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Continental Divide Trail (CDT)

Continental Divide Trail Map
Length:2,718.0 miles
Steps:6,165,181
Burned:349,372 calories
Hiked:Apr 21, 2021—Sep 24, 2021
Photos:11,248
Videos:238
Walk Trail!

The Continental Divide Trail is meant to follow the Continental Divide through the United States between Mexico and Canada, or at least stay within 50 miles of it since it is not always practical to put the trail directly on the divide. The epic trail runs about 3,000 miles (4,800 km), but that is simply a rough estimate since there are so many alternates and detours that thru-hikers often take. Our route will take you a bit less.

The first sections of the trail were built in Colorado in 1962 and—at the time this virtual hike was created—is only about 70% completed. The rest are road walks connecting the completed sections.

The trail runs through five states: New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana, and it includes some of the most scenic and dramatic scenery in the United States including three national parks (Rocky Mountains, Yellowstone and Glacier), and numerous other national monuments, wilderness areas and national forests. Wildlife varies from rattlesnakes to moose and bear, and you’ll see them all along this trail!

Interested in reading about the hike as I hiked it? Follow along on my blog at Another Long Walk—the CDT entries start on October 8, 2021.

Hikers who complete the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail and the Continental Divide Trail are known as completing the Triple Crown of hiking, since the three trails cross the three major mountain ranges through the United States, and with this being the last of those three trails, you can now virtually complete a triple crown for yourself! It is quite the accomplishment, even a virtual version of it.

For this virtual hike, each actual day that I spent on the trail is its own stage. A stage may start or end at a major landmark such as a city, or it may start and end in the middle of nowhere. The length of the stage is based on the number of miles that I hiked in real life that day. You will find stages, on average, tend to be shorter during the first month on the trail since I have to build up my strength and stamina before I can pull 30-mile days. Over more challenging terrain, the day’s mileage might be smaller. I remember more than once in Colorado where I couldn’t even pull out a 20-mile day even though I had done them quite regularly before that—simply because the terrain was so difficult! But knowing each stage is an actual real-life day on the trail for me, you might notice that the photos at the beginning of a stage are typically in the mornings while the photos at the end of the stage are typically in the last afternoons. You can get a sense of where in the day you are based on how far through a stage you have walked.

And with all that out of the way.... check out the following preview of the Continental Divide Trail!

