Finding Sunshine: The Continental Divide Trail
Stephanie “Sunshine” is about to embark on a 3,100 mile journey through the mountains of the United States by thru hiking from Canada to Mexico along the famous, Continental Divide Trail (CDT). This trail goes through glacial plains, the tallest US mountain peaks, and canyon deserts. Stephanie will see the most beautiful mountains and views America has to offer as she navigates through the original western frontier connecting with nature.
Accomplishing the CDT would be impossible without clean water. This is why Stephanie is raising $20,000 towards clean water projects.
Visit Below to Donate.
What is the Continental Divide Trail?
The Continental Divide Trail is a 3,100 mile long trail that gives thru-hikers an authentic mountain back country experience that can not be accomplished anywhere else. Thru Hikers will navigate 5 states and connect with communities along the spine of the Rocky Mountains.
Compared to the Appalachian trail, this is far more remote, beautiful, and rewarding. Far fewer hikers attempt the CDT making it a unique solitary challenge. The CDT has an average altitude of 11,500ft while the highest point on the Appalachian Trail is 6,643ft.
Why Clean Water
Her ability to do long distance hikes, definitely in remote locations, would not be possible without having clean water. There will be many times during the CDT where water is hard to find and needs to be filtered. She will be dedicating this hike to all the people that have helped her reach this point as well as to communities without clean water.
State by State
Montana/Idah0 (1030 miles)
The “Big Sky Country,” where hikers experience it all. From open prairies, rocky mountains, and a carved landscape. Hikers cross glaciers, follow Lewis & Clark’s footsteps, and see a big blue sky.
Wyoming (500 miles)
The Cowboy State is a gem many hikers do not realize. Adventure awaits in the Wind River Range and Yellowstone National Park. Rivers have cut the landscape forever creating beautiful passes used by early pioneers.
Colorado (740 Miles)
The CDT travels through the Rockies most incredible peaks. The highest point accomplished is 14,270ft. Hikers travel through remote forests, snow covered mountain tops, ghost towns, and remnants of the gold rush.
New Mexico (820 Miles)
The CDT extends into “The Land of Enchantment” of New Mexico. Dramatic deserts of adobe architecture, ancient civilizations, and red rock cliffs give hikers a unique desert hiking experience.
Who is “Sunshine”
Sunshine is the trail name for Stephanie Lorenze. Not only is she a kind-hearted, fun, and go with the flow type of person. She has completed the Appalachian Trail and wants to complete the CDT. From her family, friends, and trail mates, everyone wishes they could always have Sunshine part of their life.
While on the Appalachian Trail she fell in love with the carefree nature and describes her toughest day hiking better then any other day. Her training grounds are the bucolic mountains of West Virginia.
Updates From the Trail
Entry #1 April 19th Adventure and Water
Learn about Stephanie and her goals as an inspirational thru-hiker and advocate for clean water.
entry #3 The Beginning! Getting to the CDT
Some early trail magic have allowed Sunshine and her fellow
friends to the trail head to start hiking.
Entry #2 June 17th Planning for a Departure
Stephanie departs very soon! Learn more below about her CDT thru hike and about what it takes to complete it.
Entry #4 Day 1! Mile 0-9.5
Sunshine started the first steps of the CDT and the views
Episode #5: Hail, Bears, and Rest Days
A good rest day helped their trail legs rest and they are back at it.
Episode #6: NO Water, you rely on trail angels
The team continues forward experiencing a dry spell with little water to drink.
Episode #7: Enjoying Cold Wet clothes
Its always easy to stay positive when you have friends.
Episode #8: Glacial Divides and Lost Trails
When the trail is snow covered, it can be easy to get lost.
Episode #9: Trekking in Knee Deep Snow
Never ending rain, cold and numbness. But we all could not be happier to have beer.
Episode #10: Getting over being sick
Sunshine has gotten a bad cold but that is not stopping her from moving forward! Beautiful views and goats!
Episode #11: Rest, Relaxation, And Not Getting Lost
After two solid rest days, the crew hits the trail where it is very easy to make a wrong turn.
Episode #12: A perfect day of hiking
Some days are pristine and enjoyable. It makes helps Sunshine remember why she enjoys the trail.
Episode #13: We might see a bear!
Skip to 5:40 minutes to hear how good they can sing and race to eat the most!
Episode #14: To take a dip in the river or not to dip.
Will he get his feet wet in the many river crossings? Probably. Watch to find out.
Episode #15: Making friends with Elk
They are getting used to the trail and are covering 20+ mile days with not much difficulty.
Episode #16: We will see Ledo when we see him
Ledo, their hiking partner pushed ahead to get a food resupply. Will they find him?
Episode #17: Your Utility Belt! The Montana jungle
Sunshine is not scarred of any water. The whole trail is flooded.
Episode #18: WE just saw a grizzley bear!
A bear is close and it sounds like thunder when it runs! A LOT OF HAIL!! A MUST WATCH VIDEO
Episode #19: RESUPPLY & bEER! RESUPPLY & bEER!
An 8 mile day into town to resupply, have some beer, and relax.
Episode #20: 27 miles of no water!
“We are safe from bears, but I don’t know about lightning.”
”Look at all those chickens.”
Episode #21: 11.9 miles without water!
Trail Angels to the rescue helping supply water on 16-30 miles of trail with no water supply.
Episode #22: Issues with running out of water
This stretch of trail has little to no water supply but sunshine is champing through while eating mashed potatoes!
Episode #23: Caught in a terrible storm
Kinda screwed when the wind knocks down trees and the lightning is a few feet away.