Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument – Recreation
Leadville, Colorado, is on the doorstep of the nation’s newest national monument, the Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument. Adventurers love the miles of backcountry, and history buffs come to see the site where the United States’ only ski troopers trained.
The new monument also honors the ancient human history in the area, which remains culturally important to the Ute people.
Where to Go
The monument is divided into two separate areas, and Leadville is a great base camp for exploring both.
- Camp Hale area: This area begins approximately 15 miles north of Leadville along Hwy. 24 toward Minturn. After you cross Tennessee Pass and the entrance to Ski Cooper, the road leads to a wide, flat valley. There you can see the remains of the bunkers and Camp Hale.
- Tenmile area: This area begins about 17 miles north of Leadville along Hwy. 91 toward Copper Mountain. The monument reaches the road at that point and continues on the passenger’s side of Hwy. 91 to Copper Mountain, then along the passenger’s side of I-70 to Frisco. You can reach other parts of the monument by traveling into the Breckenridge area, approximately one hour from Leadville.
See a map of the new monument.
What to Do
What’s the best way to explore this gem?
Mountain biking is a popular activity in the new monument. Check out the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) and Colorado Trail (CT), which are on the same singletrack in the monument. Look for CDT Section 26 (Tennessee Pass to Copper Mountain) and CDT Section 27 (Copper Mountain to Gold Hill) or CT Segment 7 (Gold Hill to Copper Mountain) and CT Segment 8 (Copper Mountain to Tennessee Pass).
2) Explore on Foot: Hike, Backpack, Snowshoe, Backcountry Ski
If you like to travel on foot, you’ll find plenty to do in the new monument. A primary route through the monument is the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDT), which runs from Mexico to Canada, and the Colorado Trail (CT), which travels 485 miles from Denver to Durango. These trails share the same path through the monument.
Look for CDT Section 26 (Tennessee Pass to Copper Mountain) and CDT Section 27 (Copper Mountain to Gold Hill). On the Colorado Trail, the same stretches are named CT Segment 7 (Gold Hill to Copper Mountain) and CT Segment 8 (Copper Mountain to Tennessee Pass).
The monument includes 10 peaks over 13,000’ high. In the Tenmile area, Quandary Peak rises to 14,265’. If you are interested climbing Quandary or any of the 14ers or 13ers, please know that their high elevation and unpredictable weather can make them dangerous at any time of year. Please follow this important safety information for a fun and safe hike.
The Camp Hale Memorial Campground offers 21 campsites in the Camp Hale National Historic Site off Highway 24. Near the headwaters of the Eagle River, the campground is in a wide, flat, open valley sparsely forested by lodgepole pines. The Colorado Trail and nearby gravel roads provide walking and bike paths.
4) Take a Hut Trip
Five of the 10th Mountain Division huts, which offer adventurous hike-in/ski-in backcountry lodging, are within the national monument.
At the Camp Hale Pond Fishing Pier, the pond is stocked with trout, and the pier is Americans with Disabilities Act accessible.
In winter, snowmobiling is a great way to see the monument. There are various guiding companies in the Camp Hale area. Find Leadville snowmobile guides operating just outside the monument’s boundaries.
7) Other Activities
Horseback riding, off-roading, and hunting are also popular activities in the monument.
Near the Monument
8) Ski Cooper
This uncrowded, family-friendly ski resort, is just outside the monument. The 10th Mountain soldiers trained there on Cooper Hill. Come to Ski Cooper for a laid-back vibe and all-natural snow! Be sure to check out Cooper’s special yurt dinners.
9) 10th Mountain Day
10) Tennessee Pass Nordic Center, Cookhouse, and Sleep Yurts
At Tennessee Pass, you can rent cross-country skis, snowshoes, and fat bikes to explore the Nordic Center’s groomed trails. Savor a delicious gourmet dinner or lunch at the Cookhouse yurt, and stay the night in luxury Sleep Yurts, warmed by a woodstove. It’ll be an experience you’ll remember forever.
The new monument is free to visit.
The monument lacks amenities such as visitor centers and restrooms. The White River National Forest will be responsible for developing and carrying out a plan to manage the area’s use.
Want to learn about the monument’s history and unique features? See our 8 Fun Facts about the Camp Hale-Continental Divide National Monument. Please also check the U.S. Forest Service website for details on the monument, FAQs, and more.
Care for Colorado!
- Check for Fire Restrictions — and Follow Them! Camp Hale / Eagle County fire restrictions / Leadville/Twin Lakes fire restrictions
- Take Care with Fire
- Travel & Camp on Durable Surfaces
And please take our Adventure by Nature Pledge.
Thank you for helping to protect our forests and homes!