Walking the Backbone – Continental Divide Trail Thru-Hike

Paul Magnanti’s Continental Divide Trail journey with planning info, journal, and photos…

The Continental Divide Trail is the third of the “Big Three” trails. Unlike the Appalachian and Pacific Crest Trails, it is still very much a work in progress.

No blazes to guide you, no set route, many miles of trails still  not completed.  It is more remote and wild than the other two trails. Over 3000 a year attempt the Appalachian Trail, about 300 finish.  About 350 attempt Pacific Crest Trail a year, about 80-100 finish. The Continental Divide Trail? Maybe 30 people a year complete this trail. It is perhaps the most challenging  backpacking trip in the Lower 48.

The CDT is under 3000 miles in length, goes for many miles above tree-line and takes in some of the most pristine wilderness left in the United States. It is a trail that almost all long distance hikers dream about doing at some point.

Started my dream of completing walking the Continental Divide Trail on July 1st, 2006. By completing this trail, I became part of of a small group of people who have done all of the “Big Three” scenic trails. And more importantly , explored the mountains that make up the “back-bone of the continent”.  It was a journey I will not forget.

Started walking the CDT on July 1st at the Canadian border. , As with previous treks,  kept  a journal. Unlike my other treks, this journal was along the lines of a weekly or bi-weekly update rather than a daily log.

I also have a large collection of photos from  the journey as well.

Finally, I have a “Quick and Dirty CDT Planning Guide” that may assist in the initial planning stages of a CDT journey.

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