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[cdt-l] Anaconda cut off question

When you look at the forest map, the route is pretty obvious.  My prehike 
notes: "From Twin Lakes descend on trails to Twin Lakes Creek Rd 171. (Lots 
of logging so it may be obscure.) Walk paved road from Spring Hill on 
Highway 1 to Anaconda.   Then follow Higway 48 to Warm Springs (bar and tiny 
store). Follow frontage road 003 paralleling I-90. Head up dirt road. Go 
cross country at Dry Cottownwood Creek to another dirt road. Ascend east on 
FR 941 to Champion Pass.  Approximate mileages: Goat Flats to Twin Lakes 
7.2, Twin Lakes to Higway 13.2.  Highway to Anaconda 10.4. Andacondat to 
Warm Springs 10.  Warm Springs to Champion Pass 13.6."  I think the area 
around Twin Lakes was burned this summer, which is too bad as it was really 
beautiful.  There was some private property near Champion Pass that could be 
a problem to cross.

The cut-off isn't better, it is just shorter in an area where the CDT mostly 
follows jeep roads around Butte that can be quite busy in the summer.  The 
cut-off has about 20 miles of paved road walking (through town and out to 
Warm Springs) and another 30 miles or so of dirt roads.  Basically it runs 
from Champion Pass to Twin Lakes to Goat Flat, where it rejoins the CDT.  
The official route is about 75 miles longer and requires long hitches to 
town instead of just walking through Anaconda.  At the time we hiked, 
everyone mentioned that the official route was obscure and hard to find and 
the planned relocations had not yet been built.  I don't know how much of 
the new trail has been built but from bits and pieces I've read, a lot of it 
remains to be done.  (i.e. Electric Peak?) Dirt roads are quick and easy 
walking, but if you are in a hurry, and not certain that you will be able to 
do the trail in the time you have, shortcuts happen. From what I read before 
we went, most thruhikers take the shortcut and we didn't miss anything.  
Next time, we'll do the official route, just to see what it's like.  Same 
for Henry's Lake.  I don't regret the cutoffs we took, but next time, we 
probably won't take them.  We won't be in as much of a hurry next time. If 
we can't finish in the time we have, we'll come back.  And hopefully we 
won't have the physical problems that slowed us down last time.

"Cutting the space budget really restores my faith in humanity. It 
eliminates dreams, goals, and ideals and lets us get straight to the 
business of hate, debauchery, and self-annihilation." -- Johnny Hart

>From: "Brian Dickson" <Brian.Solar@btopenworld.com>
>Reply-To: cdt-l@backcountry.net
>To: <cdt-l@mailman.backcountry.net>
>Subject: [cdt-l] Anaconda cut off question
>Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2003 21:22:20 +0100
>Myself and my wife Martina are considering hiking some of the CDT in
>2004. Our current thinking is to do perhaps Colorado and Montana states
>because they look the most fun to us! We did the PCT in 1998 and had the
>time of our lives on that trail but our background is more
>mountaineering than backpacking and we like above treeline trails.
>Anyway I have a first question (possibly of many!). I have heard mention
>of the Anaconda cut-off in Montana and wonder if anyone can tell me what
>route it takes and whether its 'better' than the standard CDT?
>Brian Dickson
>cdt-l mailing list

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