Continental Divide National Scenic Trail

Difficulty:  Easy to Difficult. Varies based on access point. 

Length: 3 - 100 miles: Mileage varies on access point you enter the trail.

Access Points:  There are several access points to the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail in Grand County. 

Arapaho Roosevelt National Forest: Enter the trail at the Berthoud Pass Summit. Located at HWY 40 summit before entering the town of Winter Park

Never Summer Wilderness or town of Grand Lake: Green Mountain Trail in Never Summer Wilderness or North Inlet Trailhead at North end of town of Grand Lake.

Description: This is definite bucket list material. The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail winds through some of the Country’s, Colorado’s and Grand County’s most impressive and breathtaking landscapes. Eight hundred miles of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail are located within the state’s boundaries with almost 100 miles of the trail right in Grand County and Rocky Mountain National Park. There are a few different access points for you to hop on the trail for a hike you will never forget.

Arapaho Roosevelt National Forest: Start your journey at the summit of the Berthoud Pass. Get on the trailhead and begin hiking north towards Monarch Lake. With almost 100 miles to cover and an elevation gain of over 17,000 feet, this hike is for advanced, prepared outdoorsman’s. Along your way you will pass James Peak Wilderness, Vasquez Creek Wilderness, Never Summer Wilderness, and Indian Peaks Wilderness.

Never Summer Wilderness: The Continental Divide Trail through Rocky Mountain National Park consists of a 30-mile stretch through sub-alpine forests and over high tundra, traversing elevations between roughly 8,000-11,500 feet. The route enters the park through the Never Summer Wilderness, and consists of two alternate routes: a “short” loop along the Green Mountain Trail and the Tonuhutu Creek Trail; and a “long” loop meandering east along Flattop Junction, and then south and west along the North Inlet Trail toward Grand Lake. The long loop provides especially scenic views of the divide and of the park’s mountain peaks above treeline. For a map of the Continental Divide Trail through Rocky Mountain National Park, click here.

A backcountry permit is required for overnight trips. Call (970) 586-1242 or stop by the backcountry office at the Kawuneeche Visitor Center for permits or for more info about backcountry camping. Fires are only permitted at designated campsites, and stream or lake water should be treated or boiled before consuming.

Of course, Grand Lake has long been a resource for Continental Divide Trail hikers. Day hikers can begin and end a CDT adventure in Grand Lake, and thru-hikers are invited to stop in Grand Lake to stock up on food and trail supplies. Grand Lake also offers lodging, restaurants and groceries, outfitters, and everything else you need for a Continental Divide Trail adventure – contact us at the Chamber for more info!

To contact the Grand Lake Chamber of Commerce, call (970) 627-3402.

Read More abou the trail here:

Top 50 Long Distance Hiking Trails

Continential Divide Trail Coalition

Continential Divide Trail Society