This page summarizes my hike of the Continental Divide Trail from Canada to Mexico through Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico.
WHAT IS THE CDT?
The CDT traverses the continent from north to south passing through 5 states, 3 national parks, 20 wilderness areas, 26 national forests and 8 BLM areas. It’s anywhere from 2,500 to 3,200 miles, depending on your exact route and takes about 6 months to complete. The trail is about 80% complete with the remaining portions being road walks or cross-country travel.
Why I hiked the trail: 7 Words, How it Started…
Map of the trail: CDT Map
Thank you to everyone in my world who supported me in this dream!
Total Miles- 2500 miles
2015 – 110 miles
- Mexican border north to Silver City
- Came off the trail with a stress fracture to my tibia and a broken heart.
2016 – 1720 miles
- Canadian border to Silver City, NM.
- Skipped two 300-mile sections of trail: Wind River Range to Steamboat Springs in WY/CO and Tennessee Pass to Wolf Creek Pass in CO.
2018 – 130 miles
- Wind River Range
2019 – 500 miles
- Atlantic City, WY to Steamboat Springs, CO.
- Tennessee Pass to Monarch Pass, CO… THE END!!!
2019 & 2018 STATS
- Coming soon…
- Miles hiked: 1720 miles (2750 kms).
- Dates: Jun 17 – Nov 9.
- Montana/Idaho: Jun 17 – Aug 22, complete at 820 miles.
- Wyoming: Aug 22 – Aug 30, 160 miles down, 250 miles to go.
- Colorado: Sept 1 – Oct 5, 280 miles down, 350 miles to go.
- New Mexico: Oct 9 – Nov 9, 460 miles, 110 miles in 2015. Complete at 570 miles.
- Average miles: 19 miles/day (MT 19 miles, WY 23 miles, CO 18 miles, NM 19 miles).
- Longest day: 33 miles (53kms), out-walking a storm in the Scapegoat Wilderness.
- Longest without seeing a human: 7 days in MT
- Longest without seeing a thru-hiker: 34 days in CO/NM
- Grizzly bears encountered: 5, all in Glacier National Park MT
- Favorite trail town: Steamboat Springs, CO
- Weirdest trail town: Pie Town, NM
- Longest time off trail: 1wk mid-trail break in Steamboat, CO; and 1wk after a cortisone injection in my knee in Silverthorne, CO.
- Favorite section: Can’t pick, I LOVED all of them.
- Least favorite section: None, if I had to pick Grants to Pie Town, NM.
- Favorite experiences: freedom, solitude, sense of constant adventure, anticipation of what’s over the next ridge, seeing so many remote and beautiful places, meeting interesting people.
- Least favorite experiences: blisters, tweaked muscles/tendons, creepy cowboy hitch, face-time with Grizzly bears, road walking, long water carries.
- Times cried: only once, and it was out of happiness, relief and sense of achievement when I saw the Grand Tetons from Idaho and knew I had almost made it to Wyoming.
- Shoes: 7, 5 of which didn’t work well for me.
- Took a wrong turn: too many to count.
- Couldn’t find the trail: too many to count.
- Totally lost: 0
- Thing I missed most: my pillow.
- Thing I missed least: the perceived urgency and importance of the ‘real world’.
- Couldn’t have done it without: Katie Dunlap, helped with so many logistics and most of my trail re-supply. Thank you, Katie!
- Funniest experiences: charged by a squirrel; total yard-sale because I was texting while hiking and tripped; playing cards in a broken down van on the side of I-80; being refused service for looking like a homeless person.
- Injuries: none!
- Body rebellions: blisters first 1000 miles; extremely sore feet first 1000 miles; weird nerve pain under foot right side, first 1000 miles; hip flexor left side, a few times; IT band tendonitis right side, last 1000 miles; Achilles tendons both sides, 100 miles in NM; extensor tendonitis left side, final 20 miles; and 2 toe nails fell off, last 200 miles.
- Miles hiked: 110 miles
- Dates: April 21 – May 8, Mexican Border to Silver City, New Mexico.
- Days hiked: 7 (and 2 partial days).
- Average hiking day: 15 miles
- Favorite experiences: all of the ‘firsts’: starting a long distance hike, backpacking in the desert, meeting my new trail family…
- Least favorite experiences: hiking with leg pain, stress fracture in my tibia, having my CDT dream shattered so soon after it began.
Thanks for reading.