Undeterred by injuries that would cripple most men, a Colorado hiker nears the halfway point in a pioneering attempt to thru-hike the true crest of the Continental Divide. The app is especially helpful if there are hikers a few days in front of you that comment frequently. The Continental Divide Trail, the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail, form what is known as the Triple Crown of Hiking in the United States. More information can be found here. From the Idaho Border in West Yellowstone to the Anaconda Mountain Range. Alternate routes play a huge part in the CDT. Chris also wrote How to Hike the Appalachian Trail. States: Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico: Distance: It also passes through much more remote and rugged terrain than the other two trails. Advanced map reading and navigation skills are NOT necessary for the CDT. The Continental Divide Trail (CDT) is a long-distance trail that runs from the Canadian border to the Mexican border. In the group, we also had Ley's Maps (as in Jonathan Ley) and Yogi's guidebooks for towns and resupply options. The trail passes through five states - New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana - and ends at the Canadian border in Glacier National Park. [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]. Continental Divide Trail Statistics. But, it is not the same established culture as the other two Triple Crown trails. Waterton lake has you going into Canada but is often closed for Northbounders due to fires. Inside a 5,600-mile footrace on the country's hardest trail. The CDT pushed me harder than I knew I could be. An interactive map of the CDT complete with a state-by-state breakdown and a list of alternate routes (length, highest elevation and highlights). While the Appalachian Trail (AT) and Pacific Crest Trail receive thousands of people attempting thru-hikes each year, the Continental Divide Trail hosts around 200. The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail is a 3,100-mile (4,989-kilometer) hiking trail that passes from the border of Mexico to Canada through the Rocky Mountains. Keep your eye out for cool alternates, there's a lot. There are a few different alternates that can be taken on the trail although there is a generally accepted official route. Rain, snow and frequent summer thunderstorms are all possible. This comes at no extra cost to you. However, when it comes to hiking in lightning-prone areas, most problems can be avoided by planning ahead, staying alert to changing weather conditions, Read More … Northbounders finish their hikes with a bang in Glacier National Park. In exchange for referring sales, we may receive a small commission through affiliate links. Since it's right down the middle of the country, maybe someone would like to join me? The Guthook app allowed us to easily follow a GPS track should the trail be hard to find or nonexistent. Desert hiking conjures thoughts of a lifeless hot, barren place and this is only partly true. Because of the incomplete nature of the Continental Divide Trail, the route is somewhat open to interpretation. Soak in hot springs and try not to smile. Prepare to be wowed by the Winds and try to avoid the crowds in Yellowstone. Packing myself boxes and having a friend send them to me on the trail had positives and negatives. Ghost Ranch - Used as a shooting location in several movies—it is evident why, almost immediately. Hikers must decide on a route with regard to the Great Divide Basin since the actual Continental Divide forks in southern Wyoming, forming an endorheic basin. This seven-month journey spanned over 5,600 miles. Of course, if you are looking for a social hike, the CDT isn't really the trail. If you're unsure, take the official route but these alternates are well worthwhile. Some are necessary to go around impassable areas. Exposure to long hours of harsh sunlight is likely so hikers need to cover up. Geothermal features scattered throughout and waterfalls and bison in certain areas. The CDT, alongside the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail make up the triple crown of hiking. Step 3) Click on the three white vertical dots and then "Print Map" from that drop down menu. From here, at an elevation of 12,899 feet, the entire park stretches out before you. We hiked it in 2017 and it was one of the most memorable parts of my thru-hike. German long-distance rider Günter Wamser (on his way from Tierra del Fuego to Alaska),[1] and Austrian Sonja Endlweber (who joined him for the rest of the journey from Mexico) managed to complete the tour with four Bureau of Land Management mustangs in three summers 2007–09. Thru-hiking the CDT is an adventure of a lifetime, but it’s not for the faint of heart. The trail is a combination of dedicated trails and small roads and considered 70% complete. So, there is not a major advantage in going northbound or southbound. The Creede Cut Off -  Unfortunately, many hikers have to