Continental Divide Trail Maps & Guides

Continental Divide Trail Maps & Guides

The printable Continental Divide Trail maps and segment guides are provided below as a free community service by TRAILSOURCE.COM to all prospective CDT thru-hikers.

The Continental Divide Trail, commonly known by backpackers as the CDT, is a popular 3,100 mile thru-hike along the Continental Divide. The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail is a registered National Scenic Trail that runs from Canada to Mexico through the states of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico. Crossing the spine of the North American continent numerous times, it traverses some of America's most spectacular and isolated scenery, offering views unlike any other trail in the world. Approximately 70% of the trail route has been completed. A thru-hike of the CDT requires using some alternate trails and roads.

The free printable Continental Divide Trail maps and guides below are organized by state starting in the south at the Mexican border in New Mexico, and working the way north along the C.D.T. to the Canadian border in Montana, just as you would be thru-hiking. Keep in mind, that when looking at the map, only 70% of the actual trail routing is complete. More trail is created or rerouted every year. So, this map may not be up to date. If you enjoy what you find below, please share this resource with other Continental Divide Trail hikers and backpackers.

The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail is a hiking route, which shouldn't be confused with the Continental Divide Mountain Bike Route mapped out by the Adventure Cycling Association, or the Continental Divide Snowmobile Route that is promoted regionally within individual states.

NEW MEXICO
The New Mexico section of the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) is a 770 mile run from the Mexican border in the south up to the Colorado border in the north. Along the southern portion, the route passes through desert grasslands of the Chihuahuan Desert, while along the northern portion, the route rolls along the rugged Rockies. The C.D.T. meanders through some of New Mexicos most spectacular natural & historic landscapes: San Pedro Parks and Chama River Wildernesses with dramatic mountains, mesas and canyons, the Rio Puerco wild lands, the El Malpais National Monument badlands (a volcanic landscape), the Aldo Leopold Wilderness, the Gila Wilderness and ending at the Big Hatchet Mountains Wilderness Study Area. Click here for a full-screen, printable New Mexico CDNST GPS map.

The best time of year to experience this section of the Continental Divide Trail is from mid-April through June. Before mid-April, such as March and early-April, there are strong winds that scour the state with dust and grit. From July through mid-September, there are high temperatures, monsoon rainstorm that carry lightening on the high peaks, and forest fires that can close portions of the trail.

When approaching the CDT section from the Mexican border to Lordsburg, contact the US Border Patrol for up-to-date security info at (575) 542-3221. Along the southern portion through New Mexico, make sure to not approach home sites due to existing conflicts between homeowners and illegal aliens. The BLM is placing water cache boxes every 10 to 12 miles from the border to Lordsburg. Where the CDT crosses BLM lands in New Mexico, the route does not ordinarily have a tread. Except where it follows ranch roads, the trail is identified with line of sight signs (click here for more details).

For some additional reading on the New Mexico section of the Continental Divide Trail, check out the Continental Divide Trail Pocket Maps: New Mexico. Click here to download the New Mexico Continental Divide Trail GPX file-format (left click on link and select "Save As"). Click here for information on additional New Mexico hiking trails.

COLORADO
The Colorado section of the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) rolls 800 miles through the Rocky Mountains. The route traverses majestic peaks, lush aspen forests and some broad meadows. The C.D.T. winds through alpine tundra of the South San Juan, Weminuche and La Garita Wilderness Area where the route stays above 11,000 feet for almost 70 miles. Then, the trail passes through the Collegiate Peaks and then up Grays Peak at 14,270 feet (the highest point on the CDT). Before reaching Wyoming, the trail passes through Rocky Mountain National Park and through the valleys and glacial cirques of Mount Zirkel Wilderness Area. Click here for a full-screen, printable Colorado CDNST GPS map.

The best time of year to experience this section of the Continental Divide Trail is from early July to early September. Otherwise, you can expect to find plenty of snow. Even in July and August, afternoon storms can bring plenty of rain, lightening, sleet, hail and even snow. It is best to expect night temperatures to be around 30F.

