Earlier this winter I ordered the Jim Wolf CDT guides from the Continental Divide Trail Society.
For some reason, there are two organizations devoted to protecting and building the CDT. They are the Continental Divide Trail Society and the Continental Trail Divide Alliance. By reputation, the CDTS seems to have the interests of thru-hikers at heart, while the CDTA seems to be focused on corporate partnerships and trail building. As far as I can tell, both organizations are doing loads to protect and complete the CDT. Thanks CDTS and CDTA!
The small CDTS books are designed to be carried by thru-hikers.
By all accounts, the CDTA guide books are very pretty with heavy, glossy pages and lots of pictures. By all accounts, these books are heavy in weight and seem better geared to the day-hiker. I haven't seen the CDTA books, so I can't confirm this but reviews on Amazon echoed these sentiments.
The CDTS guides are written for the southbound hiker, so it will be interesting trying to interpret them for our northbound hike. There are seven volumes in all with at two supplements. The most recently published guides are spiral-bound so that the used pages can easily be discarded and/or the pages are easy to separate for mail drops.
Some accounts I've read mention that the Ley maps are so good that the Wolf CDT guides aren't necessary. I like to be prepared, however, and I think these will come in handy. They don't appear to be as wordy as the PCT guide-tomes. In fact, the trail descriptions seem much like the ATC state guides for the Appalachian Trail. In contrast to the Appalachian Trail, however, I think we will actually get lost - a lot- in which case the descriptions might help us find our way again.
I'll let you know how it goes.
Here is a list of the Wolf CDTS guides and their range. I've included the nearest resupply towns, as this is what I needed to know when I was parceling maps and guidebook pages for our mail drops.
This info is also for me in case I need to use it while in a trail town.
Northern Montana, Vol 1
Canadian border/Glacier Park to Rogers Pass, MT (for Lincoln, MT)
Southern Montana, Vol 2 part 1
Rogers Pass, MT (Lincoln, MT) to Chief Joseph Pass, MT (Darby, Sula, North Fork, Wisdom)
Southern Montana, Vol 2 part 2
Chief Joseph Pass, MT to Macks Inn, ID
Wyoming, Vol 3 and supplement
Old Faithful to Rawlins, WY
Northern Colorado, Vol 4 and supplement
Rawlins, WY to Copper Mtn, CO (north of Leadville, CO)
Southern Colorado, Vol 5
Copper Mtn, CO to Cumbres Pass, CO (Chama, NM)
Northern New Mexico, Vol 6
Cumbres Pass, CO (Chama, NM) to Grants, NM
Southern New Mexico, Vol 7
Grants, NM to Mexican border
approx 2811.7 mi
~140 days at 20 mi/day
~113 days at 25 mi/day