Only about two hundred people a year attempt to hike the entire trail, taking about six months to complete it. Dave Odell thru-hiked in 1977 and in the same year Dan Torpey hiked from the NM/CO border to Mt Robson, Canada. German long-distance rider Günter Wamser (on his way from Tierra del Fuego to Alaska), and Austrian Sonja Endlweber (who joined him for the rest of the journey from Mexico) managed to complete the tour with four Bureau of Land Management mustangs in three summers 2007–09.
"One of the largest conservation efforts in the history of the United States"
The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDT) is much more than just a line on a map: it is a living museum of the American West, a place to reconnect with nature, and a unifying force bringing people of all walks of life together.
The Continental Divide Trail Coalition (CDTC) is the 501 (c) (3) national non-profit working in partnership with the US Forest Service, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management to protect, promote, and preserve the Continental Divide Trail. CDTC is a membership organization founded by a group of citizens passionate about the CDNST and working to building a strong community of supporters and Trail Enthusiasts who want to see the Trail completed and protected, not just for today’s users, but for future generations to come.
CDTC recognizes the Trail belongs to the American Public and that we have a responsibility to future generations to responsibly manage the Trail’s resources and to place those resources in a sacred trust that will ensure the Trail continues to nurture others the way it has nurtured us.
To that end, CDTC is committed to building a non-motorized backcountry Trail and protecting the Trail corridor along the Continental Divide. CDTC serves the Trail through on the ground projects that ensure the Trail is maintained and its corridor is protected in perpetuity. This is accomplished through advocacy efforts for the Trail with agencies, law makers and the general public; supporting, and inspiring volunteerism for Trail construction and maintenance; communicating the vision and direction of the Trail as a sustainable resource; educating users, volunteers and the general public on the appropriate route and uses of the Trail; cultivating strong partnerships; fundraising to help leverage resources and widen our impact to protect and preserve the CDT; and by encouraging and supporting land protection efforts to acquire the acquisition of the Corridor on private lands to solve some of the Trail’s most challenging connectivity issues.
The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDNST) was designated by Congress in 1978 as a unit of the National Trails System. The 3,100 mile CDNST traverses the magnificent Continental Divide between Mexico and Canada. It travels through 25 National Forests, 21 Wilderness areas, 3 National Parks, 1 National Monument, 8 BLM resource areas and through the states of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. The vision for the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail is to create a primitive and challenging backcountry trail on or near the Continental Divide to provide people with the opportunity to experience the unique and incredibly scenic qualities of the area. For many of the same reasons National Parks are established, National Scenic Trails are created to conserve the nationally significant scenic, historic, natural and cultural qualities of the area. In addition, National Scenic Trails are designed for recreation and the enjoyment of these very special places.
For more information on the CDTC, see