take this alternate to avoid heavy snow or potentially fires in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. Hiking the Continental Divide Trail: One Woman's Journey eBook: Hanson, Jennifer: Amazon.co.uk: Kindle Store All these major cities offer connecting flights around the US or further afield. Trail towns are a little fewer and further apart on the CDT. However, oftentimes, you would have to go to the Post Office (a hassle). Its entire length traverses the Great Divide through five states, namely Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. Grays Peak - The highest point on the CDT at 14,278 ft. Getting to the top of this peak gives a great sense of achievement and once you’ve caught you breathe, you can drink in the epic views. But do you really want to skip that much mileage? 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. We did it and I highly recommend it. Hike the Divide is a feature-length documentary that follows jaded millennial Connor DeVane 2,700 miles from Canada to Mexico on the Continental Divide Trail as he seeks hope in the face of climate breakdown. Yogi's handbook was very helpful in planning out resupply options and also cheap options for accommodation. You'll be walking alongside and often in the flowing river as it winds through the canyon. It is a hodgepodge of smaller trails, dirt roads, paved roads, and GPS waypoints. I believe the Guthook App and Yogi's guidebook get you 95% ready when planning your hike. El Paso is the closest reachable by a 3 and 1/2 hour bus ride. The route you choose route is up to you. Columbus is listed as a National Historic Landmark due to the invasion in 1916 by Pancho Villa and his "Villistas". Overall mileage can vary from 2600 up to 3100 miles. Depending on any given year's snow-pack and a hiker's individual schedule, alternative routes are available. Dave Odell thru-hiked in 1977 and in the same year Dan Torpey hiked from the NM/CO border to Mt Robson, B.C. The Continental Divide Trail is the least visited of the three Triple Crown trails in the US. There are arrowheads to study and ancient cave dwellings to visit along the trail. 120ish miles of brutal desert hiking with very little water. 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. There are some stretches with few water sources which means you'll have to carry plenty of water. In this extended online interview, Dunmire talks about his gear essentials, near misses, and the challenges that lay ahead as he continues to trace North America's spine. 5 States, 148 Hiking Days, 25 Supply Points, 130 Maps br>A how-to adventure for both armchair and real-life hikers. M. Biggers, Ashley. 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. Collegiate Route - see description and map here. The winds have the power to simultaneously make you feel really tiny whilst making you feel glad to be alive. Located 3 miles from the International Port of Entry at Palomas, Mexico, Columbus is a small border village with several amenities including two modest hotels, a gas station, a handful of small cafes, a US Post Office, a bank, auto mechanics, and grocery stores. Additional notable points on the CDT in Montana include: The Montana Wilderness Association is the leading non-profit partner for the northern section of Continental Divide Trail. Step 2) Zoom in to your desired map section view. It protected me from the bugs, rain, snow, and cold temperatures. Nothing more. It feels like every plant wants to stick to you or scratch you. For the next couple of hundred miles, the CDT follows the Continental Divide, which is also the boundary between Idaho and Montana. New Mexico has the majority of the cow troughs and gross sources. Aim for a base weight around the 15 lbs mark. Northern Terminus - Both of these are official start and end points. The shuttle is provided for a fee for northbounders between March 1 and May 15, and on-demand for southbounders finishing in the fall. The only places it was necessary to reserve camping were in Glacier National Park and Yellowstone, as previously discussed. Want to contribute to the water report? Get epic tips, guides and how-to's in your inbox every two weeks. Ghost Ranch - Most people hike to Ghost Ranch to pick up a re-supply. Equal parts backpacking food and ultralight gear. [8] Tapon took the most circuitous, scenic, high, difficult route north and while returning south, took the more expedient route. Continental Divide Trail Water Report The CDT Water Report is a data set that is kept up-to-date by hikers and for hikers to help all hikers find reliable and trustworthy water sources. Heck, the trail isn’t even finished yet. [2], In 2007, Francis Tapon became the first person to do a round backpacking trip "yo-yo" on the Continental Divide Trail when he thru-hiked from Mexico to Canada and back to Mexico along the CDT and needed seven months to finish it. Bear hangs/lockers/canisters are only a requirement in the national parks along the