Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
684.00 ft (208.48 m)
Trail type
30.90 mi (49.73 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 New Mexico Section 18.

Section 18 of the CDT is perhaps one of the most unexciting sections of the entire trail. It begins at the junction of York Ranch Road and Highway 603. You’ll follow York Ranch Road as it turns into Catron CO RD A083, then turns into Pie Town RD before ending at Highway 117 some 30 miles later.

Along the way you’ll pass the TLC Ranch. The owners of this ranch have set up a water cache for thru hikers. Just a ways further up the road you’ll come to some BLM land. This is the best option for camping along this stretch, as most of the land on both sides of the road is private. Further up the road there is a solar well that is a good water source just off trail.

If you choose to take the Cebolla Alternate, turn right onto Armijo Canyon Road. Otherwise continue straight all the way to Highway 117 and the end of New Mexico Section 18.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Easy hiking. TLC Ranch.


Gravel road walking the entire way. Very unexciting.

Trailhead Elevation

7,553.00 ft (2,302.15 m)

Highest point

7,685.00 ft (2,342.39 m)


Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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