The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail
(in short Continental Divide Trail
) is a United States National Scenic Trail
running 3,100 miles (5,000 km) between Mexico
. It follows the Continental Divide
along the Rocky Mountains
and traverses five U.S. states
, and New Mexico
. In Montana it crosses Triple Divide Peak
which separates the Hudson Bay
, Atlantic Ocean
and Pacific Ocean drainages
As of 2004, the trail, a combination of dedicated trails and small roads, is considered 70% complete. The uncompleted portions of the trail must be traveled by bushwhacking or roadwalking.
Only about two dozen people a year attempt to hike the entire trail, taking about six months to complete it. As of 2008, no equestrians have managed to ride the entire trail in a single year, although several "long riders" have tried.
The Continental Divide Trail along with the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail form the Triple Crown of long distance hiking in the United States.
This trail can be continued above the Canadian border to Kakwa Lake north of Jasper National Park by the Great Divide Trail, which is so far described only in a few books, and carries no official Canadian status.
The CDT in New Mexico
is about long and some portions have very limited water. Local volunteer groups place water caches (usually a pile of plastic gallon jugs) at strategic points along the trail. The southern terminus of the trail is not on the Continental Divide (see Animas Mountains
) but rather in the vicinity of Columbus, New Mexico
, a village that is also the northern terminus of the annual Cabalgata Binacional Villista
The CDT passes through many of the highest and wildest mountain regions of Colorado
, such as the San Juan Mountains
and the Sawatch Range
. In most areas the trail is well marked.
The CDT includes a large section of rangeland in the middle of the state, as well as the Wind River Range
in the northwest portion of Wyoming
portion of the CDT is almost entirely in the mountains.