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[cdt-l] Thruhike intentions

Hi there,

Just like there is more than one way to "skin a cat" there is more than one 
way or route to hike the CDT.

Q: Is there a general understood starting date for a
northbound attempt?

A: Depending upon your pace and current weather conditions,  most 
northbounders start sometime in April, usually mid to late April. It can be 
hot in May in S. NM.

Q: And, do most thruhikers shoot for the 3,100 miledistance?

A: It's nearly impossible to follow the geographical meanderings and 
sometimes knife-edge ridges that define the Continental Divide. Current 
management allows for a 50 mile trail corridor from the physical Divide. 
Thru-hikers and land managers generally take advantage of existing public 
lands. Therefore overall trail mileage depends upon your choice. I think 
most thru-hikers utilize routes that average between 2,500 and 2,800 miles.

The state most thru-hikers tend to neglect is New Mexico. Of all the CDT 
states New Mexico is the most diverse...the geography, the people, the 
vegetation. My route through NM is about 800 miles. Others walk paved roads 
to the sum of about 400 miles. If you want to walk paved roads then stay in 
the city. The really good stuff is far from desert highways. If you want to 
find out why New Mexico is called the Land of Enchantment, go get lost in 
the wilderness there.

The great thing about the Divide trail is that no two people, unless they 
hiked together the entire way, have followed the exact same path.

Good luck with your planning. And get maps, you'll need them.


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