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Family Destination: Continental Divide National Scenic Trail

Family Destination: Continental Divide National Scenic Trail

The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail travels the length of the Rockies from Mexico to Canada, through five states and just as many ecological life zones. Currently about 70 percent of the 3,000-mile trail is complete, but that doesn't dissuade hikers and equestrians from following the historical route and taking part in developing the trail themselves.

New Mexico offers hikers azure skies, red rock cliffs and a glimpse at ancient civilizations. Part of the CDT connects with 1,000-year-old Zuni-Acoma trade routes, past recent volcanic landscapes and the old stomping grounds of Geronimo. Hikers will experience "Rocky Mountain High" through Colorado's 800 miles of challenging peaks, witness geologic oddities such as The Window and Devil's Thumb, walk through ghost towns, and see reminders of when settlers first came to the region in search of gold and silver. Between September and May, winter weather and arctic conditions persist, so save your hikes for warmer months.

Wyoming welcomes with deep gorges, high rock walls, luscious meadows and desert plains. The diverse landscapes of the Tetons Wilderness, Yellowstone National Park, Two Oceans Pass and Absaroka Mountain Range are stunning reminders of why we need to keep protecting our natural resources. Into Montana's Big Sky Country, the trail passes through the untamed Bob Marshall Wilderness, Chief Joseph Pass and Glacier National Park near the Canadian border. Glacier National Park is a true hiker's paradise with majestic mountain peaks, out-of-the-way alpine lakes and plenty of wildlife. Only 26 glaciers remain and these are predicted to be gone within a decade.

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