"The Continental Divide Trail is a 3,100 mile primitive and challenging
backcountry trail that spans from Mexico to Canada along the backbone of America. To view
a map of the trail click here.
In 1978, Congress made a monumental decision, one that secured the future of the most
scenic, wild and remote landscapes in America. They designated the Continental Divide
National Scenic Trail (CDT), also known as the "King of Trails". Congress
recognized the unique scenic quality and cultural characteristics of this remarkable
environment and identified a 100-mile-wide corridor straddling the Divide for the future
placement of the Continental Divide Trail.
The Continental Divide Trail climbs and descends the peaks of the Rocky Mountains from
Canada to Mexico, traversing mountainside meadows, granite peaks and high-desert saddles.
Through five states, 25 National Forests, 20 Wilderness areas, 3 National Parks, 1
National Monument and 8 Bureau of Land Management Resource areas- the CDT travels 3,100
miles through America's most dramatic and wild backcountry."
Divide Trail Alliance
One of the unique challenges of the CDT is that it is only 70% complete. While the
vision for the CDT is to be a 3,100 wilderness path, it will be years before the trail is
fully completed and protected. This makes our adventure even more interesting as we will
be creating our own route in many places by route-finding, bush-whacking, and
road-walking. This may cause our total mileages to vary as much as 300 miles, but we will
always maintain the goal of connecting our footprints from Mexico to Canada- no matter
which path we take.
Another unique challenge of the CDT is the seasonal window. There is a very limited time
period with which we can hike, based on regional climate and snow pack in the mountain
ranges. The seasonal window is perhaps shorter with this trail than any of the other
long-distance trails in the United States, and the mileages are greater.
To learn more about the CDT please visit the Continental Divide Trail Alliance.
Continental Divide Trail Resources and Related Links:
Continental Divide Trail Alliance
Continental Divide Trail Society
Pacific Crest Trail
Pacific Northwest Trail
Thru Hiker Discussion
Jonathan Ley's Site
Many, Many Thru Hiker Journals
The New Mexico Wilderness Alliance
Additional Hiking and Travel Resources:
Dave's Outdoor Adventure Page
I love the Outdoors
A1 Trail Guide