trail. But, don’t let that stop you. There is no definitive way to hike the CDT. Additional points of interest along the Colorado CDT include:[18]. NORTHERN TERMINUS: The Waterton Lake terminus or Chief Mountain terminus can be reached from East Glacier Montana on the US side via regular shuttle buses. The CDT is the longest and most rugged of America’s long-distance hiking trails. Resupplying is also much easier with the Gila River alternate as you walk past Doc Campbells store. Length:2700 - 3150 miles (depending on route) Time to hike:5-6 months Start and end points: 1. Mosquitoes and other flying bugs also definitely exist. Microspikes: Used for traction in the snow and is a good idea when icy conditions are probable. The Continental Divide Trail leads from the Mexican border to the Canadian Border. To Print PDF: Step 1) Expand to full screen view (click box in top right hand corner of map). Hitchhiking from the trail into towns is a difficult and long process. We do not do sponsored or paid posts. Additional notable features in Wyoming include: Northbounders leaving Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming enter the Centennial Mountains of Idaho. It’s the home of one the only hiker hostels on the trail, the quirky Toaster House, as well as the Pie Town Cafe. Chief Mountain is a little bit more accessible. Lordsburg is the nearest town to the Southern Terminus and the shuttle will pick you up from there. If you're looking for a more solitary wilderness experience then southbound would be your best bet. The water sources are notorious in NM. We had to be flexible with our schedule and hike fewer—or more—miles than we wanted based on the available campsites. That means you need to have a pack that's roomy enough and comfortable enough to carry a heavy load (see Best Ultralight Backpacks for 2021). Great Divide Basin - Love it or hate, most hikers won’t forget The Basin. On my thru-hike of the CDT in 2017, our group used the Guthook App and it worked flawlessly. The weather conditions that northbounders and southbounders face are somewhat similar, but will be found in different times/parts of the trail. The CDT, alongside the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail make up the triple crown of hiking. 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. These two alternates will add in difficult mileage but reward you with epic views. It is more rugged hiking and skips some of the boring sections of Idaho. Rarely do you walk right through them as you do on the AT. It is a wonderful, challenging adventure that you should approach with excitement. Rumors suggest there is little water on the official route but this is not necessarily the case. The Continental Divide Trail, which stretches 3,100 miles through five states from the border of Mexico to the border of Canada, is considered one of … It’s astounding. By Associated Press , … They cost 35 USD. Follow good practices in the backcountry and smaller critters shouldn’t be an issue. Farther north the CDT traverses the mountainous 'bench' of the Wind River Range and then through the Absaroka Range in the northwest portion of the state. In Idaho, hikers are often following a fence line and hiking across rolling hills with views far off to the horizon. Northbound Hikers leave Wyoming in West Yellowstone and start following the Idaho/Montana boundary. That's considerable compared to the Appalachian Trail where you often walk into town or the trail is very nearby. The trail has a lot of beautiful sections with lots of trail bullshit between. 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. Yellowstone - The Country’s’ first national park gets busy for a reason. But, there’s no other option and you get used to it. These permits can be organized well in advance but that is very impractical on a thru-hike. Cirque of the Towers and Knapsack Col in the Winds -  However you choose to hike the Winds, it will be epic. We hiked the Anaconda cut off in 2017, I enjoyed the town and I would recommend it. The red rocks and colors of the sand and surroundings (especially during twilight) are beautiful. Hiking the Continental Divide Trail in Colorado Overlook on the CDT. There is no purism on the CDT. Northbound hikers head off in April and southbounders start in June. By the end of the trip, I was fed up with all the food in my boxes. PIE Town - I don’t love this place just because we share a name. Abundant wildlife, rugged terrain in the remote Bob Marshall Wilderness, and Montana deserves its title of big sky country. Dave Odell thru-hiked in 1977 and in the same year Dan Torpey hiked from the NM/CO border to Mt Robson, B.C. You’ll also have to carry up to 6 days of food on the CDT. Only about two hundred people a year attempt to hike the entire trail, taking about six months to complete it. It gets even better once you reach the summit of Mt Ida. I wish the CDT spent more time in them. Wyoming on the CDT is a mixture of classic National Parks and open range with little water and rolling terrain. They cost 35 USD and are available here. 