Colorado Trail & Continental Divide Trail

Colorado Trail & Continental Divide Trail

        The Colorado Trail and the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) run together through most of Lake County, Colorado, from Tennessee Pass to Turquoise Lake, across the lower slopes of Mt. Massive and Mt. Elbert, around Twin Lakes to Interlaken. From there, the CDT 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.

        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 trail are used for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

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        If you’re heading out in winter, please prepare with our Colorado Backcountry Winter Safety Resources.

        Colorado Trail

        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.

        Colorado Trail maps

        Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDT)

        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 CDT 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 CDT provide a variety of recreational activities to many hundreds of thousands of people each year, including hiking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, wildlife viewing, fishing, hunting, and sight-seeing.

        For the long-distance hiking community, the CDT 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.

        Continental Divide Trail map

        Backpacking Resupply

        If you are through-hiking the Colorado Trail or CDT, 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.

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