Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
2,426.00 ft (739.44 m)
Trail type
13.00 mi (20.92 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 6.

Section 6 is a short segment of the CDT that begins from Squaw Pass. To access it you’ll need to hike the Squaw Creek Trail up through the valley to the CDT.

You’ll gain some elevation, then contour beneath some mountains for a while and pass some small ponds. The trail can be faint in areas, so pay attention.

The trail ascends further and features a short but scenic ridge walk. The trail eventually descends to a saddle, then climbs up to a flat and rocky plateau.

You’ll hike atop the plateau for a while before descending to a valley and marshy area. The trail is thick and overgrown with brushy willows in this area.

The trail then climbs slightly up from the valley. From the top you’ll then descend to the North Fork Los Pinos and continue to follow this river valley downstream.

The trail eventually comes to a very large and scenic meadow. There is some good camping along the edge of this meadow. Look for the wooden posts that mark the route across the meadow. You’ll cross the Los Pinos River and Rincon La Vaca en route to the other side. Section 6 then ends at a trail junction on the far side of the meadow.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Scenic views. A beautiful large meadow at end of section.


Faint and/or overgrown trail in areas.

Trailhead Elevation

11,212.00 ft (3,417.42 m)

Highest point

12,761.00 ft (3,889.55 m)


Backcountry camping
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Lodging + Camping


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