Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
4,420.00 ft (1,347.22 m)
Trail type
39.20 mi (63.09 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail spans some 3,100 miles across 5 states from Mexico to Canada. The trail travels through the Rocky Mountains, exploring a vast array of different environments and landscapes along the way. The New Mexico portion of the trail features 820 miles of diverse hiking from the desolate Chihuahuan Desert in the south, to the unique Canyons of the Gila River, to the Rocky Mountains in the north. Exploring the Continental Divide Trail can be done as a single thru hike that will take 4-6 months, or by section hiking smaller segments. In this guide we’ll look at the Pie Town Road Walk Alternate.

The Pie Town Road Walk Alternate is deceptively named. While it does follow dirt and gravel roads for its entire length, it avoids the long road walk on Highway 60 that the official CDT hits. It also passes directly by 3 important things: a water cache, the Davila Ranch, and the Toaster House. Therefore many CDT thru hikers choose this alternate.

Begin at Highway 12 and follow Forest Road 218 to the north. You’ll continue on this road for a good distance. The hiking is easy, but not the most exciting.

About 5 miles in you’ll come to a cow pond just off trail. This water source is quite nasty, I’d recommend carrying enough water to skip it.

After merging onto Mangas Road, at about the 10 mile mark you’ll come to Valle Tio Vinces Campground. This semi-developed campground is free to camp at. More importantly, there is a regularly stocked water cache near here as well.

The alternate then turns right onto Alamocito Road. You’ll climb gently but steadily up this well maintained road to Mangas Mountain. Near the top you’ll notice a change in vegetation and even see some lovely Aspen Trees.

Keep an eye open for a junction to the left. Take this turn and follow the old rocky road as it descends down the mountain. Keep descending until you notice two water spigots near someone’s property on the right of the road. This is a good spot to fill up on water.

The next stop is at Davila Ranch. This oasis is a rest facility built by the property owners just for CDT hikers. There is a fridge stocked with eggs and potatoes, and several propane burners with cookware so you can prepare yourself a nice hot meal. In addition there is running water, a restroom with shower, and laundry. Donations are strongly suggested.

From Davila Ranch, continue following the main gravel road all the way into Pie Town. Camping along this stretch is difficult, as private property lines both sides of the road. You may need to stealth camp, or push all the way into town to the Toaster House which marks the end of the Pie Town Road Walk Alternate.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Avoids Highway 60 road walk. Passes by Davila Ranch.


No single track, all dirt or gravel road walking. Difficult to camp between Davila Ranch and Pie Town.

Trailhead Elevation

7,347.00 ft (2,239.37 m)

Highest point

9,653.00 ft (2,942.23 m)


Backcountry camping
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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