Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
4,588.00 ft (1,398.42 m)
Trail type
Shuttle
Distance
16.20 mi (26.07 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 30.

Colorado Section 30 begins along CO RD 260. This road parallels beautiful but supposedly toxic Peru Creek. There is a trailhead and parking area here, just after which you’ll turn right and leave the road for nice singletrack trail. The CDT then starts climbing, the start of a long day with lots of vert!

The trail makes a single switchback and turns left before ascending up to Argentine Pass. The ascent is long, steady and steep with some exposure in areas. Along the way you’ll have amazing views down the Peru Creek Valley and to Grays Peak. You’ll finally top out at Argentine Pass. Enjoy the views, and try not to get annoyed at the fact that you could’ve driven up here from the other side.

From here its all ridge walking to the summit of Grays Peak. Follow the faint trail and cairns up the ridge and over a few small summits. After a climb up Mount Edwards (13,856’) the terrain really gets fun.

The ridgeline between Edwards and Grays is very enjoyable class 2/easy class 3 terrain with some exposure and spectacular views. You’ll need to use your hands in areas. The ridge makes a couple ups and downs, then becomes less exciting as you near Grays Peak. The final push to the summit is a steep and exhausting climb up the east face.

The trail then tops out on Grays Peak. At an elevation of 14,275 feet this is the highest point on the entire CDT. Unfortunately you won’t be alone on the summit, as Grays is an extremely popular day hike. From here you can begin the descent, or continue down the saddle and up next door 14er Torreys Peak for a bonus summit.

The trail then descends down to the main trailhead. You’ll follow the gravel road the remainder of the way down, before turning left onto a paved bike path - quite the difference from the ridge you were on earlier in the day!

The CDT follows the bike path most of the way to Interstate 70 where you’ll then cross under and come to Herman Gulch Trailhead. This marks the end of Section 30.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Amazing ridge walk between Edwards and Grays Peaks. Great views.

Cons

Lots of day hikers on Grays Peak. Gravel road and paved bike path to end section.

Trailhead Elevation

10,916.00 ft (3,327.20 m)

Highest point

14,275.00 ft (4,351.02 m)

Features

Wildlife
Big vistas
Backcountry camping

Typically multi-day

Yes

Permit required

No

Location

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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