Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
2,225.00 ft (678.18 m)
Trail type
15.10 mi (24.30 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 17.

Colorado Section 17 begins from Sargents Mesa. You’ll hike down through a massive open meadow area. This beautiful section of trail offers views of the stunning high mountain peaks in the distance.

You’ll then follow Tank Seven Creek down through a valley. Toward the bottom of the valley there is a great camping area with space for multiple tents.

The trail then ascends out of the valley and up to a ridge. You’ll stay on this ridgeline, topping out on several small summits along the way. There are some good views in spots, and one exceptionally beautiful Aspen Grove that you’ll walk through.

As you continue you’ll soon come to a steep and very rocky climb. This tough climb will take you near the summit of Windy Peak, where the trail thankfully begins to mellow out.

The trail then turns into double track. You’ll pass another nice camping area. The trail then turns back to enjoyable single track for the last couple miles of the section.

Section 17 then ends at Marshall Pass Trailhead.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Beautiful large meadow and open views to start. Some good camping spots along this section.


One especially steep and rocky climb in middle of section.

Trailhead Elevation

11,615.00 ft (3,540.25 m)

Highest point

11,686.00 ft (3,561.89 m)


Backcountry camping
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping

Sawatch Range + Elk Mountains, Colorado
Sawatch Range + Elk Mountains, Colorado


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