Section Hike Description:
The Continental Divide Trail stretches from the Mexican border to the Canadian border. In between is an ever-changing landscape. This section of the CDT is diverse. The hike begins with the green and lush plateau of the San Pedro Parks Wilderness – spruce, fir and oversized parks. On day four, the trail transitions to a drier climate of the Mesa del Camino and Rio Chama – sand, sagebrush and juniper.
This backpacking adventure is an end-to-end of one section of the trail – approximately 35-miles – in northern New Mexico. But, we are including an additional 10-mile loop within the San Pedro Parks Wilderness that is lush and follows a variety of water channels.
Backpackers registering for this extended hike should be in good physical condition prior to the hike start and should be ready to carry a backpack each day. The highest point of the trail is 10,550-feet and will be reached on the third day. We begin at 8,350-feet on day one; the lowest elevation is 6,650-feet and will be reached on our final morning. Wearing appropriate footwear is essential – expect to have wet feet in the parks of the wilderness area. Hikers are encouraged to not widen the trail by being unwilling to get their feet wet of the weather has been rainy.
This backpacking adventure will reward hikers with its overall length and immersion in the daily hiking routine, including daily backpacking skills, campsite selection, self care, orienteering skills and Leave No Trace principles.
* Average daily mileage – 8-miles
* Average temperature for Cuba/Skull Bridge area – 38-degrees low to 71-degrees high
* Campsites will be chosen daily, water sources unreliable, weather conditions unknown – this backpacking hike will focus on the fundamentals of a long hike and the decision making processes based on known and unknown conditions
* This segment hike is a tucked away jewel in New Mexico with a variety of scenery and a changing terrain. Because of this, there are short strenuous sections filled in with long meadows and a more relaxed landscape
* Leave No Trace practices will be followed throughout the backpacking hike
* All in the field meals; beginning with lunch on October 14th and concluding with lunch on October 19th
* Transportation to and from trailheads.
* Bootleg data book and shared map set for all registrants.
* All essential group gear and equipment – personal gear and equipment as requested
Sunday, October 13th – Meet and Greet – 2 pm
Participants will meet the Lead Guide. During our Meet and Greet we will discuss the chosen route, safety perimeters, Leave No Trace overview, review and distribute gear and equipment and pack our backpacks. A goal for this evening will be to have everyone packed and ready to go for an on-time Monday morning departure.
Monday, October 14th – Day One/Night One
Approximately 3-hour drive to the trailhead with a possible car drop at the northern terminus. Focus is to get into the parks with a manageable pace for all participants. Packs will be heaviest on this day and the elevation gain exceeds 2,000-feet. We will camp in the meadows near the tree edge. Hike approximately 5.5-miles.
Tuesday, October 15th – Day Two/Night Two
This is a rolling pathway with pockets of dark spruce forest. Trail spends significant time near flowing creeks and grassy meadows. We will camp in transiting forest. Hike approximately 8.2-miles.
Wednesday, October 16th – Day Three/Night Three
Today we will hike to the trail highpoint before descending into old dark forest with cursive drawings dating back to the early 1900’s on now dying aspen trees. We will have water limitations for dinner and next day breakfast. Camp will be in aspen forest. Hike approximately 8.6-miles.
Thursday, October 17th – Day Four/Night Four
The landscape has changed as we continue north. Rolling hills transition to grassy flats, ponderosa forest and hidden water in lush canyons. We will pick-up a water stash for our afternoon hike, dinner and next day breakfast. Camp will be in pinon pine forest. Hike approximately 7.4-miles.
Friday, October 18th – Day Five/Night Five
We will climb to the mesa top for reliable water and a short jeep road walk before a zig zag descent to the canyon. Camp is in ponderosa forest. Hike approximately 8.5-miles.
Saturday, October 19th – Day Six/Final Day
High colorful mesas and spits of sand provide soft footing as we travel to the Wild and Scenic Chama River. Hike approximately 6.7-miles.
Refer to our cancellation policy under the FAQ Link.
Subject to Change:
All course offerings, including dates and location, are subject to change.
Registration OPEN (minimum of 2/maximum of 4):
Reservations are first request, first reserve. Cancellation policy applies.
Updated: December 14, 2017