Stage NameLength
(miles)
Position
(miles)
1.Mexican Border13.50.0 → 13.5
2.Big Hatchet Mountains19.313.5 → 32.8
3.Little Hatchet Mountains19.032.8 → 51.8
4.Trail Angel Apple17.351.8 → 69.1
5.Pyramid Peak17.869.1 → 86.8
6.Lordsburg Arrival9.586.8 → 96.4
7.Lordsburg Departure18.596.4 → 114.9
8.Gold Hill16.6114.9 → 131.5
9.Burro Peak16.7131.5 → 148.2
10.Prescribed Burns Detour22.9148.2 → 171.1
11.Silver City Arrival10.0171.1 → 181.1
12.Silver City Departure15.0181.1 → 196.1
13.Gila Alternate Starts16.1196.1 → 212.2
14.Gila River Starts16.8212.2 → 229.1
15.Doc Campbell's Post15.2229.1 → 244.3
16.Gila Cliff Dwellings18.2244.3 → 262.5
17.Middle Fork of the Gila River20.6262.5 → 283.0
18.Snow Lake22.6283.0 → 305.6
19.Dutchman Spring20.0305.6 → 325.6
20.Wagontongue Mountain21.4325.6 → 347.0
21.Mangas Mountains21.8347.0 → 368.8
22.X-Country Range Walk20.1368.8 → 388.9
23.Pie Town Arrival10.6388.9 → 399.5
24.Pie Town Departure18.2399.5 → 417.7
25.West Malpais Wilderness Area25.7417.7 → 443.4
26.Chain-of-Craters23.4443.4 → 466.8
27.El Malpais National Monument23.7466.8 → 490.5
28.Bonita-Zuni Alternate22.6490.5 → 513.1
29.Grants Arrival11.6513.1 → 524.6
30.Grants Departure13.8524.6 → 538.4
31.Mount Taylor18.9538.4 → 557.3
32.Ojo de Dado20.3557.3 → 577.6
33.Cerro del Ojo Frio21.8577.6 → 599.4
34.Empedrado Wilderness Area19.6599.4 → 619.1
35.La Ventana Mesa18.5619.1 → 637.5
36.Cuba Arrival11.5637.5 → 649.0
37.Cuba Departure14.1649.0 → 663.1
38.San Pedro Peaks22.2663.1 → 685.3
39.Chama River20.3685.3 → 705.6
40.Mesa de Los Viejos23.7705.6 → 729.3
41.Upper Canjilon Lakes18.6729.3 → 747.8
42.Hopewell Lake Campground21.2747.8 → 769.0
43.Hopewell Lake18.0769.0 → 787.0
44.Brazos Ridge HP19.7787.0 → 806.7
45.New Mexico-Colorado Border10.4806.7 → 817.1
46.Chama Departure14.0817.1 → 831.1
47.South San Juans20.8831.1 → 851.9
48.Snowpocalypse!15.2851.9 → 867.1
49.Great Divide Alternate25.4867.1 → 892.5
50.Pagosa Springs Arrival18.8892.5 → 911.3
51.Pagosa Springs Departure14.9911.3 → 926.2
52.Creede Cutoff South21.8926.2 → 948.0
53.Creede Cutoff North21.0948.0 → 969.0
54.Eddiesville26.4969.0 → 995.3
55.Buffalo Pass15.5995.3 → 1,010.8
56.Sargents Mesa21.61,010.8 → 1,032.4
57.Salida Arrival27.01,032.4 → 1,059.4
58.Salida Departure21.41,059.4 → 1,080.7
59.Mirror Lake Alternate18.61,080.7 → 1,099.3
60.Lake Ann24.11,099.3 → 1,123.5
61.Leadville Arrival19.21,123.5 → 1,142.7
62.Leadville Departure10.21,142.7 → 1,152.9
63.Mount Massive22.91,152.9 → 1,175.8
64.Camp Hale22.11,175.8 → 1,198.0
65.Copper Mountain14.61,198.0 → 1,212.5
66.Frisco and Dillon15.01,212.5 → 1,227.5
67.Silverthorne Alternate14.01,227.5 → 1,241.4
68.Vasquez Peak Wilderness19.21,241.4 → 1,260.6
69.Berthoud Pass17.41,260.6 → 1,278.1
70.James Peak19.81,278.1 → 1,297.8
71.Lake Granby20.51,297.8 → 1,318.3
72.Grand Lake15.11,318.3 → 1,333.4
73.Rocky Mountains NP21.81,333.4 → 1,355.2
74.Parkview Mountain6.21,355.2 → 1,361.4
75.Haystack Mountain17.01,361.4 → 1,378.4
76.Arapaho Creek Watershed31.81,378.4 → 1,410.2
77.Steamboat Springs Arrival21.61,410.2 → 1,431.8
78.Steamboat Springs Departure19.51,431.8 → 1,451.4
79.Hahns Peak26.11,451.4 → 1,477.5
80.Colorado-Wyoming Border23.11,477.5 → 1,500.6
81.Bridger Peak26.51,500.6 → 1,527.1
82.Divide Peak27.51,527.1 → 1,554.6
83.Muddy Creek28.01,554.6 → 1,582.6
84.Rawlins Arrival14.81,582.6 → 1,597.5
85.Rawlins Departure25.21,597.5 → 1,622.7
86.Middle of Nowhere28.31,622.7 → 1,651.0
87.Crooks Peak27.81,651.0 → 1,678.8
88.Oregon Trail29.71,678.8 → 1,708.5
89.South Pass City22.11,708.5 → 1,730.6
90.Sweetwater Watershed22.01,730.6 → 1,752.7
91.Cirque of the Towers19.61,752.7 → 1,772.2
92.Sandpoint Lake18.51,772.2 → 1,790.7
93.Hat Pass23.01,790.7 → 1,813.7
94.Pinedale Arrival8.31,813.7 → 1,822.1
95.Pinedale Departure16.21,822.1 → 1,838.3
96.Green River22.91,838.3 → 1,861.2
97.Lake of the Woods22.61,861.2 → 1,883.8
98.Leeds Creek Alternate26.51,883.8 → 1,910.4
99.Dubois Arrival11.51,910.4 → 1,921.9
100.Dubois Departure16.31,921.9 → 1,938.2
101.Buffalo Creek21.41,938.2 → 1,959.6
102.Parting of the Waters19.61,959.6 → 1,979.2
