Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
1,422.00 ft (433.43 m)
Trail type
14.10 mi (22.69 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail spans nearly 3,100 miles across 5 states from Mexico to Canada, exploring a vast array of different environments and landscapes along the way. The CDT can be completed as a single thru-hike that will take 4 to 6 months, or by section-hiking smaller segments. The Colorado portion of the CDT features 800 miles of stunning and challenging high altitude hiking. Highlights include the South San Juans, Collegiate Peaks, 14,270 foot Grays Peak, Rocky Mountain National Park, and the Mount Zirkel Wilderness. In this guide we’ll take a closer look at Colorado Section 15.

Colorado Section 15 is a rather unexciting section of the CDT. It begins by following Saguache Park Road (CO RD 17FF) for a short distance. This well maintained gravel road makes for easy walking. You’ll pass a water source (Monchego Creek) where you’ll want to fill up.

The trail then soon veers to the right and follows a double track dirt road as it parallels a fenceline and gradually works its way uphill. One great photo op is found where someone placed an animal skull of some kind on a fencepost.

There is no shade along this stretch until you get up toward the top and into some cover. You’ll then reach the next water source - Los Creek.

Another ascent up into some more trees follows, then a descent down to another possible water source - Archuleta Creek. You’ll then briefly follow a well maintained gravel road as it makes a couple of long switchbacks up a hill.

Watch for a junction to the left on an old road that is now closed to vehicles. You’ll continue along this old road as it ascends into the forest. The trail then turns to single track and is quite enjoyable. At the top of the ascent there is some nice space for camping. You’ll then descend through the forest and reach Pine Creek.

From here to the end of the section the trail is very mellow. You’ll continue following Pine Creek, then the trail turns to the right and soon crosses Lujan Creek before coming to Highway 114 and the end of Colorado Section 15.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Some nice forest near the end of the section.


First half of the section is very unexciting.

Trailhead Elevation

9,521.00 ft (2,902.00 m)

Highest point

10,260.00 ft (3,127.25 m)


Backcountry camping
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping


Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.