I had a great time on my PCT flip "thru" hike, started Nobo early-ish on April 15th & got a nice cool desert walk, then flipped up from Bishop Pass when the snow got deep to Castella near the CA/OR border (right before the snow started in OR) and walked south to Tahoe where ... the snow got deep, then flipped back up to Castella and walked north, got to Canada without seeing any snow in WA, then flipped back down to Tahoe and did the Sierras snow free & mosquito free. I attached an image of the route, in case that description was confusing.

So! That might sound like a complicated flip, but I loved it because 1) it was almost never too hot or too cold for comfort, I didn't have to deal with much snow, missed most of the mosquitoes (although I did get hammered in OR for a few weeks), saw no rain, river crossings were all super easy, & I never had to wait.

I'd like to do the same thing on the CDT & I'd love some help planning from peeps who know the terrain & points of entry. Questions:

1) When should I start hiking Nobo from Mexico? I'm thinking March 15th. I'd like to be above 20 degrees F most nights.
2) Where should I flip north from? (i.e., where will the snow likely get deep?)
3) Where should I flip north to, if I plan on hiking south from that spot? (i.e., I don't want to go too far north or I'll hit snow again)
4) Where should I flip north from the second time? (i.e., where will I hit deep snow heading south from #3?)

At that point, I assume I can just flip back up to #3, hike north, get to the terminus, flip back to #4, head south & fin.

I have Yogi's book, but the section on flips isn't very useful, it doesn't say where I'll hit snow, & then it just says, "depending on the snow level in the Wind River Range, you could flip up to any place between Colorado and Glacier." Not very specific. The 2018 CDT Planning Guide says to flip north at Cumbres Pass, so that might answer #2. It also recommends flipping up to Butte. So that might be #3. The difference is, the guide says to hike north from Butte, but I'd rather save Glacier for later on in the summer. & I have no recommendation on #4. I'm going to guess Rawlins or Encampment? I attached a second image to explain what this whole thing might look like. I could also flip from #2 Cumbres to Rawlins and then just hike to Canada before coming back for #4, that would save me one bus ride. But I like to keep the option open of doing Co before Glacier, it'd be nice to finish in Canada. Please stamp it FAIL or PASS, or provide totally different and incredibly complicated instructions, those are my favorite!

To review the objectives: see as many sections in their best light, avoid mosquitoes, stay warm but not hot, be able to find water.


Q: What did Baby Corn say to Mama Corn?
A: Where's Pop Corn? Duh.
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