Continental Divide Trail
CDT Wyoming

Wyoming Continental Divide Trail

The Continental Divide Trail (CDT) is a 3,100-mile long trail that follows the U.S. Continental Divide from Mexico to Canada, traversing through five states along the way. This epic trail has been on the bucket list of long-distance backpackers since its establishment in 1978. It is considered part of the thru-hiking community's "Triple Crown," which also consists of the 2,650-mile long Pacific Crest Trail to the west and the 2,200-mile long Appalachain trail to the east.

Wyoming is home to 550 miles of the CDT, traveling from Yellowstone National Park down through the Snowy Range in Medicine Bow National Forest. This monumental trail winds through a diverse selection of some of Wyoming's most pristine and breathtaking areas, including the stunning mountains of the Wind River Range, the sweeping desert of the Great Divide Basin and the historically significant South Pass City.

While the CDT was established as one extensive hike, the trail offers plenty of opportunities for day use and weekend enjoyment. Many outdoor enthusiasts flock to portions of this trail to view wildlife, fish, snowshoe, hike, horseback ride and take in the scenery. Learn more about the Continental Divide Trail and how to best access it at continentaldividetrail.org.

 

Dogs of the CDT

Did you know that most of the Continental Divide Trail allows dogs? The only portions that don't allow canine companions are those that pass through national parks, which include Rocky Mountain National Park, Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park. Double the joy experienced on the trail by letting your pup tag along.

This August, post photos of you and your dog on the CDT to Facebook and Instagram using #dogsofthecdt #liveoffleash and #cdt40 for the chance to win weekly prizes. One grand prize winner will be awarded a dog-friendly Wyoming travel package for two. For more information, visit continentaldividetrail.org/dogs-of-the-cdt.

Trail & River Preservation Milestones

The year 2018 marks significant anniversaries for the Continental Divide Trail and other conservation efforts in the United States. Join us as we honor these important moments in history and what they did to preserve some of the country's most breathtaking wilderness areas.

50th Anniversary of the National Trails Systems Act

In the mid-1960s President Lyndon Johnson requested the Secretary of the Interior work the Federal Government to establish a national system of trails as part of his focus on the conservation and restoration of America's natural spaces. As a result, an appointed committee created a report outlining a plan to build over 100,000 miles of trail in national forests and parks. This report was the basis of the National Trails System Act of 1968, which established three types of trails that could be designated and authorized by an Act of Congress: National Scenic Trails, National Historic trails and National Recreation Trails. The National Trails Systems Act ensures that these designated spaces are preserved and can be accessed by the public for the enjoyment of the outdoors.

You can learn more about the National Trails Systems Act at trails50.org.

50th Anniversary of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act

Similar to the National Trails Systems Act, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act gives Congress the ability to designate rivers, or river sections, to be preserved and enhanced. Designated rivers are classified as wild, scenic or recreational, depending on the reason behind the river's designation. In Wyoming, 408 miles of river are protected as wild or scenic rivers under this Act.

You can learn more about the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act at rivers.gov.

40th Anniversary of the Continental Divide Trail Designation

In 1978, the Continental Divide Trail was designated as a National Scenic Trail under the National Trails Systems Act. While this designation meant that the 3,100-mile long trail was now federally protected, the management and enhancement of this significant trail didn't start to flourish until the formation of the Continental Divide Trail Alliance in 1995. This group spent 16 years completing over 1,000 miles of new and existing trail, creating a public voice for the CDT and ensuring consistent management before ceasing operations in 2011.

The Continental Divide Trail Coalition (CDTC) formed in 2012 to fill the gap left behind by the alliance. Today the CDTC has over 1,200 members who work toward completing and continuing to protect the Continental Divide Trail with dedicated volunteers and initiatives like Blaze the CDT.

You can learn more about the Continental Divide Trail at continentaldividetrail.org.

 

Wyoming CDT Gateway Communities

A path as epic as the Contintental Divide Trail needs support from surrounding towns to continue to thrive. Nearby towns that recognize the trail's value have the opportunity to become Gateway Communities, relying on volunteers, public officials, business owners and land management partners to raise awareness and advocate for the trail. These communities work to make ammenities and services available to hikers and others enjoying sections of the CDT.

Wyoming is currently home to four Gateway Communities: Encampment and nearby Riverside, Pinedale and Rawlins. Take time to explore what these towns offer CDT-goers and others looking to have a true Wyoming experience.