Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
3,282.00 ft (1,000.35 m)
Trail type
11.50 mi (18.51 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 39.

Colorado Section 39 begins from Troublesome Pass with a somewhat gentle climb, but with occasional steep sections. The first 8 miles are waterless. When you begin to break above treeline there is a great camping area, one that can also be driven to.

You’ll then remain (mostly) above treeline as you skirt around some mountains. Continue along, then tackle the steep climb up and around Sheep Mountain. There are great views from the high point near Sheep Mountain.

The trail continues to follow the ridge (although not always directly atop). There are a few steep ups and downs, as well as faint trail in areas. You’ll then descend down to the Middle Fork of Arapaho Creek, a welcome water source with some nice camping nearby.

The trail then ascends a creek valley lush with flowers and small vegetation. Be sure to watch for a switchback that is easy to miss. The trail then ascends to the ridge where it joins a 4x4 road and Section 39 comes to an end.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Some nice views and ridge walking around Sheep Mountain.


Not the most exciting section. A couple steep but short climbs.

Trailhead Elevation

10,045.00 ft (3,061.72 m)

Highest point

11,521.00 ft (3,511.60 m)


Backcountry camping
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping


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