Embracing the Vision for the CDT


CDTC recognizes the Trail belongs to the American Public and that we have a responsibility to future generations to responsibly manage the Trail’s resources and to place those resources in a sacred trust that will ensure the Trail continues to nurture others the way it has nurtured us.

To that end, CDTC is committed to building a non-motorized backcountry Trail and protecting the Trail corridor along the Continental Divide.  CDTC serves the Trail through on the ground projects that ensure the Trail is maintained and its corridor is protected in perpetuity.   This is accomplished through advocacy efforts for the Trail with agencies, law makers and the general public; supporting, and inspiring volunteerism for Trail construction and maintenance; communicating the vision and direction of the Trail as a sustainable resource; educating users, volunteers and the general public on the appropriate route and uses of the Trail; cultivating strong partnerships; fundraising to help leverage resources and widen our impact to protect and preserve the CDT; and by encouraging and supporting land protection efforts to acquire the acquisition of the Corridor on private lands to solve some of the Trail’s most challenging connectivity issues. Learn more about our efforts below:

national trails

The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDNST) was designated by Congress in 1978 as a unit of the National Trails System. The 3,100 mile CDNST traverses the magnificent Continental Divide between Mexico and Canada. It travels through 25 National Forests, 21 Wilderness areas, 3 National Parks, 1 National Monument, 8 BLM resource areas and through the states of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. The vision for the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail is to create a primitive and challenging backcountry trail on or near the Continental Divide to provide people with the opportunity to experience the unique and incredibly scenic qualities of the area. For many of the same reasons National Parks are established, National Scenic Trails are created to conserve the nationally significant scenic, historic, natural and cultural qualities of the area. In addition, National Scenic Trails are designed for recreation and the enjoyment of these very special places.

National Trails System Legislative Historya complete listing of all the various iterations and amendments to the National Trails System Act, from the initial proposed 1968 National Trails System ACt through to 1999 and all the various changes, modifications, suggestions etc that impact our National Trails.

USFS Policy Direction for Continental Divide National Scenic Trail

BLM Policy Direction for the CDNST and all National Scenic and Historic Trails

CDTC Policy and Guidance for Continental Divide Trail Coalition

Continental Divide Trail Focus Area GapsThe CDT is only 95 % complete.  The CDTC has developed a strategy and ranking system, along with a map reflecting where gaps to the Trail’s completion exist and the issues associated with the Trail Corridor’s protection and management in the areas.

Land and Water Conservation Fund:

Collaborative Landscape Proposal:

Agency Projects affecting the CDT: There are always projects that are being proposed along the CDNST corridor that require public input.  The projects include proposals for trail construction projects that help improve the Trail,  proposals to manage the lands in or adjacent to the Trail’s corridor, and others are proposal for projects that may impact the Trail’s corridor in a way that affects the recreational experience.  Please check out these various proposals and share your voice!

There are always projects facing the CDT that require public input to ensure the Trail and its corridor area protected.  Some of these projects include Trail relocations, reconstruction, and realignments, and others include energy developments, land management activities and other developments in and around the Trail’s corridor.  CDTC encourages all our members, volunteers, and supporters to provide feedback and comment on these proposals.  CDTC will list its comments and any critical talking points associated with these projects with each listing.  General Trail Management documents like the CDT Comprehensive plan, may be found on our Trail Stewardship and Management page.

  • National Proposals
  • Forest Planning
  • New Mexico Proposals:
  • Colorado Proposals:
  • Wyoming Proposals:
  • Montana and Idaho Proposals:

CDTC is not a political organization, but at times, will comment, provide editorials, or make statements on policies that affect the CDT, the entire National Trails System, and our public lands. This is where you find these statements.

CDTC Statement on Secretary of Interior Appointment