Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
3,556.00 ft (1,083.87 m)
Trail type
11.70 mi (18.83 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 38.

Colorado Section 38 begins from Highway 125 and Willow Creek Pass. There is limited water during this section, but there may be some small snow melt streams on the climb up Parkview Mountain during early summer. From the pass the trail gently ascends. There is also the option to take a 4x4 road (which used to be the official CDT) as an alternate up Parkview Mountain.

If taking the trail, you’ll follow a forested ridgeline until you begin to break above treeline. Once out of the forest the trail steepens and switchbacks its way up. You’ll eventually gain the summit ridge of Parkview Mountain, which you’ll follow all the way to the top.

There is a small summit shelter atop the mountain. The trail then turns right (can be an easy turn to miss) and descends. Keep an eye out for carins and posts that mark the path, as the trail is faint through here. Continue down until you come to a saddle, then climb again up to the ridge.

You’ll follow this ridge for a while then descend the numerous switchbacks down into the forest, and soon to a burn area. The trail skirts around Haystack Mountain, passes two potential water sources, and then comes to Troublesome Pass which marks the end of Section 38.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Great views on Parkview Mountain.


Big climb. Limited water.

Trailhead Elevation

9,606.00 ft (2,927.91 m)

Highest point

12,291.00 ft (3,746.30 m)


Backcountry camping
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping


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