Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
2,727.00 ft (831.19 m)
Trail type
13.30 mi (21.40 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 25.

Colorado Section 25 begins from Timberline Lake Trailhead. The trailhead isn’t located directly on the lake, but it is a popular spot where you’ll likely see a lot of vehicles parked (especially if here on a weekend).

The trail then ascends rather steeply and steadily for the next 2 miles up to a high point. You’ll then descend and pass by a couple of small but beautiful lakes right beside the trail. There will also be a turn off where you can access the popular Bear Lake.

You’ll continue onward and up to another high point. This is where you start getting into the best of the Holy Cross Wilderness. There are some great views as you continue, but also some steep descents. Thankfully these descents are relatively short. If hiking during the summer months beware that the mosquitoes are notoriously bad through this stretch.

You’ll then follow beside a stream as you leave the Holy Cross Wilderness. Eventually the trail will come to West Tennessee Creek, a good water source with some camping nearby. From here on out it is enjoyable and easy hiking through the forest.

As you near Tennessee Pass you’ll come to a swinging bench right alongside the trail. It is a wonderful place for a sit. You’ll also notice some large cabins in the distance, unfortunately these are rental cabins and not for hikers.

Section 25 then ends at Tennessee Pass, where the town of Leadville is accessible to the south via Highway 24.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Some nice views in the Holy Cross Wilderness.


Some steep climbs and descents.

Trailhead Elevation

10,039.00 ft (3,059.89 m)

Highest point

11,711.00 ft (3,569.51 m)


Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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