Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
3,053.00 ft (930.55 m)
Trail type
Shuttle
Distance
13.00 mi (20.92 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 27.

Colorado Section 27 begins at Highway 91 near Copper Mountain Ski Resort. This section of trail takes hikers across the scenic Tenmile Range, before dropping down to Highway 9 near Breckenridge.

You’ll follow a paved bike/walking path for a minute before turning off onto the trail. The CDT then gains elevation steadily as it begins the long climb up to the crest of the Tenmile Range. The trail passes through nice forest for the first half of the climb, then begins to break above treeline. You’ll have stunning views back down toward Copper Mountain, and eventually you’ll reach the crest between Peak 5 and Peak 6. From here it’s (mostly) all downhill.

The trail makes a few switchbacks as it descends from the ridge. You’ll have great views down toward Breckenridge, and of the high mountain peaks in the distance (14ers Grays and Torreys are visible). You’ll traverse down the side of the mountain before coming to a saddle, then begin to leave the high peaks behind.

As you begin to enter the forest there is one quite steep downhill portion. The trail then continues to descend through the forest, although as you continue sadly many of the trees are dead due to wildfire or beetle kill.

It’s fairly easy hiking all the way down to Gold Hill Trailhead, which marks the end of the section. There is a bus stop near here where hikers can easily utilize the free bus system to get around Breckenridge and Frisco.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Stunning views from crest of Tenmile range.

Cons

Big climb and descent.

Trailhead Elevation

9,813.00 ft (2,991.00 m)

Highest point

12,486.00 ft (3,805.73 m)

Features

Backcountry camping
Wildlife
Big vistas

Typically multi-day

Yes

Permit required

No

Location

Nearby Adventures

Copper Mountain to Tennessee Pass Trailhead
Gore + Mosquito Range, Colorado

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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