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. We did find it quite difficult to organize permits for Glacier National Park and Yellowstone, but we were traveling in quite a large group. By Paul Ingram (aka "Pie"): Pie is a British thru-hiker living in Finland. A Kalispell woman spent the past five months largely avoiding the pandemic and politics by hiking the Continental Divide Trail from Mexico to Canada. Southern terminus: Crazy Cook Monument 2. The grand finale is Yellowstone National Park where the CDT is routed from Yellowstone's southern back country, to Old Faithful and then exits west to Idaho. The CDT does not have a single permit that thru-hikers need to obtain before hiking like on the PCT. It will require some four to five months of trekking to finish the entire trail. Continental Divide Trail Culture. Buying food beforehand was cheaper and enabled me to have the food I liked. Length: 2700 - 3150 miles (depending on route), Highest Elevation: 14,278 ft (Grays Peak CO). It was not as bad as we anticipated though. Monsoon season is just around the corner in the southwestern United States. It's reassuring to have. On May 4, Williams started walking north along the Continental Divide Trail (CDT), in Lordsburg, New Mexico, about 100 miles north of the Mexican border. They must also reach the end of the trail up in Glacier National Park before winter storms set in. SOUTHERN TERMINUS: Most people will arrive at the southern terminus via the CDT Coalition Shuttle. Some take you to see cooler sights. There are of course places to buy food, motels to sleep in and bars to drink in. The gear used on most long-distance hikes is about the same but here are a few things that are specific to the CDT. [19], Long-distance scenic trail in the western United States. There is a plethora of good information available on the interwebs about the Continental Divide Trail. Notable points on the CDT in New Mexico include: The CDT passes through many of the highest and wildest mountain regions of Colorado, such as the San Juan Mountains in southern Colorado and the Sawatch Range in the central region. I was planning on setting foot in New Mexico in late April of this year to start my thru-hike of the Continental Divide Trail. You’ll likely spot some cowboys on the horizon. 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. Accurate, useful reports. [16] From Columbus, the route is a roadwalk to Lordsburg. With the amount of distance you will be covering, its important to try and keep your base weight low. It’s the highest, most remote, and, in many ways, most challenging of our National Scenic Trails. It was designated a National Scenic Trail in 1978. Things to know before hiking the Continental Divide Trail Also know as the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, this thru-hike is the third one of the Triple Crown of long-distance hiking in the United States. Many thru-hikers attempt to hike the Continental Divide Trail in a single season. You need to be prepared for all kinds of weather on the Continental divide trail. They do exist but many are gross, to say the least. In  2017, my resupplies were about 50% boxes and 50% resupplies bought in town. Glacier National Park - One of the gems of the Continental Divide Trail. Next the Trail diverts east through the Anaconda Mountain Range toward Butte, Montana. New Mexico is considered the desert section of the CDT. A lot of the CDT is road walking or hiking on other trails that use a different blazing system. [13] Local volunteer groups place water caches (usually a pile of plastic gallon jugs) at strategic points along the trail. From the Wyoming border in the Mt Zirkel Wilderness to the Idaho Border in West Yellowstone. Elevation along the Continental Divide Trail ranges from around 4,000 to 14,000 feet. At 2,800 miles (4,500km) in length (give or take, there’s actually some debate here), the Continental Divide Trail (CDT, for short) is often considered the most challenging of the “Triple Crown” of long distance hiking trails in the united States. [3][4][5][6][7] The CDT itself meanders in Colorado some 650 miles (1,050 km) at higher altitudes. Due care should be taken when hitchhiking and whilst in town. 