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nopain
12-21-2009, 16:49
Is the New Mexico desert like the California desert and what is the best data book ? :-?

nopain
12-21-2009, 16:56
When is to early for snow / what about water ?

garlic08
12-21-2009, 18:05
Depends on the snow pack that year and direction of hiking. Keep an eye on postholer.com. Check out http://www.pmags.com/joomla/index.php/Backpacking-and-Hiking-documents/cdt_doc.html. There are a few guide books with details about water, like the CDTS and the CDTA. Also read accounts on trailjournals.com

Spirit Walker
12-21-2009, 18:09
No - the desert is different. It's Chihuahua desert, not Mojave. Less vegetation and what there is is less dense. The real desert doesn't actually extend that far - from the border to Silver City, or thereabouts, plus a section near Ghost Ranch. OTOH - Most of NM, WY and southern MT are high desert - sage country. Dry, but grasslands with some trees, mostly pinyon and juniper.

No real data book, though several hikers have come up with versions of one, just not for sale AFAIK. Distances depend on which routes you are taking, which is your choice. Everyone makes different choices. The Wolf guidebooks include data points at the end of each chapter. So do the Westcliff books, but they are very unreliable. Few long distance hikers use those books. Water is so variable, depending on which route you are taking and whether the water sources are working are not, you can't really count on a 'water alert' like the PCT. Most of the desert water sources are artificial - meant to water the cows, not the hikers. So if there are cows, they are turned on, if there are no cows they are either turned off or dismantled. Every year is different, and it changes week to week even during the season. If you use a data book, don't trust it too far.

Spirit Walker
12-21-2009, 18:14
You will likely have snow in Colorado and Montana until the end of June or early July. Just be prepared for it and you can hike through it. Bring an ice axe unless it is a very low snow year and be prepared to hike around bad sections, if necessary. Most northbound hikers aim for early June to enter Colorado and mid to late June to hike in Montana if southbound.

garlic08
12-21-2009, 18:14
NM has very little trail culture and just a handful of hikers, as opposed to SoCA. No defined route most of the way. Just a few trail angels, maybe one or two water caches--you're pretty much on your own. PMags.com has the answers about guidebooks and maps.

nopain
12-21-2009, 18:20
How are the trail Towns ?

handlebar
12-21-2009, 20:18
Keep in mind, many fewer hikers on the CDT. From what I've read in journals, Pietown is a great stop, though not much of a town----just a post office, a couple of places to eat specializing in pies (of course:)) and a trail angel place. I recommend getting Yogi's guide for additional town info.

I'll be starting nobo in late April.

Handlebar

Spirit Walker
12-21-2009, 20:26
Towns vary. You can get what you need at most. Sometimes it's a gas station mini mart, but most towns have stores (except Pie Town.) Some are quite spread out. Many are a long hitch from the trail. A few you walk through. As Handlebar said, there are few hikers, so the trail towns are not at all hiker oriented. Most people that you meet will never have heard of the trail except at the post offices and some of the motels. That said, there are a few trail angels (i.e. Keith in Deming, Nita in Pie Town) that you may run into. We have a description of our experiences in the various towns on our website. http://spiriteaglehome.com/cdt06%20miles.html Yogi also has town information in her book. If you read journals, you'll get other opinions.

warraghiyagey
12-21-2009, 20:28
They're towny. . . and usually near the trail. . . .

nopain
12-22-2009, 12:42
What is the best way to get to the trail head ? :-?

Sly
12-22-2009, 12:53
Which trailhead, there's 5 that I know of. Three in NM and two in Glacier. One guy in TX and one in NM do shuttles. In Glacier you can take a shuttle bus.

nopain
12-22-2009, 12:57
Is it harder than California ? :-?

nopain
12-22-2009, 13:03
I have no clue ... what is best ?

warraghiyagey
12-22-2009, 13:05
OH. . . I thought after reading the thread title that maybe I'd like to hike in NM. . . . never mind. . .

Spirit Walker
12-22-2009, 13:22
Different vegetation. Different tread (either jeep roads or cross-country following cairns or signs.) More water, worse quality.

ARambler
12-22-2009, 14:05
I highly recommend starting at the official trailhead at Crazy Cook. You can then follow the trail thru Lordsburg. Crazy Cook is hard to get out of for sobos and the route though Deming is logistically eaiser, so there will be alternative routes for a while.

Sam Hughes, out of Hachita, NM, does shuttles. Try Google or PM me or Ellie on the cdt list. The shuttle is long so it is best if you can combine with another hiker.
Rambler/Jim/toc

nopain
12-22-2009, 14:23
Is the trail blazed ? is there bushwacking ??? :-?

warraghiyagey
12-22-2009, 14:28
Yes
no

the end. . .

Heater
12-22-2009, 14:33
Yes
no

the end. . .



Bulleted lists are for nerds and
yes, bushwackin is allowed but don't get caught. That could be rather embarassing.


*See laws for backpackers, 101 in the articles section*

warraghiyagey
12-22-2009, 14:42
yes, bushwackin is allowed but don't get caught. That could be rather embarassing.
Unless your old back-of-the-bus friends are around. . . . :p

Lucy Lulu
12-22-2009, 17:55
I agree with ARambler on starting at Crazy Cook. It is well marked, with BLM placards, through Silver City. Water is a challenge, but then the CDT is often challenging.

Sam Hughes is your best bet for Crazy Cook, and feel free to PM me, or better yet put your questions out on the CDT-L list to get even more feedback.