103.Snake River13.31,979.2 → 1,992.6
104.Heart Lake23.91,992.6 → 2,016.5
105.Old Faithful Village21.02,016.5 → 2,037.5
106.Biscuit Basin9.62,037.5 → 2,047.1
107.Wyoming-Idaho Border19.42,047.1 → 2,066.5
108.Idaho-Montana Border20.42,066.5 → 2,086.9
109.West Yellowstone Departure17.52,086.9 → 2,104.4
110.Lee Metcalf Wilderness25.42,104.4 → 2,129.8
111.Taylor Creek15.42,129.8 → 2,145.2
112.Sphinx Mountain23.02,145.2 → 2,168.2
113.Ennis Arrival28.62,168.2 → 2,196.9
114.Harrison Arrival28.12,196.9 → 2,224.9
115.Lewis & Clark Caverns24.42,224.9 → 2,249.4
116.Whitehall Arrival16.32,249.4 → 2,265.7
117.Whitehall Departure22.82,265.7 → 2,288.5
118.Nez Perce Trail23.22,288.5 → 2,311.8
119.Champion Pass23.82,311.8 → 2,335.5
120.Thunderbolt Mountain24.92,335.5 → 2,360.4
121.Helena Arrival10.62,360.4 → 2,371.0
122.Helena Departure21.52,371.0 → 2,392.5
123.Stemple Pass21.92,392.5 → 2,414.4
124.Flesher Pass23.52,414.4 → 2,437.9
125.Rogers Pass19.02,437.9 → 2,456.8
126.Dearborn River21.12,456.8 → 2,477.9
127.Augusta Arrival20.72,477.9 → 2,498.6
128.Augusta Departure14.32,498.6 → 2,512.9
129.Chinese Wall22.62,512.9 → 2,535.5
130.Spotted Bear Alternate16.42,535.5 → 2,551.9
131.Strawberry Creek22.62,551.9 → 2,574.4
132.Trapper Gulch Alternate22.12,574.4 → 2,596.5
133.East Glacier Arrival25.92,596.5 → 2,622.4
134.Two Medicine Arrival12.22,622.4 → 2,634.7
135.Two Medicine Departure13.72,634.7 → 2,648.4
136.Triple Divide Pass16.02,648.4 → 2,664.4
137.Saint Mary Lake15.62,664.4 → 2,680.0
138.Ptarmigan Tunnel26.92,680.0 → 2,706.9
139.Canadian Border11.12,706.9 → 2,718.0
Southern terminus monument
Continental Divide Trail @0.0 miles
Southern terminus monument
Water cache!
Continental Divide Trail @15.9 miles
Water cache!
Prickly Pear Cactus
Continental Divide Trail @34.9 miles
Prickly Pear Cactus
Flowers of the desert
Continental Divide Trail @84.4 miles
Flowers of the desert
Green Tortuga admires the view
Continental Divide Trail @136.3 miles
Green Tortuga admires the view
Video
Gila River
Continental Divide Trail @231.9 miles
Gila River
Gila Cliff Dwellings
Continental Divide Trail @249.9 miles
Gila Cliff Dwellings
Iris
Continental Divide Trail @551.5 miles
Iris
Yucca plant
Continental Divide Trail @625.2 miles
Yucca plant
Cumbres Pass
Continental Divide Trail @812.0 miles
Cumbres Pass
854.1 miles
Continental Divide Trail @854.1 miles
View from Kokomo Pass
Continental Divide Trail @1,198.0 miles
View from Kokomo Pass
Long shadows....
Continental Divide Trail @1,261.9 miles
Long shadows....
James Peak
Continental Divide Trail @1,282.7 miles
James Peak
Rocky Mountain NP
Continental Divide Trail @1,335.2 miles
Rocky Mountain NP
View from Parkview Mountain
Continental Divide Trail @1,361.6 miles
View from Parkview Mountain
1,452.4 miles
Continental Divide Trail @1,452.4 miles
1,569.9 miles
Continental Divide Trail @1,569.9 miles
Great Divide Basin
Continental Divide Trail @1,676.4 miles
Great Divide Basin
Little Sandy Lake
Continental Divide Trail @1,754.7 miles
Little Sandy Lake
1,828.4 miles
Continental Divide Trail @1,828.4 miles
Green River
Continental Divide Trail @1,859.6 miles
Green River
Heart Lake
Continental Divide Trail @1,999.1 miles
Heart Lake
Lone Star Geyser
Continental Divide Trail @2,024.6 miles
Lone Star Geyser
2,108.8 miles
Continental Divide Trail @2,108.8 miles
Sphinx Mountain
Continental Divide Trail @2,148.7 miles
Sphinx Mountain
Lewis & Clark Caverns
Continental Divide Trail @2,244.5 miles
Lewis & Clark Caverns
Lewis and Clark Mural
Continental Divide Trail @2,265.7 miles
Lewis and Clark Mural
2,382.7 miles
Continental Divide Trail @2,382.7 miles
2,430.3 miles
Continental Divide Trail @2,430.3 miles
Chinese Wall
Continental Divide Trail @2,522.9 miles
Chinese Wall
Indian paintbrush
Continental Divide Trail @2,546.6 miles
Indian paintbrush
2,551.1 miles
Continental Divide Trail @2,551.1 miles
Sunrise!
Continental Divide Trail @2,596.8 miles
Sunrise!
Medicine Grizzly Lake
Continental Divide Trail @2,653.4 miles
Medicine Grizzly Lake
St. Mary's Lake
Continental Divide Trail @2,670.9 miles
St. Mary's Lake