Hiking the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) in 2017

Never Again.

After climbing mount Katahdin in 2015 and completing my Thru Hike of the Appalachian Trail I said I’d never hike a long trail like that again. Once was enough right? Never again…

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Photo Courtesy of @nicholasreichard

So fast forward a little bit to early 2016, Cheesebeard and Click announce that they are indeed hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in the summer. They asked me a few times if I was interested and for various reasons the answer was no. The main reason being I simply did not want to, I wasn’t ready for it yet. I stayed in touch with the boys during their hike and followed their epic journey through their Instagram pages. I knew I’d made the right decision personally but there was definitely a good amount of envy at the scenery they were seeing and simply living the trail life.

Unless you’ve hiked a long distance trail before I think it’s really hard to describe the aspects of trail life. For me the biggest thing I missed was the simplicity of life, waking up, breaking down camp, hiking until you can’t hike any more and setting up camp again. Life slows down and you learn to appreciate things more.

With our rendezvous in Tokyo and the subsequent trip through Nepal and Europe, the boys enthusiasm for the PCT and trail life was overflowing. They both quickly realised they would be hiking the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) in 2017 and completing their Triple Crown.

They wanted me to be a part of it.

I said yes.

It wasn’t a decision I made lightly or without thoroughly discussing it with Michelle.

The CDT is considered the most “wild” of the three big trails in the US and presents some of the greatest challenges to a long distance hiker. The opportunity to hike the trail with two of my best friends that I trust with my life couldn’t be passed up.

Photo Courtesy of @nicholasreichard
Photo Courtesy of @nicholasreichard

Some facts on the CDT

  • Officially the CDT isn’t actually “finished” yet, it is a combination of smaller trails linked together and in many instances you can choose to follow one route or another.
  • The trail runs from the Canadian Border to the Mexican border, passing through Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico following the Rocky Mountains.
  • The trail is 3100 miles long and we’re aiming to complete the hike in around five months.
  • The CDT is the least hiked of the big three trails, only around 200 people per year attempt to thru hike the trail, compared to nearly 3000 on the AT.
  • We’ll be leaving some time in June heading Southbound from the Canadian Border toward Mexico.

Big Plans…

Between now and leaving for the hike I’ve got a whole load of work to be doing to prepare and I plan on sharing that information here on the blog. The topics are going to be far ranging from preparing trail food in a dehydrator to which socks I’ll be using. The CDT is a very different animal to the AT so I have a lot of research to do and a lot of planning.

We have a big group project planned for the CDT that we’re not quite ready to announce yet but it’s going to be a lot of work and a lot of fun.

Stay tuned for more on that over the next couple of months.

Happy Hiking


7 thoughts on “Hiking the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) in 2017

  1. Hailstorm Reply

    In short. ..
    Do it
    love it.
    A Adveture of life.
    Wish i had the Power in body and mind to join.
    Stay safe.

  2. My Reply

    So awesomee!! Ill see you by the ocean afterwards <3

  3. Steven Clark T-Square Reply

    So glad to hear you will be on another trail with your friends. GO FOR IT, will be following with great interest.

    Say hello to CLICK and CHEESEBEARD for me.

  4. Pie Reply

    Thanks T square! Hope your well?

  5. Arlene aka EverReady Reply

    I am excited for you! PJ Coleman (Youngblood) and Robert Peck (Silent Bob) are also planning to do it so you might meet them along the way. Goosebumps did it in 2016. I look forward to your posts and your hike! PS. I am doing the JMT August 2017. One month only of living the dream, oh,
    but what a dream. Merry Xmas!

  6. CAT Reply

    I thru hiked AT by using AWOL in 2014.
    I thru hiked PCT by using halfmile’s App and very rare reading Yogi’s handbook although I carried with me.

    My question is Do I REALLY need to carry Ley / Bear survey map for the whole trail or some sections I REALLY need it if I hike CDT? Yogi’s CDT is not enough?

    Is 2017 a good year to hike CDT considering snow conditions so far?

    I REALLY need advice.

    1. Pie Reply

      Im still figuring out what my map ands GPS setup is going to look like so don’t feel in a strong enough position to give advice on that yet. When considering the snow situation for me the only thing it’s going to affect is when we start and then some gear considerations. The worst that can happen is we have to jump forward on the trail if the snow is still really bad and come back to it when it’s passable.

      There is some excellent advice on the CDT 2017 facebook group here https://www.facebook.com/groups/956472047741133/

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