[cdt-l] What are the "Desert" Areas of the CDT?

Ginny & Jim Owen spiritbear2k at hotmail.com
Wed Feb 28 16:16:44 CST 2007

Karen - we never had a real problem with heat on the CDT, even in the desert 
stretches.  People a week ahead of us had problems in the Great Basin, but I 
was on the edge of hypothermia the day we left Rawlins.  It never got above 
the mid-eighties.  It was warm in northern Colorado this summer - but we 
were at 10,000', so it didn't feel that bad.  New Mexico was never a problem 
for heat.  If you start in May, it may be hotter, but mostly only up to 
Silver City.  Water can be scarce for a lot of the trail, including parts of 
northern Montana and Colorado - so you need to be prepared to carry water 
much of the way.  We always had at least one water source though - so we 
didn't have to carry more than a gallon or so.

Real desert is the area south of Silver City and a few miles around Ghost 
Ranch in NM and the Basin.  The rest is high desert. Most of NM is 
juniper-pinyon - lots of trees, open grasslands some ponderosa pines.  
There's lots of sage in Montana and Idaho, and parts of Colorado but you're 
at 10,000' so generally not too hot.


>From: Karen Somers <kborski at yahoo.com>
>Reply-To: cdt-l at backcountry.net
>To: cdt-l at backcountry.net
>Subject: [cdt-l] What are the "Desert" Areas of the CDT?
>Date: Wed, 28 Feb 2007 11:27:03 -0800 (PST)
>For those who have hiked the whole CDT, I am
>interested in getting a succinct list of regions of
>the CDT that you consider to be more of a "desert"
>environment, places where high heat and lack of
>water/shade would be an issue.  Roughly, places where
>I can expect to see sagebrush and/or cactus.  I'm
>planning to use this for a rough gauge of where to
>plan to send certain items of gear I prefer to have in
>drier, hotter areas.
> >From studying guidebooks and maps, I am thinking that
>there are three major hot/desert regions:
>1. All of NM except the extreme northern 50-70 miles
>2. Great Basin of Wyoming
>3. Southern half of MT in parts
>Is this accurate?
>Thanks in advance,
>AT'98, PCT'04
>Don't get soaked.  Take a quick peak at the forecast
>with the Yahoo! Search weather shortcut.
>cdt-l mailing list
>cdt-l at backcountry.net

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