CONTINENTAL DIVIDE TRAIL
The Continental Divide Trail winds its way north from the Mexico border through New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. It encompasses 3,100 miles, but the mileage generally walked by thru-hikers is between 2,600-2,800 miles. Scenic highlights include the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, Ghost Ranch in New Mexico, the Great Divide Basin of Wyoming, Yellowstone, the Bob Marshall Wilderness of Montana and Glacier National Park.
The miles in which I walked were far different than those of the other trails. They were longer, harder, lonelier. But the challenges always provided the fuel for the next footstep, as there was always a reward waiting around the corner—even if that corner was fifteen miles away. Personally, I don’t like to compare trails to one another because each is special in it’s own, unique way. But it must be said that the CDT was my favorite trail in regards to the three big trails of America (Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails being the others). It pushed me beyond what I thought was capable of, and amongst all the challenges, it pushed me to evolve as a person. To this day, I am still learning from that trail.
COLORADO: PART I
I did not expect to meet Colorado this way. I’d been to the state a few years prior, on a working vacation. But that was a dry year. In 2011 it was a BIG snow year and the snowpack throughout the state showed little sign of melting. I learned alot while hiking through Colorado, and it has no doubt been a prevailing influence in shaping the person that I am today. It was incredibly beautiful, incredibly challenging and incredibly invigorating. Starting from Cumbres Pass, the trail marched north through the San Juans Mountains, and the Weminuche and Gunnison National Forests. It hiked to the summit of Mount Elbert, passed above the towns of Frisco, Breckenridge and Dillon and then resumed north toward Grand Lake, the Never Summer Wilderness, and Steamboat Springs. From there it continued its snowbound journey toward the Wyoming border.
To see how much snow the state—not to mention the Rockies in general received—visit this website: http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/cgibin/westsnow.pl
Feel free to scroll down over these images OR, to view as a SLIDESHOW, click on the top-most image.