Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
4,061.00 ft (1,237.79 m)
Trail type
25.30 mi (40.72 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 26.

Colorado Section 26 begins from Tennessee Pass, where the town of Leadville can be reached to the south via Highway 24. For the first couple miles of the trail is easy hiking. You’ll follow a gently graded old road through the forest before the trail opens up along Mitchell Creek.

You’ll cross the highway and continue north. Eventually the trail makes its may out of the forest and crosses the East Fork Eagle River. There are some interesting historic military bunkers near here. You’ll then turn right onto a gravel road. The trail follows the road (or right next to it) for a while. This isn’t the most exciting hiking.

Eventually you’ll leave the road behind. There is a cool small waterfall that the trail passes beside. Soon after you’ll begin climbing as the trail stays near Cataract Creek. This is the start of a long (and often steep) climb up all the way to Kokomo Pass.

As you near the pass (12,022ft) the views turn stunning. From Kokomo Pass the trail continues to ascend (surprise!) as it traverses up to Elk Ridge and eventually over to Searle Pass. This stretch of trail is breathtaking with gorgeous views and amazing wildflowers.

From Searle Pass you’ll begin a long and gradual descent. The trail follows the Guller Creek Valley. This is a beautiful valley and quite enjoyable hiking. You’ll follow Guller Creek until the trail curves right and begins to enter Copper Mountain Ski Area.

You’ll then walk through the resort, under a few chair lifts, and right by the Center Village - an excellent place to stop and grab a bite to eat at one of the several restaurants here. The trail then continues through the ski area until reaching Highway 91 and the end of the section.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Stunning hiking from Kokomo Pass to Copper Mountain.


Near Camp Hale isn't the most exciting hiking.

Trailhead Elevation

10,437.00 ft (3,181.20 m)

Highest point

12,278.00 ft (3,742.33 m)


Backcountry camping
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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