The Continental Divide Trail (CDT)

One of the "Big Three" trails that compromise the Triple Crown, the Continental Divide Trail has been growing lately in popularity due to the number of hikers on the other two trails and to get away from the crowds along with implied difficulty.

CDT Quick Details

Date Started: xxxx
Date Completed: xxxx
Designed By: xxxxx
Trail Length: xxxx Miles (xxxx km)
States Crossed: 4

What is the Continental Divide Trail?




Continental Divide Trail Data

Trail Lengthxxxx miles
Managing BodyThe US Forest Service, in partnership with the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, xxxxx
Southern Terminusxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Northern Terminusxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Lowest PointWaterton Lake in Glacier National Park in Montana (4,200 ft / 1,280 m)
Highest PointGrays Peak in Colorado (14,270 ft / 4,349.5 m)
How Conceived


When EstablishedThe CDT became a National Scenic Trail on November 10, 1978
When CompletedCurrently Unfinished - many sections of the CDT hikers need to bushwhack or roadwalk to connect stretches of the trail.
Blazes (Marking)xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Side Blazesxxxxxxxxxxxxx
# of Sheltersxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Horses On Trailxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Bikes On Trailxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Who Owns Trail Landxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thru Hike Data For the Continental Divide Trail

The data below is helpful for a thru hiker planning to leave and looking at planning their costs and the timeframe they can expect to be gone from their homes. This will help ensure you to make smart decisions based on your savings and estimations.
Overall MileageThe CDT is roughly xxxxx miles. Unlike the other trails though the CDT is a wider trail without a distinct "trail" to follow.
Average Duration5-6 months
TimeframeApril - September
Average Cost$5,000
Travel DirectionVast majority of thru hikers will choose to go NOBO
Permits Required?Yxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
First Thru Hikexxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Annual # of Thru Hikersxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Sections For the Continental Divide Trail

The Continental Divide Trail can be broken into very distinct (state) sections. Each link below will take you to the corresponding section below on that section to help you go where you need quick and easy.

XXXXXXXXXX: The Southern Terminus

This is the start of most thru hikers journeys and a welcome site to the planning many have done for the past year or longer. 

Hiking the Continental Divide Trail in New Mexico

How Long is the Continental Divide Trail in New Mexico

Hiking the Continental Divide Trail in Colorado

How Long is the Continental Divide Trail in Colorado

Hiking the Continental Divide Trail in Wyoming

How Long is the Continental Divide Trail in Wyoming

Hiking the Continental Divide Trail Montana

How Long is the Continental Divide Trail in Montana

XXXXXXX: The Northern Terminus

As with the southern terminus this point is something beyond words when you see it for the first time. It signifies completion or beginning of a thru hike and a commitment to fulfilling a dream.

CDT Frequently Asked Questions

While it may come as a surprise to no one there is a great many questions asked about the Continental Divide Trail. We have worked to organize the answers here when they are covered simply and when not we have them covered below in the posts about the Continental Divide Trail.

What Airport Should I Fly Into?

NOBO - xxxxxxxx
SOBO - xxxxxxxx

Will I Need Ice Gear To Hike?


Is the CDT Well Signed and Marked?


Should I Bring A GPS Monitor?


Where Is a Bear Container Required?


Does The CDT Close During Winter?


Can I use marijuana on the Continental Divide Trail?

While many states have legalized marijuana this may surprise you but the National Park is federal land and federal rules and laws apply. While the state may make this legal the federal law still makes this illegal throughout the trail while on federal land. So if you feel the need to hike it in then you will need to know that is a personal risk.

Next Stop: Proper Gear For The Continental Divide Trail

Now that you have a broad understanding on the Continental Divide Trail we can dive into the gear that will be necessary for you to properly hike and complete the entire trail. 
Continue to CDT Suggested Gear
Welcome to thru hiker guide, helping those who hunger for travel.
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