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. I carried a single wall, trekking pole tent with a built-in bathtub floor and highly recommend that. It will require some four to five months of trekking to finish the entire trail. Don’t worry and don’t plan too much though. If you're unsure, take the official route but these alternates are well worthwhile. If you're looking for a more solitary wilderness experience then southbound would be your best bet. It is more rugged hiking and skips some of the boring sections of Idaho. Additional points of interest along the Colorado CDT include:[18]. Approximately 110 miles (177 km) of the CDT traverses Glacier National Park. All these major cities offer connecting flights around the US or further afield. The gear used on most long-distance hikes is about the same but here are a few things that are specific to the CDT. Most hikers will choose to hike the Gila River wilderness, a beautiful winding section of the trail that follows the Gila River. Hitchhiking from the trail into towns is a difficult and long process. It is brought to you by The Continental Divide Trail Coalition, Atlas Guides, and Sawyer. Some take you to see cooler sights. Hitchhiking is also a great, free option. But, don’t let that stop you. NOTABLE AREAS / HIGHLIGHTS:Lemhi pass - The highest point that the Lewis and Clark expedition went through. Affiliate disclosure: We aim to provide honest information to our readers. Whether headed Northbound or southbound, snow is the major deciding factor in planning your departure time. Don't be too worried about the permits for the CDT, it is a relatively hassle-free process. But after reading a book on hiking’s Triple Crown, his plans grew – by nearly 6,000 miles. In exchange for referring sales, we may receive a small commission through affiliate links. New Mexico has the majority of the cow troughs and gross sources. There IS water available and there is an awesome group of volunteers that cache water in the driest of spots. We only saw one Grizzly from a distance but many hikers see a lot more. There is no definitive way to hike the CDT. It protected me from the bugs, rain, snow, and cold temperatures. 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 trail is most commonly hiked from South to North starting at the Mexican border. You’ll likely spot some cowboys on the horizon. In Idaho, hikers are often following a fence line and hiking across rolling hills with views far off to the horizon. That's considerable compared to the Appalachian Trail where you often walk into town or the trail is very nearby. 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. Super Butte Cut-off - This alternate cuts out of hundreds of miles in Idaho/Montana. Chris also wrote How to Hike the Appalachian Trail. I believe the Guthook App and Yogi's guidebook get you 95% ready when planning your hike. Yogi's handbook was very helpful in planning out resupply options and also cheap options for accommodation. The Continental Divide Trail (CDT) is a long-distance trail that runs from the Canadian border to the Mexican border. Glacier National Park - One of the gems of the Continental Divide Trail. Gila River - This unique section of the CDT is actually an alternate but you should definitely do it. Of course, if you are looking for a social hike, the CDT isn't really the trail. The trail is a combination of dedicated trails and small roads and considered 70% complete. Otherwise, there was plentiful camping alongside the trail. 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. The major difference is when people start. 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. Founded in 2012 by a passionate group of volunteers and recreationists, CDTC is a membership organization working to building a strong community of supporters who want to see the CDT … 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. 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. These permits can be organized well in advance but that is very impractical on a thru-hike. 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. This will be a long section of road walking. Avoid the crowded spots by passing through very early or once everyone’s gone home. Waterton lake has you going into Canada but is often closed for Northbounders due to fires. 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. Northern Terminus - Both of these are official start and end points. Reflective umbrella: I'd always thought umbrellas for hiking are unnecessary but I really enjoyed having a. 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. Be aware of grizzly bears in the area and keep your fingers crossed you can organize backcountry permits that fit your schedule. Northbound hikers head off in April and southbounders start in June. I started with a 20-degree quilt but eventually switched to a. The notes and comments are not as plentiful and up to date as the PCT Guthook App, but they offer decent insights. These sectional breakdowns follow the point of view of a northbound hiker as most tackle the trail from this direction. There are areas where water sources are very few and far between and it’s necessary to drink from some less than desirable sources. Continental Divide Trail Statistics. Heck, the trail isn’t even finished yet. For a good insight of a southbound hike refer to trail journals from 2017. They do exist but many are gross, to say the least. 