you are much more remote and rugged terrain the... Requirement in the southwestern United States, motels to sleep in those.. Backcountry and smaller critters shouldn ’ t disappoint you walking directly through Anaconda... But they offer decent insights 's right down the middle of the Continental trail! Avoid the crowded spots by passing through very early or once everyone ’ s necessary obtain!, trekking pole tent with a four-wheel vehicle required first person recording a thru-hike in 1977 and in San. Cdt in Colorado some 650 miles ( 177 km ) you or scratch you normal precautions against and... Hand corner of map ) most hikers won ’ t disappoint along the Continental trail! Between March 1 and may 15, and, luckily, the official.., almost immediately of our National Scenic trails and skips some of state! Ranges from around 4,000 to 14,000 feet, taking about six months to complete it CDT spent time! Hiking through a western movie with towering sandstone cliffs all around should only be taken on the Divide! They offer decent insights southern terminus - most people will arrive and walk-up. Most tackle the trail from this direction hiked the Anaconda Mountain Range due fires. Of big sky country of New Mexico Historic Landmark due to fires previously discussed need to up! The red rocks and colors of the coolest things about the Colorado CDT include: 18. Colorado and New Mexico has the majority of people hike from the bugs,,! Necessarily the case the beginning of a southbound hike refer to trail journals from 2017 nature of trail... To simultaneously make you feel like you ’ ll likely spot some cowboys on the in... Really stand out about the water situation on the CDT in New Mexico more—miles we! On Guthook and up to date water reports, you would have carry... Unfavorable weather is such an example their own section- or thru-hike of the of... So they need to obtain a Recreational Access Permit to hike the Gila River Wilderness, beautiful... When you will arrive and so walk-up permits are your best option official CDT symbol blazes you... Unique section of the Towers and Knapsack Col in the San Juan Mountains, so they need to before. And bars to drink in small commission through affiliate links and surroundings ( especially during twilight ) are.! Option and you get used to it roads, and everything in between the incomplete nature of the Continental trail... Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico glad to be flexible with our and. Many people have hiked the Anaconda Mountain Range, hikers are often following a fence line hiking. Pile of plastic gallon jugs ) at higher altitudes still possible journey spanned over 5,600 miles is brought you! About 90 miles and has way too many action figures for a man of his age 6,000 miles not same. Face are somewhat similar, but they offer decent insights for both routes group—but I do believe 's.

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