Unique characters abound on Continental Divide Trail

Through hikers, those hiking from the Mexican border to the Canadian border or vice versa, on the Continental Divide Trail are a loosely organized, yet tight knit group.

Sometime around the second week of April, around 150 hikers depart from Silver City, N.M., bound for the Canadian border in Glacier National Park. Another 50 or so depart on the reverse journey.

Of the roughly 30 percent who finished, many wrapped up their hikes in the past couple of weeks. To celebrate, CDT Montana, a branch of the Montana Wilderness Association that works to maintain and complete portions of the trail in Montana and Idaho, hosted the Hiker Hoopla, a sort of end-of-year hurrah to celebrate everyone’s accomplishments. Held just off Marias Pass at the Summit Mountain Lodge, the Hoopla was a chance for hikers to reconnect with other hikers they met along the way.

Thru hikers faced an epic year on the CDT. Many were delayed by the fires burning in the Bob Marshall Wilderness and elsewhere on their route, and nearly everyone battled the deep snowpack in Colorado. Thru hikers are a diverse group with many stories to tell. Hikers typically earn a trail name sometime during their journey, and most are best known to other hikers by that name.

Here are a few snippets of their adventures…


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