The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail is officially the longest trail in the US running from Mexico To Canada. This trail spans 3,100 miles and runs through five US states.
The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail is one of the most significant trail systems in the world. It was established it in 1978 and connects countless communities along the Rocky Mountains. It is also one of the Triple Crown long-distance hiking trails, named by hiker enthusiasts. As you can guess this trail follows the Continental Divide through the states of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. If you are an avid hiker, this is the challenge for you.
The Crazy Cook Monument is one of the most recognized starting and finishing points in Columbus, New Mexico. The Continental Divide Trail (CDT) is about 700 miles in New Mexico. There is little to no water throughout many parts of this portion of the trail. Local volunteer groups place water caches at strategic points along the trail.
The CDT in Colorado is 650 miles long and is part of the Colorado Trail for 200 miles. This part of the trail has the highest elevation and the wildest mountain regions. It runs through the San Juan Mountains and the Sawatch Range. Depending on the season and snow, there are alternate routes you can take. The Creede Cut-off is an example of one of the alternate route you can take. Some stretches of the CDT in Colorado are still wilderness footpaths so make sure you have a map.
Wyoming is the next state you will be-be traveling across on the CDT. Of all the states you will hike across, Wyoming has the most diverse terrain. As you hike through this state, you start at the Great Divide Basin and end the CDT and the Yellowstone National Park. There are technically two routes you can follow, the shortest of the two have little to no water most years.
After Wyoming, the Continental Divide Trail will take you to Idaho, where you enter the Centennial Mountains. At this point, the CDT follows the boundary between Montana and Idaho. There is also an alternate route you can take to Mack’s Inn in Island Park. One point to note on this portion of the CDT is Lemhi Pass. At this pass, you are looking at the same view Lewis and Clark saw on their expedition in 1805.
Montana is the last stop on the CDT and is entirely mountain ranges. The Montana Wilderness Association is the leading partner for the CDT. The staff of the MWA is trying to connect 980 miles in Montana and Idaho.
It takes about six months to complete the entire hike, about 200 people a year attempt this feat referred to as a thru-hike. Many people attempt this hike yearly, but only about 30% finish, the youngest being a 13-year-old. If you think you have what it takes for this adventure, make sure you have every supply you may need in an emergency and a good map, and most importantly, check in as often as possible with any person who may help locate you in case of an accident.