Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
4,452.00 ft (1,356.97 m)
Trail type
Shuttle
Distance
20.40 mi (32.83 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 28.

Colorado Section 28 begins from from Gold Hill Trailhead alongside Highway 9. The towns of Breckenridge and Frisco can be accessed from here, in fact there is even a bus stop nearby where hikers can utilize the free bus system to get around. You’ll then cross the highway and walk through a neighborhood for a short distance before resuming on the trail as it switchbacks up a hillside.

You’ll continue ascending though young pine forest and open meadow areas. The trail then descends to a stream and some power lines. Next is a long but gentle ascent. Be aware that this is an extremely popular section of trail for mountain bikers, so keep an eye out!

Near the top of the ascent you’ll be able to see Keystone Ski Resort in the near distance. You’ll then descend down the ridge and come to several good water sources. The trail will parallel near a road for a bit. At one point you may hear some dogs barking and see a facility, this is a kennel area for sled dogs that give sled rides to guests during the winter months!

You’ll then cross the Middle Fork of the Swan River. There is lot of good camping around here. You’ll then begin the long ascent up to Georgia Pass. It’s a bit steep and rocky at first, but mellows out the further up you go. You’ll break above treeline as you near Georgia Pass and have great views.

When you come to a gravel road stop! This unmarked junction is the end of Colorado Section 28. It is also where the CDT leaves the Colorado Trail. Turn left here on the road to begin Section 29.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Easy hiking through young pine forest. Good views near Georgia Pass.

Cons

Mountain bikers.

Trailhead Elevation

9,183.00 ft (2,798.98 m)

Highest point

11,769.00 ft (3,587.19 m)

Features

Backcountry camping
Wildlife
Big vistas

Typically multi-day

Yes

Permit required

No

Location

Nearby Adventures

Goldhill Trailhead to Copper Mountain
Horseshoe Gulch, Hay Trail, Red Trail + Colorado Trail

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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