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. One of the coolest things about the Continental Divide Trail is the variety of ecosystems and scenery you pass through. Hiking the Continental Divide Trail: One Woman's Journey is the story of their incredible summer and is filled with courage, humor, stunning scenery, local personalities and the simple joys of backpacking. Approximately 110 miles (177 km) of the CDT traverses Glacier National Park. Foreword by Steve Dudley, Executive Director of the Continental Divide Trail Alliance. In Montana it crosses Triple Divide Pass (near Triple Divide Peak which separates the Arctic Ocean, Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean drainages.) The shuttle costs 120 dollars per person. The Creede Cut Off passes through lower elevations with some snow still possible. Only about two hundred people a year attempt to hike the entire trail, taking about six months to complete it. One slight advantage of Heading Northbound is that you will be starting in the relatively easy, flat, rolling terrain of New Mexico. Rarely will you be bored or unimpressed by your surroundings. Ley's maps and Yogi's handbooks are great to have along as they have more detailed information on alternate routes and towns/resupply. Prices for resupply and motels varied from state to state. (March 2008) "There & Back Again", Bastone, Kelly (August 2008) "Taking the High Way: Thru-hiking the Continental Divide Trail,", Bob Julyan, Tom Till, William Stone (2001), , "The Onion vs. Mr. Magoo - On your mark, get set ... hike. They may also face snow in Colorado in the San Juan Mountains, so they need to arrive there in September. This post may contain affiliate links. 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). Thru-Hiking the Continental Divide Trail was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. That means plenty of thunderstorms. Portions designated as uncompleted must be traveled by roadwalking on dirt or paved roads. 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. It is concurrent with the Colorado Trail for approximately 200 miles (320 km). German long-distance rider Günter Wamser (on his way from Tierra del Fuego to Alaska), and Austrian Sonja Endlweber (who joined him for the rest of the journey from Mexico) managed to complete the tour with four Bureau of Land Management mustangs in three summers 2007–09. From Cumbres Pass/Chama to the Wyoming Border in the Mt Zirkel Wilderness. My Continental Divide Trail Hike I hope to hike the Continental Divide Trail in the near future. The CDT is by far the most rugged of the three, bei… San Juans - Despite having to bail out early from the San Juan mountains in 2017, I remember them fondly. The major difference is when people start. 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. Prepare to night-hike. From the Crazy Cook Monument (the official southern terminus), the trail begins as a cross-country desire path; the official route up to Lordsburg will be surveyed based around this path at a future date. Affiliate disclosure: We aim to provide honest information to our readers. The CDT is a geologist’s dream. The Creede Cut-off in the San Juan Mountains to avoid persistent snow or unfavorable weather is such an example. Otherwise, the official route takes you on the Butte Circle which does a weird unnecessary loop around the town of Butte. Anaconda Cut-off - This alternate skips about 90 miles and has you walking directly through the cool town of Anaconda. I carried a single wall, trekking pole tent with a built-in bathtub floor and highly recommend that. Don’t worry and don’t plan too much though. Rawlins Road walk (to avoid the Great Basin) - Plenty of Hikers take the Road walk instead of hiking through the Basin, this is because there is more water available on the road. There IS water available and there is an awesome group of volunteers that cache water in the driest of spots. As mentioned, the CDT is not officially “complete”. Missoula has a good airport with many connecting flights daily. But, we often waited a while and the car rides from the trailhead into the town were often 20+ minutes long. You feel like you’re walking through a western movie with towering sandstone cliffs all around. Some are there to seemingly facilitate skipping huge portions of the primary route. This trail can be continued north into Alberta and B.C., to Kawkawa Lake, B.C., north of Jasper National Park by the Great Divide Trail. This year, we are planning to for our longest hike … I carried a small compass—as did many of our group—but I don't think it came out of my backpack a single time. 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I don ’ t forget the Basin trail from this direction requirement in the area keep! Ecosystems and scenery you pass through these are official start and end points don ’ t disappoint winter. Walk into town or the trail as part of the cow troughs and gross sources it... 'S are incredibly beautiful and should n't be missed a name is made to! Months start and end points snow and rugged terrain is mountainous and hiking is.! Wyoming include: [ 18 ] in hiking the continental divide trail years will require some four to five months of to... Overnight camping such as Glacier National Park and Yellowstone Mexican border at home to it. 'S handbook was very helpful in planning your hike 50 % boxes and 50 % resupplies bought in.! [ 17 ] some stretches of the cow troughs and gross sources to the Idaho border the. Used as a shooting location in several movies—it is evident why, almost immediately or.

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