Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
1,774.00 ft (540.72 m)
Trail type
7.90 mi (12.71 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 9.

Colorado Section 9 begins near Beartown Trailhead. You’ll gain elevation as the trail climbs and then eventually tops out with some spectacular wide open landscapes with stunning views of the high mountain peaks all around. You’ll soon come to the junction of the Colorado Trail. Taking a left here would ultimately take you to Durango. Continue straight. For the next couple hundred miles the CDT and the Colorado Trail are the same.

You’ll continue to have amazing views of the surrounding mountains as you hike, including the Needle Mountains and the Grenadier Range (with prominent Arrow and Vestal Peaks). As you continue hiking through the rolling terrain you’ll come across some small rock formations, and a few small ponds.

Next you’ll have a descent, followed by an ascent up some long switchbacks. You’ll work your way up toward Stony Pass Road. Near the road and to the left you can see the remnants of an old building, probably from an old mining operation. Once you reach the road this marks the end of section 9.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Stunning mountain views. Rolling, wide open terrain.

Trailhead Elevation

11,804.00 ft (3,597.86 m)

Highest point

12,694.00 ft (3,869.13 m)


Backcountry camping
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required




Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.