For some additional reading on the Colorado section of the Continental Divide Trail, check out the Continental Divide Trail Pocket Maps: Colorado. Click here to download the Colorado Continental Divide Trail GPX file-format (left click on link and select "Save As"). Click here for information on additional Colorado hiking trails.

WYOMING
The Wyoming section of the Continental Divide Trail rolls 550 miles from mountains down to basin and back up to the mountains again. Along the way, you can expect to find craggy peaks, meadows, desert plains and deep gorges. The C.D.T. within Wyoming passes through amazingly diverse terrain from rolling Sierra Madre Mountains, to southern Great Basin desert, through the craggy Wind River Range, and the steaming geysers of Yellowstone National Park. Click here for a full-screen, printable Wyoming CDNST GPS map. When hiking south to north, you begin near an elevation of 10,000' in the Sierra Madre. The trail loses 3,500' by the time it reaches Rawlins on the southern fringe of the Great Divide Basin.

From there it winds its way north across the hot, dry basin, then climbs through the forested foothills and on to the tundra of the Wind River Range. The high point of 11,120 feet above sea level is reached among these rugged peaks. The CDT drops out of the clouds just south of Green River Lakes, and spends its last few hundred miles somewhere between 7,500 and 9,000 feet in the Teton Wilderness and on the high plains of Yellowstone.

The best time of year to experience this section of the Continental Divide Trail is from early July to early September. Otherwise, you can expect to find plenty of snow. Even in July and August, afternoon storms can bring plenty of rain, lightening, sleet, hail and even snow. It is best to expect night temperatures in the mountains to be around 30F.

For some additional reading on the Wyoming section of the Continental Divide Trail, check out the Continental Divide Trail Pocket Maps: Wyoming. Click here to download the Wyoming Continental Divide Trail GPX file-format (left click on link and select "Save As"). Click here for information on additional Wyoming hiking trails.

IDAHO
The Idaho section of the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) rolls 270 miles along the border with Montana from near Yellowstone in the south. It runs north passing through Targhee National Forest and Salmon National Forest. This is big mammal country, so you can expect to encounter black bear, brown bear, mountain lions, elk and moose. Click here for a full-screen, printable Idaho CDNST GPS map.

The best time of year to experience this section of the Continental Divide Trail is from early July to early September. Otherwise, you can expect to find plenty of snow. Even in July and August, afternoon storms can bring plenty of rain, lightening, sleet, hail and even snow. It is best to expect night temperatures in the mountains to be around 30F.

For some additional reading on the Idaho section of the Continental Divide Trail, check out the Continental Divide Trail Pocket Maps: Idaho. Click here to download the Idaho Continental Divide Trail GPX file-format (left click on link and select "Save As"). Click here for information on additional Idaho hiking trails.

MONTANA
The Montana section of the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) runs 710 through mountains, alpine meadows and craggy peaks. The C.D.T. passes through the stunningly scenic and remote terrain of the Bob Marshall Great Bear Wilderness Area and Glacier National Park passing beautiful rivers lined by dense forests. Click here for a full-screen, printable Montana CDNST GPS map.

The best time of year to experience this section of the Continental Divide Trail is from early July to early September. Otherwise, you can expect to find plenty of snow. Even in July and August, afternoon storms can bring plenty of rain, lightening, sleet, hail and even snow. It is best to expect night temperatures in the mountains to be around 30F. Note, as of January 2009, about 450 miles of the 980 miles of trail through Montana and along the Idaho border are still under construction.

For some additional reading on the Montana section of the Continental Divide Trail, check out the Continental Divide Trail Pocket Maps: Montana. Click here to download the Montana Continental Divide Trail GPX file-format (left click on link and select "Save As"). Click here for information on additional Montana hiking trails.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Website: Continental Divide Trail Coalition (303) 996-2759

Website: Continental Divide Trail Society

Website: USFS Continental Divide National Scenic Trail

GPS: Download Full CDT GPS Trail Track In GPX File-Format (right-click "Save-As")