Colorado Trail & Continental Divide Trail
The Colorado Trail and the Continental Divide Trail run together through most of Lake County, Colorado. Hikers and trail runners can access these trails at multiple points. The trails are open to bikes except in the Mt. Massive Wilderness. Some portions of the trails are used for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
A Trail for All Seasons
In the fall, the trail runs past beautiful aspen groves, bringing out the reason we call it COLORado. In the winter, you can explore the wilderness in the peace of snow-covered mountains. Summer is the most visited time. Then, the Colorado Trail and this section of the Continental Divide Trail let you move through a wide variety of majestic terrain.
The two trails are joined from Tennessee Pass to Turquoise Lake, across the lower slopes of Mt. Massive and Mt. Elbert, and around Twin Lakes to Interlaken. From there, the Continental Divide Colorado heads up Hope Pass, and the Colorado Trail veers east. This split also forms the Collegiate East and Collegiate West trails, which make up the Collegiate Loop.
Care for Colorado!
- Check for Fire Restrictions — and Follow Them!
- 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!
Winter & Spring Trips
The Colorado Trail is Colorado’s premier long distance trail. Stretching almost 500 miles from Denver to Durango, it travels through the spectacular Colorado Rocky Mountains amongst peaks with lakes, creeks and diverse ecosystems. Trail users experience six wilderness areas and eight mountain ranges topping out at 13,271 feet. The average elevation is over 10,300 feet and it rises and falls dramatically. Users traveling from Denver to Durango will climb 89,354 feet.
Continental Divide National Scenic Trail
One of the largest conservation efforts in the history of the United States, the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDT) is much more than just a line on a map: it is a living museum of the American West, a place to reconnect with nature, and a unifying force bringing people of all walks of life together.
Extending 3,100 miles from Canada to Mexico, the Continental Divide Trail encounters a multitude of ecosystems from tundra to desert, hosts a rich variety of wildlife, and preserves nearly two thousand natural, cultural, and historical treasures. Considered one of the greatest long-distance trails in the world, it is the highest, most challenging, and most remote of our National Scenic Trails. Ranging from 4,000 to 14,000 feet, the completed sections of the Continental Divide Colorado provides a variety of recreational activities to many hundreds of thousands of people each year, including hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, wildlife viewing, fishing, hunting, and sight-seeing.
For the long-distance hiking community, the Continental Divide Trail is one-third of the “Triple Crown,” and annually, while the number is growing, approximately 150 ambitious travelers attempt to complete an end-to-end trek.
If you are through-hiking the Colorado Trail or Continental Divide Colorado, you can mail a resupply box to the Twin Lakes General Store.
Be sure to stop in Twin Lakes and Leadville for great restaurants and places to rest a night or two inside. There are shops for resupply and for fun, a Safeway in Leadville at 1900 N. Poplar St. (719-486-0795) and even a Mountain Laundry at 1707 N. Poplar St. in Leadville (719-293-2282).
Long-distance hikers often like to take a zero day at the Leadville hostel, Inn the Clouds. Community Threads outdoor gear consignment shop, Leadville Outdoors outdoor gear shop, and Melanzana with its warm fleecy hoodies are also popular in-town stops.