The Continental Divide Trail

In my weekly research I discovered the Continental Divide Trail and the Continental Divide Trail Coalition. Maybe 10 or 15 years ago I had heard rumors but had lost track, and it’s so exciting to see a continuous trail through the Rockies from Canada to Mexico!

Complete blazing of the trail was completed only recently in 2018! This is truly a brand-new trail, and it’s being viewed among big hiking circles as one of the big three, known collectively as the Triple Crown:

Appalachian Trail (AT) – 2,200 miles from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine and travels through 14 states.

Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) – 2,650 miles from Campo, CA on the Mexican border to British Columbia through the states of California, Oregon and Washington.

Continental Divide Trail (CDT) – 3,028 miles from the border with Chihuahua, Mexico to the border with Alberta, Canada through the states of New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.

The AT is the oldest and most traveled. Almost 2 million people hike a portion of the trail every year and there is a real thing called Trail Magic which refers to unexpected acts of generosity along the trail.

The PCT is also a well established and well maintained trail but it has fewer visitors than the AT. Trail Magic exists but is much less common because there is less density of people.

The CDT is the newest of the Triple Crown and it was planned, built and is maintained by a network of volunteers. The trail itself is more remote (further from roads and towns) than the AT and PCT and the route itself can become confusing in places as it traverses a maze of roads and trail alternates. The CDT has the least visitors of the three and Trail Magic never really has a chance to surface.

I am not looking at the Continental Divide Trail as a replacement or alternative for my segment-at-a-time Colorado Trail project. It’s far more remote, both in distance from my home and the trail itself is further from roads, meaning it’s really designed for through-hiking.

However, I see in the maps that the two trails coincide for several miles through the state of Colorado. Maybe in the future I can hit other parts of the CDT in other states. For now I’m excited to learn that it’s there.

Author: johnny88keys

Optimistic idea enabler mindfully seeking rapture

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