The Beauty of Continental Divide Trail
The Continental Divide Trail is a hiking trail, just as beautiful as it is historically interesting. Filled with amazing scenery and visions from the past, not only is the trail a journey into the wilderness with picturesque natures scenes, it´s a living museum filled with interesting sites from the past.
From glacial valleys in the Rocky Mountains to the desert in central New Mexico, the trail has an immense diversity of landscapes and ecosystems alike, rich in wildlife and natural wonders. The Trail provides access to some of the wildest and most untouched places left in the entire world.
Sights along the Trail
Hikers can explore old mining sites, experience Native American cultures and marvel at the natural history of the Divide; all while hiking through rugged, peaceful wilderness. The trail runs approximately 3100 miles between Mexico and Canada, along the Rocky Mountains and five states, thus connecting countless communities and cultures together.
The New Mexico part of the trail offer desert grasslands and red rock cliffs, amidst ancient civilizations and historic architecture. The Trail winds its way through thousand-year-old Zuni-Acoma trade routes and the volcanic landscape, the Aldo Leopold Wilderness.
The Trail section going through Colorado, meanders through ghost towns and remnants of mining settlers. It offers awe-inspiring scenery including the snow-covered peaks in the Rocky Mountains and plenty of glacial lakes.
In Wyoming, the Trail leads the hikers through the picturesque Yellowstone National Park, with its hot, steamy geysers, and the historic site of the restored South Pass City. The sections in Idaho and Montana are rich in animal life, being the home of wolves, eagles, mountain goats and grizzly bears. The Trail offers both historic and gorgeous natural sites in this area, such as old mines and the wild Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex.
Day hiking and overnight camping
There are countless of interesting and stunning sections for both day hikes and overnight camping. The majority of hikers come for a couple of days. Access points are chosen either by picking the closest spot to join the Trail, or researching what sections appears the most interesting.
Hikers in need of some inspiration, should check out Cataract Lake in Colorado. The stunning Cataract Lake Trail lead to the glittering, blue Cataract Lake and offers a spectacular view of the San Juan Mountains.
Another good choice for a small trip, this time in New Mexico, is the part of the Trail leading into the beautiful San Pedro Parks Wilderness area, before heading to the Chama River and Carson National Forest. The trails in the area offers serene silence amidst fresh, green vegetation and rich wildlife, surrounded by rolling hilltops and soothing scenery.
Staying in New Mexico, the Chama River Canyon is truly worth visiting. The enjoyable 10,7-mile hike is easy to accomplish, with beautiful nature scenes of fascinating, sandstone cliffs. There is a four-mile long family friendly option too, so be sure to enrich the children with sights of this stunningly beautiful landscape.
Planning your journey
The trail is one of the most challenging trails in the world, and elevation vary between 4,000 to 14.000 feet. Choose area and length of hiking carefully, as long-distance hiking demands the hiker to be in good shape and very well prepared.