“A dry and spartan trail with beautiful views along the base of the Little Hatchet Mountain Range.”
— Christopher Bare
This section of the trail is best accessed off of Highway 9, west of the settlement of Hachita. The highway will turn to the north and then back to the west. Shortly after turning to the west, look for the right hand turn for South Well Road. The start of this CDT section is on the south side of the highway, across from the entrance to South Well Road. There is enough open dirt to park out of the way of any traffic and embark on your adventure.
Be sure you are well stocked up on water and other provisions as this area is brutally spartan and you'll have little to no access to water. Additionally, the lack of any nearby towns means you'll not have logistical support should your bike break down. This is a very isolated area of the country and can be very hot during the summer. As such, it is not advisable to ride this trail during peak daylight in the summer months. Cell service is limited to non-existent as well, so you'll have a limited capability to call for assistance.
Another option to access this section is back toward Hachita, where Highway 9 takes a turn in a more northern direction (southern when heading east on Hwy 9), there is a green gate on the south side of the highway and the entrance to a dirt road/jeep trail. This route cuts off five miles of the northern portion of this CDT section.
Using this shortcut, your ride will begin on the road, headed in a generally southwestern direction toward the Little Hatchet mountains. There are several other roads and paths that intersect the road, so be sure you are well oriented. The first major intersection occurs a few miles into the ride. Stay headed generally southwest toward the ruins of an old mine. If you end up off course and headed toward what looks like a watering hole in the distance, turn around as you are off track.
Ride around the mine ruins and continue in a generally southern direction after the mine ruins. At about the five-mile mark, the road will become the Continental Divide Trail proper.
The official CDT segment starts across from South Well Road and heads south and east along a minor uphill ascent followed by a short descent into Baylor Canyon towards the junction with the shortcut route mentioned above.
After the junction, the road remains a doubletrack trail with the blue "CDT" signs along the road. From here, the road becomes a bit more rough and rocky with several sandy, dry river crossings and a few steep hills. The trail also crosses a few dirt roads, but simply follow the trail markers. Use Hachita Peak Road (C019) for an early bailout or continue on the last 3.5-mile descent to Hwy 81.