[cdt-l] Backpacker CDT Project

Ginny & Jim Owen spiritbear2k at hotmail.com
Fri Sep 14 13:58:49 CDT 2007

It seems to me that most of the folks who volunteered for this project did 
so because they thought it would be fun to hike a section of the CDT with a 
small group of hikers and be part of the mapping of the trail -- not just 
because they were hoping for goodies.  That really is irrelevant to the 
success of the project.

My one question about the project relates to the mapping:  before we hiked 
the trail we tried to get information on recent relocations from the land 
management agencies and CDTA.  Aside from the map of the new route from the 
border that we got from CDTA, (thank you!) we received very little 
assistance in getting information on the reroutes.  Only one of the National 
Forests (in Colorado) sent us maps of recent trail relocations.  Everyone 
else either ignored us or said, "We can't give you any information until the 
trail is completed."  When hiking the trail, we ran into sections that had 
been relocated since the guidebooks were published.  We followed the new 
markers or pink ribbons and found that in several cases the trail deadended 
in the middle of nowhere.  Those were pretty much the only places we got 
"lost" on the trail last year.

A couple of areas immediately come to mind - the new section north of 
Lordsburg, the Gros Ventre section in Wyoming, the Carson NF, etc.  I 
thought it was a real shame that trail crews have spent a lot of time 
building new trail that no one can use because it is impossible to get any 
information on the new trail from those responsible.  At one point we ran 
into a trail crew in New Mexico that asked if we had walked their recently 
completed new section of trail.  We would have, had we known about it, but 
we didn't so we couldn't.

So, for the teams that were out there this year, did they follow the old 
outdated routes (which route, the Westcliffe route or Jim Wolf's?), did they 
actually get some information from CDTA or the Forest Service on relocations 
that have been done since the guidebooks came out, or did they just skip the 
sections that were under construction?

I remember a few years ago when there was a similar project to assess the 
state of the trail and one of the groups said they had been using a 20 year 
old guidebook in southern Montana, without understanding that there had been 
updates since the book was published that completely changed the route.  
That group had a very hard time, but more important, their assessment was 
pretty useless because it did not concern the actual trail, just a previous 
incarnation of it.

So - was that the case this year?  And if not, where can we get some 
information on the relocations so next year's hikers can have the 


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