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. The Continental Divide Trail (CDT) spans over 3,100 miles from Mexico to Canada and is one of the most significant trail systems in the world. The water sources are notorious in NM. From Cumbres Pass/Chama to the Wyoming Border in the Mt Zirkel Wilderness. They cost 35 USD. Similar to the Pacific Crest Trail, the CDT towns are fairly far apart. This will avoid unnecessary wear and tear on your joints and your morale. This makes the whole experience on the CDT a much more lonesome and solitary experience compared with the Pacific Crest Trail or the Appalachian Trail. Get yourself a slice! An avid outsoorswoman, West Point graduate and former Captain in the U.S. Army, Jennifer Hanson - with her husband Greg Allen - set off to thru-hike the 2,400-mile Continenta 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. But, there’s no other option and you get used to it. Packing myself boxes and having a friend send them to me on the trail had positives and negatives. Portions designated as uncompleted must be traveled by roadwalking on dirt or paved roads. The Continental Divide Trail Coalition (CDTC) has released an updated statement with guidance for hiking along the CDT this year. From the Wyoming border in the Mt Zirkel Wilderness to the Idaho Border in West Yellowstone. It is concurrent with the Colorado Trail for approximately 200 miles (320 km). A Kalispell woman spent the past five months largely avoiding the pandemic and politics by hiking the Continental Divide Trail from Mexico to Canada. It was designated a National Scenic Trail in 1978. For much of this hike you walk along the Continental Divide, so you have panoramic views across the park. As mentioned, the CDT is not officially “complete”. Most people that tackle the CDT will probably have done the AT or PCT before and should have a good idea of their gear requirements. Sweeping valleys and high mountain pass with Elk call echoing throughout. Each year, hundreds of individuals set out to hike from Mexico to Canada (or Canada to Mexico) along the Continental Divide Trail. One of the coolest things about the Continental Divide Trail is the variety of ecosystems and scenery you pass through. With proper planning and paying attention to comments on Guthook and up to date water reports, you’ll be fine. Prepare to be wowed by the Winds and try to avoid the crowds in Yellowstone. Soak in hot springs and try not to smile. It’s astounding. There are some stretches with few water sources which means you'll have to carry plenty of water. Those who succeed find 3,100 miles of stunning scenery, diverse ecosystems, welcoming communities, and self-discovery. Rarely will you be bored or unimpressed by your surroundings. You need to be prepared for all kinds of weather on the Continental divide trail. And, luckily, the CDT hits some cool spots that most tourists don’t go to. It left me with a profound feeling of awe … In the group, we also had Ley's Maps (as in Jonathan Ley) and Yogi's guidebooks for towns and resupply options. Lastly, you'll have to take normal precautions against rattlesnakes and other wildlife. Chief Mountain is a little bit more accessible. This post is my advice for future Continental Divide Trail hikers. Ice ax: Might be necessary for certain areas of the CDT at the start or finish and also the San Juan mountains of Colorado. 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. More information can be found here. 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. Foreword by Steve Dudley, Executive Director of the Continental Divide Trail Alliance. 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 … Additionally, there are a few areas that require permits for overnight camping such as Glacier National Park and Yellowstone. If you are really short on time, this is an option. 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. 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. It flew by on my thru-hike in 2017 and it is one of the areas I’m most desperate to return to. Many areas use the official CDT symbol blazes but you can’t rely on them. He hikes all over the world and has way too many action figures for a man of his age. Accurate, useful reports. 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 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. 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. The red rocks and colors of the sand and surroundings (especially during twilight) are beautiful. It gets even better once you reach the summit of Mt Ida. Bear hangs/lockers/canisters are only a requirement in the national parks along the trail. High mountain passes, colorful desert washes, and everything in between. 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. Hikers on the CDT will deal with an array of different weather scenarios, from harsh sun exposure to freezing cold temperatures. Thru-hiking the CDT is an adventure of a lifetime, but it’s not for the faint of heart. Northbound Hikers leave Wyoming in West Yellowstone and start following the Idaho/Montana boundary. 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. 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. Southbounders may deal with snow in Glacier National Park at the start and therefore start around June. 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. 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. 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