Q:

How do you hike the Continental Divide trail?

A:

Quick Answer

To hike the Continental Divide Trail, it is necessary to plan the hiking route and become familiar with the terrain along the chosen route. Hiking the Continental Divide Trail may require several months, depending on the chosen route.

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Full Answer

  1. Determine the desired route

    The Continental Divide Trail runs from Alaska to New Mexico, and requires about 18 months to hike at a rate of nearly 20 miles per day. Many hikers choose to walk a portion of the trail, such as the trail that runs from the Canadian border to New Mexico, rather than the entire trail. Determine which route to hike beforehand. Typically, hikers begin at the southern region of the trail during early spring and hike northward into colder climates as the weather warms.

  2. Become familiar with the terrain

    When hiking in unfamiliar regions, it is necessary to have updated information about the trail and nearby amenities. For instance, in some regions, the Continental Divide Trail crosses private land. It is necessary to detour around some private areas to prevent legal issues. A current map provides information on how to travel through those regions, and where to find nearby towns to purchase supplies.

  3. Prepare supplies for the hike

    Water, food and shelter are necessary supplies for hiking the Continental Divide Trail. Prepare the necessary supplies, and use maps or other guides to determine where to find water along the chosen route.

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