The “Big Sky” Montana section of the CDT runs a little over 1,000 miles beginning at the Canadian border from Glacier National Park to Yellowstone.
CDT: Day 1, Chief Mountain to Cosley Lake, 9 miles (GNP)
From the border at Chief Mountain, it was a nine-mile walk off trail and through thunderstorms.
CDT: Day 2, Cosley Lake to Foot Elizabeth Lake, 4 miles (GNP)
Getting CDT permits was tricky and we had only a short hike to Elizabeth Lake, but it was stunning.
CDT: Day 3, Elizabeth Lake to Poia Lake, 10 miles (GNP)
I walked up my first pass at Red Gap strong and assured through wildflowers and one bit of snow.
CDT: Day 4, Poia to Many Glacier (GNP)
The hike was short, but surprisingly steep in forest and meadow, followed by a hot road walk.
CDT: Day 5, Many Glacier to Reynolds Creek, 15 miles (GNP)
The trail up to Piegan Pass was covered in snow over switchbacks and required careful crossing.
CDT: Day 6: Reynolds Creek to Head Red Eagle Lake, 15 miles (GNP)
The walk is hot through overgrowth, past spectacular falls and views to a burn area with no shade.
CDT: Day 7, Head Red Eagle Lake to Atlantic Creek, 12 miles (GNP)
I get an early start with shade all the way to final zigzags up Triple Divide Pass, then spend hours on top.
CDT: Day 8, Atlantic Creek to Two Medicine, 18 miles (GNP)
The CDT alternate over Dawson Pass is some of the finest ‘balcony walking’ of any trail.
CDT: Day 9, Two Medicine to East Glacier, 11 miles (GNP)
The final push out of Glacier is over Signal Mountain then through Blackfeet Nation land.
CDT: day 10, East Glacier to Summit Campground, 15 miles (Bob)
It’s a long, overgrown and buggy walk out of East Glacier towards the wilderness.
CDT: day 11, Summit Campground to Badger Station, 15 miles (Bob)
The start of ‘The Bob’ is a seven-mile stretch of blowdowns on PUDS or pointless up and downs.
CDT: day 12, Badger Station to Cox Creek, 18 miles (Bob)
The trail heads up a steep slope with views of snow-capped mountains, then into a fairy forest.
CDT: day 13, Cox Creek to Fools Creek, 20 miles (Bob)
It’s flat through a flower filled burn area then a balcony walk looking and climbing up and over dead fall.
CDT: day 14, Fools Creek to Mine Creek, 19 miles (Bob)
I take an alternate along the Sun River to avoid blowdowns and ride a horse across a ford.
CDT: Day 15, Miner’s Creek and out
I walk four miles with heavy feet, gasping for air as my heart races, then hit the SOS.
I’m “trail angeled” then head home on the Empire Builder to see a cardiologist and return to trail.
Moved by Simone Biles, I practice patience and open to nature’s wonders on a local hike.
Two Bear Air Rescue sent me a reminder that every day is a gift and to never take it for granted.
on being with bears
Do bear bells work? Should I play dead? What about guns in bear country? Read more and stay safe.