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[cdt-l] Anaconda cut off question

For the cutoff, Ginny has described it well. The Twin Lake fire was located 
on the ridge between the Twin Lakes drainage and the Storm Lake drainage. 
It was relatively small (reports were 100 to 150 acres) so it will not 
effect your hike. The trail from Twin Lakes to Storm Lake is nice. Seems 
like some people head directly to Hwy 1 from Storm Lake (saves a mile or 
two, but means and extra 2.5 miles along Highway 1).

CDT Status around Butte from Champion Pass to Hwy 274:

Most of the proposed new trail construction around Butte is still 
incomplete. The Forest Service has  proposals for 54 miles of new CDT trail 
construction over the next 5 years. Proposed construction from south of 
Four Corners to Lowland Campground is scheduled in 2006. (There is a route 
that avoids some logging roads and stays closer to the Divide.) From 
Champion Pass to Homestake Pass it is about 45 miles.

The new Homestake to Pipestone Pass segment is flagged and can be followed. 
There is very little deadfall and if one follows existing trails at the 
north end, a couple of areas of dense lodgepole can be avoided. The 
highlight of this section is the high point northeast of Pipestone Pass 
with the first good views into the Highlands, plus distant views of the 
Pintlers and the Tobacco Root Mountains. This segment was suppose to be 
constructed this past summer, hopefully next summer construction will 
begin. It is listed as 8 miles and there already is a good trail along the 
Divide for the last two miles southwest to Pipestone Pass.

The Pipestone Pass to Limekiln segment was completed last fall. 4 
miles.  Great views into the Highlands from Limekiln. From Limekiln to the 
Highlands (Crest) Trailhead one can follow the flagged route or existing 
jeep roads. Total is about 10 miles. There is new trail planned in Burton 
Park for 2005 and 2008. From Homestake Pass (I90) to I15 is currently about 
30 miles.

There are some proposed changes along the next segment from near the head 
of Jerry Creek to Hwy. 274, though the current route has several advantages 
(shorter and more water). Some highlights include nice views of Mt. 
Fleecer, the possibility running into a large elk herd, the Hungry Hill 
area is scenic and interesting, and I thought the hike out of American 
Creek toward the looming Anaconda Range was very memorable. Distance from 
I15 to Hwy 274 is about 27 miles.

Its 23 miles from the highway to Goat Flats along the current CDT route, 
though more scenic routes are possible.

Total mileage is about 125 miles (as Ginny mentioned 75 miles longer than 
the cutoff). If you head into Butte and are concerned about the hitch back 
to the trail, contact me and I'll be glad to give you a ride.


At 08:49 PM 9/18/2003 -0400, you wrote:
>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 
>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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