Hit the dirt and say happy birthday to the Continental Divide Trail

This weekend, one of America’s most prestigious trails, and one that winds through Colorado, turns 40 years old.

The Continental Divide Trail, which runs 3,100 miles from Canada to Mexico, was officially founded in 1978, marking 2018 its 40th year serving as a beloved part of Colorado’s outdoor recreation. Hikers, horseback riders, runners, cross-country skiers, snowshoers, fishers, hunters and more have used the 800 miles of trail within Colorado before continuing on into Wyoming or New Mexico.

The people who know it best — members of the Continental Divide Trail Coalition — write on their website that the CDT is a “museum of the American West, a place to reconnect with nature, and a unifying force bringing people of all walks of life together.”

The CDT varies in difficulty. Some sections require solid trail experience and other parts are doable for a new day hiker. The elevation on the trail ranges from 4,000 to 14,000 feet, with some of the highest points in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains.

According to the Continental Divide Trail Coalition website, the trail winds its way through numerous beloved landscapes in Colorado including alpine tundra of the South San Juan, Weminuche, and La Garita Wildernesses, where the CDT remains at or above 11,000 feet for almost 70 miles.

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