Posted in Continental Divide Trail

Peanut on the CDT

Peanut began her second leg of the American Triple Crown of long-distance hiking when she stepped foot on the Continental Divide Trail at just after 10 a.m. MT on Tuesday — three years to the day after she began her thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail.

She arrived at the CDT’s remote southern terminus after a 24-hour, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles-style journey from her home near Reno, Nev.

From Atlas Guides

The 3,000-mile CDT begins for northbound hikers on the U.S.-Mexico border about 80 miles south-southeast of Lordsburg, N.M. Peanut set out from the terminus with four days’ worth of food, having left her first resupply box in Lordsburg, where she stayed Monday night.

With various alternate routes along the trail, the CDT’s distance varies — the Continental Divide Trail Coalition says 3,028 miles, making it the longest of the three major north-south trails — and Peanut was not sure what her final total would be.

While the CDT is the longest of the major trails for thru-hikers, it is the least-frequented.

The Pacific Crest Trail and Appalachian Trail each had almost 4,000 people who said they were attempting a thru-hike in 2019, according to data at the website Greenbelly. Approximately 300 attempted the CDT that year.

The CDT, which has been dubbed “America’s most challenging trail and begins in the New Mexico desert, follows the Continental divide into Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. It ends in Canada’s Waterton Lakes National Park.

The CDT is more remote in relation to population centers than the PCT and AT, and Peanut, outside of the resort areas of the Colorado Rockies, will encounter fewer day- and section-hikers along the trail.

Peanut suspended her PCT adventure twice — in 2018 and 2019 — but returned to the trail in central Washington on July 9, 2020. She completed her final 260 miles two weeks later, a day after her 52nd birthday.

The American Long Distance Hiking Association-West, the only organization that recognizes those who have completed the 7,900 miles of all three trails, has designated 440 hikers as Triple Crowners.

Peanut, who plans to finish the CDT in early September, will presumably then start making plans to travel east and tackle the Appalachian Trail in 2023 or 2024.