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<< By following primary roads you can whack New Mexico off
in around 400 miles and see little of what makes the land of enchantment so
magical. The route I followed through New Mexico was nearly 800 miles.
Perhaps something on the order of 600 miles, with recommended side-hikes to
additional attractions, is a good compromise between hikers who want to "do
the miles" and those who are there to really see the land of enchantment.
<< Regarding the defined or marked route I feel that certain sections of the
trail should remain incomplete. Many agree that the undefined sections add a
lot of character to the trail and overall experience. Also, I think that a
CDT corridor should be established in order to protect and preserve our
remaining wild lands. This also would serve as a greenbelt or animal
high-way through the Rockies.
I agree with most of what you say. The CDT should retain it's character and
avoid any inclination to become a copy of the AT or PCT. However, undefined
routes will, sooner or later, be compromised. Logging happens; urban growth
The PCT's route is pretty much set at this point. Some of the "compromises"
made to accomplish this are regrettable, but are going to be difficult to
fix. Some established corridors are 50 feet (or 10 feet!) wide. The CDT has
the opportunity to remain, forever, the "wildest" of the National Scenic
Trails. Fight for the widest corridors possible. (Think a mile on each
side, or more if that's negotiable.) A trail is not just the tread. It's
the view, the surroundings, the whole experience. A lot of people are still
interested in preserving our national treasures. They are world attractions,
and people come here from all over the world to hike these three trails. It
makes economic as well as environmental sense to preserve and protect them.