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2022 CDT Hiker Survey Results: Anaconda Voted Favorite Resupply Stop by Hikers!

The 2022 Continental Divide Trail Hiker Survey results were compiled and released recently and Anaconda was voted favorite resupply stop by CDT thru-hikers! Of the 235 survey respondents,

36% chose Anaconda as their favorite place to stop and resupply, the highest vote tally of any stop on the 2,982-mile trail. Other favorites included Silver City, NM (35%), Salida, CO (26%), and Lander, WY (29%).

The annual survey, now in its sixth year, is distributed to CDT hikers at the end of the hiking season every year with the the goal of “capturing a snapshot of the year’s class and providing a useful resource to future CDT hikers and recreators (sic),” according to Mac at, the survey’s administrator. The survey results provide a fascinating insight into all things CDT hiker — everything from basic demographics (age, gender, race, education, etc.) to amount of money spent, on-trail issues & injuries, and favorite meals.

For complete survey results, visit here.

Diving into the results, some of the basic statistics are unsurprising: Over two thirds of hikers are male (66.8%), most are white (90.4%), and ages range from under 20 years old (2.6%) to 70+ (1.5%), with most in the 30-34 range (21.9%). Hikers traveled to the CDT from all over the world, including 21 different countries and 37 different states. Countries included Argentina, South Africa, and many European Union countries, but the largest number traveled from Canada (6.3%), Germany (5.4%) and Australia (2.6%).

One somewhat eye opening revelation is that CDT hikers are a highly educated lot: 51.5% reported

having a bachelor’s degree, 18.5% have a master’s, and nearly 3% have a PhD. In all, almost 79% of

the hikers have some kind of advanced degree — impressive!

With all that education, it’s not surprising hikers reported 67 different professions, including project managers, software engineers, IT professionals, educators and nurses. Almost 20% reported being retired and 2.5% said they were students. To facilitate the amount of time necessary to complete the trail, 37% of hikers said they quit their jobs; 16.7% said they had “flexible conditions”; and 9.6% reported being seasonal workers.

Hiking a nearly 3,000 mile trail can be a daunting undertaking, and the CDT is known to be an especially challenging endeavor. As such, it’s not surprising the vast majority of 2022 CDT hikers (86.4%) reported previous experience thru-hiking with 66.3% having previously hiked the Pacific Crest Trail and 37.2% hiking the Appalachian Trail. Only 13.6% said they were first-timers.

One of the most pressing questions for prospective hikers is, “How much does it cost to hike the Continental Divide Trail?” According to Mac, “The safe answer? More than you think.” Data from

this year’s survey shows the average amount spent on completing the entire CDT was $9,221, or about $64 a day. Most of that money is spent in places like Anaconda, where hikers stop to rest and resupply. These “zero days” include staying in local accommodations, like Pintler’s Portal Hostel, eating in local restaurants, and shopping in local grocery and specialty stores. Additionally, hikers spent an average of $1,163 on gear before heading out onto the trail.

As for hiker duration, the average number of days it took hikers to complete the entire CDT going northbound was 139 days, with 39 days being the average to complete the Idaho + Montana section. Southbound hikers moved slightly quicker overall, taking 133 days on average to complete the trail, but took more time on the Idaho + Montana section with a 44 day average. The daily mileage average was 21.3 miles per day, or 23.9 miles after removing zero days. Speaking of which, the average number of zero days, or days off from hiking, was 17.

Most people who start out thru-hiking the CDT intend on finishing the trail. Sadly, circumstances happen and some fall short. That being said, of the hikers who completed the 2022 survey, 82%

completed the CDT. Remember, the survey is voluntary and self-reported, so those who dropped out early or were unwilling to complete the survey after leaving the trail are not represented. Therefore, the actual completion rate is likely much lower — the CDT is not easy!

Of the hikers who didn’t finish the trail and completed the survey, 27.6% stopped due to injury, 21.4% quit for personal reasons, and 20% reported illness as the reason. The primary injury — not surprising — was “overuse leg injury” at 25%. Other injuries included broken bone in foot, bruised ribs, knee injury, torn rotator cuff, and plantar fasciitis. Besides injuries, other on-trail “issues” reported by hikers were evenly distributed between heat, mosquitoes, storms, wind, snow, rain/hail, fire/smoke and stream crossings.

Considering a CDT thru-hike yourself? Hikers last year were asked what they would have done differently before their hikes if they were do it all over again. Overall, only 57.6% said they would have changed something prior to beginning their journey. The top vote getters: Trained more/gotten in better shape (35%), saved more money (31.6%) and bought lighter gear (25.6%) were the top three pieces of advice offered. Hikers also advised that while on the trail, take more pictures of people, slow down, and keep a journal or blog. Good advice!


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