Toolshed
12-22-2009, 18:12
Is the trail blazed ? is there bushwacking ??? :-?
You don't have to take the trail - You could bushwhack all the way to Maine...

nopain
12-22-2009, 18:19
Thanks for the help.......I'm good to go now ....... happy trails....,,,,,

Jester2000
12-22-2009, 18:20
You don't have to take the trail - You could bushwhack all the way to Maine...

The CDT goes to Maine? Must be a new relo I hadn't heard about . . .

wandering_bob
12-22-2009, 18:31
CDT to Maine? Either:

1 - Your GPS needs serious re-calibration, or

2 - The declination on your compass is REALLY off, or

3 - Your map is turned 90, or

4 - we have just experienced urban renewal on a massive scale, or

5 - Mohammed couldn't go to the mountain, so the mountain went to Mohammed.

Disney
12-22-2009, 18:48
The CDT goes to Maine? Must be a new relo I hadn't heard about . . .

We weren't going to tell you. We know you're going to do it eventually, and it was supposed to be a nasty surprise when you hit the Canadian border.

Sly
12-22-2009, 18:51
Is the trail blazed ? is there bushwacking ??? :-?

nopain, if you haven't, you're probably best off reading mags' doc on the CDT (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=29389).

Is there bushwacking? There very well may be, if you get lost. Otherwise, it's a trail that's not very well marked. Not like the easy to follow AT or the PCT. If you're not familiar, I'd brush up on map and compass.

Also, rather than having a seperate thread for each of your questions, I'm going to try and combine them.

Dogwood
12-22-2009, 23:31
NoPain, the very first thing you need to do is REALIZE the CDT is not very like the AT! So many differences! I'll leave those to someone else to regurgitate. You should understand those differences if you plan on a CDT thru-hike, state hike, or long section.

Secondly, I think it would be very heplful at this stage of your CDT questioning to review www.Pmags (http://www.Pmags) down and dirty CDT planning website. It will really shed some light on your questions. This website has many great links to CDT planning websites. Spiriteagles journal is well done.

Graywolf
12-25-2009, 03:01
For water info I would check out the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route guide..It follows, roughly, the same route as the CDT..And utilizes the same trail towns..In the Gila Wilderness, north of Silver City, there are some Ranger work camps that allow hikers and GDMBR riders to fill up on water and some even allow camping at their facilities..

So for logistics sake, I would recommend checking out the guide..

I was actually thinking of doing this trip as a two fold trip, biking NM, which has the same trail head, then once in northern NM send the bike ahead or home, and hike the Colorado section, the wilderness areas dont allow bikes and you don't want to miss the scenery. There are only a few areas I would want to see in NM and that is the Gila national forest and the area south of Grants..I love volcanoes...So I would much want to just bike it since the CDT and GDMBR goes thru the same place anyway...

Just my 2 cents..

Graywolf

Spirit Walker
12-25-2009, 11:33
Watch out for those Adventure Cycling maps of the Divide route. Unless they've been updated recently, there were some serious errors (i.e. grocery stores that aren't there any more, water sources not mentioned, etc.) Jim Wolf's guides and the Ley maps have all the water information you need. I assume Yogi's guides do as well, since her PCT guide has water info.

There are some really nice sections of trail that the bikes don't travel - i.e. the Gila, the Cebolla Wilderness, the trail south of Cuba, San Pedro Parks Wilderness, Ghost Ranch, the Carson NF, etc. If you choose the wilder route options instead of following the roads, the trail in NM is beautiful.

Graywolf
12-25-2009, 22:02
Watch out for those Adventure Cycling maps of the Divide route. Unless they've been updated recently, there were some serious errors (i.e. grocery stores that aren't there any more, water sources not mentioned, etc.) Jim Wolf's guides and the Ley maps have all the water information you need. I assume Yogi's guides do as well, since her PCT guide has water info.

There are some really nice sections of trail that the bikes don't travel - i.e. the Gila, the Cebolla Wilderness, the trail south of Cuba, San Pedro Parks Wilderness, Ghost Ranch, the Carson NF, etc. If you choose the wilder route options instead of following the roads, the trail in NM is beautiful.

All those places are on the bike route too, except of course the wilderness areas, the Ghost Ranch is a pretty cool place...

I wasn't talking about the AC maps, I was talking about the guide book..Plus the maps have been updated recently...

One place I would love to visit is Chaco Canyon..Very nice place to visit...

Graywolf

Spirit Walker
12-26-2009, 13:25
Chaco Culture was very cool. We spent a few days there in 2007. Actually, there are several ancient ruins and petroglyph sites very close to the CDT. They just aren't known by most hikers, aside from the Gila Cliff dwellings and the petroglyphs next to the campground. There are several others within walking distance of the trail.

Graywolf
12-26-2009, 18:40
nopain, if you haven't, you're probably best off reading mags' doc on the CDT (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=29389).

Is there bushwacking? There very well may be, if you get lost. Otherwise, it's a trail that's not very well marked. Not like the easy to follow AT or the PCT. If you're not familiar, I'd brush up on map and compass.

Also, rather than having a seperate thread for each of your questions, I'm going to try and combine them.


I don't know about NM but in Colorado in the alpine meadows, the trail will basically fade away.. You will need a map and compass for those parts for sure...

Graywolf
12-26-2009, 18:43
CDT to Maine? Either:

1 - Your GPS needs serious re-calibration, or

2 - The declination on your compass is REALLY off, or

3 - Your map is turned 90, or

4 - we have just experienced urban renewal on a massive scale, or

5 - Mohammed couldn't go to the mountain, so the mountain went to Mohammed.

I read that that the maganetic north pole is moving towards Russia at 40 miles a year..Caused by a flux in the Earths Core...Thats what I read anyway....

So that could put a damper on compass calibration...