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  • gspencer16

Where does the CDT start and how will I get there?

Right now the most common question I get is where does the CDT start and end. I just say it basically starts in New Mexico right on the Mexico border down in the southwest corner of the state and head through the Rockies Mountains and finishes at the Canadian border in Glacier National Park. That the simple way of explaining the trail but it's a little more complicated than that, for starters there are actually 2 Northern Terminuses.

So here is a little more details about the trail and how I plan to get down to the start at the Southern Terminus and how I'll get home home after I reach the Northern Terminus.

The plan right now is to leave Tulsa on May 10. Why might you ask May 10, well May 9 is the last day of the state track meet so its the earliest I can leave town. I will fly out of Tulsa on May 10 in the early morning to El Paso, Tx.

After a short layover in El Paso I'll take an early afternoon 2.5 hour train ride to Lordsburg, NM where I'll spend the night.

Then on May 11 I will get picked up by the early morning shuttle to the Southern Terminus known as Crazy Cook Monument. The shuttle ride is takes about 3 hours with most of it on very rough jeep roads.

Then I should be able to start hiking by 10am depending weather. There is a shelter area that I can hang out waiting for the hottest part of the day to past if need to.

So far I've been able to plan out my first week of hiking as its pretty easily since it has been hiking right back to Lordsburgh, NM then onto Silver City, NM. Then after that I start having options of different trails to take.

The CDT is kind of build your own hike as most people never hike the same trail as others. There are lots of different alternates trails to take but for the most part people follow the same path, some alternates are better the actually CDT as they might head straight to a town or have better water options or just a safer route all together.

Here is how my first 7 days look.

Day 1: 14 miles (14)

Day 2: 21 miles (35)

Day 3: 25 miles (60)

Day 4: 26 miles (86) - Arrive in Lordsburg, NM to resupply

Day 5: 24 miles (110)

Day 6: 26 miles (136)

Day 7: 29 miles (165) - Arrive in Silver City, NM to resupply

After Silver City, NM I have the option to take the Gila Alternate which most take but still weighing all my options. I will have a better idea of my routes once I go through all the books and maps I have coming, been waiting for the most up to date editions.

I do plan to create a day by day plan of my hike. With the trail stretching almost 3000 miles it will be hard to stay on schedule but its really to give me a good idea of how long things will last along with coming up with a resupply strategy as I will have some mail drops to pick up in areas with little to no supplies.

With my PCT hike I planned it all out and was able to stay pretty close to it the whole way. Click here to see my PCT schedule along with the actual mileage/stops.

Then if everything goes to plan I'll end up in Waterton Lake, just north of Glacier National Park at the Canadian border, near the end of August. From there I'll hike a few miles north to Waterton Park where I can catch a bus back into the US.

Click here to view a map of the CDT.

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