Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
6,519.00 ft (1,986.99 m)
Trail type
41.40 mi (66.63 km)
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The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail spans nearly 3,100 miles across 5 states from Mexico to Canada, traversing 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 Montana-Idaho portion of the CDT features nearly 1,000 miles of diverse mountain terrain. You’ll pass alongside the lofty peaks of the Anaconda, Bitterroot and Beaverhead Mountains; walk through the rugged and remote Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex; and finally arrive at the “Crown of the Continent” that is Glacier National Park. In this guide we’ll take a closer look at Montana-Idaho Section 28.

Montana-Idaho Section 28 begins from Two Medicine Campground. From here the CDT follows the Pitamakan Pass Trail as it ascends alongside the Dry Fork, past Oldman Lake (camping here, permit required) and eventually up to the namesake pass. It is also possible to get here via the Dawson Pass Alternate, a popular and incredibly scenic alt.

From the pass you’ll have amazing views down to Pitamakan Lake and Seven Winds of the Lake. The trail passes between these two lakes, then descends to Morning Star Lake (camping here, permit required).

After Morning Star the hiking is fairly mellow and easy going. You’ll eventually cross Atlantic Creek where there is a small waterfall upstream. Turn left on the Triple Divide Trail. There is camping just up trail from here (Atlantic Creek, permit required).

The trail then climbs steadily up to Triple Divide Pass. Along the way you’ll have stunning views of Medicine Grizzly Lake. Triple Divide Peak (8,018’) rises prominently just west of the pass. This peak is an important geographical feature, as three different watersheds originate from here, leading to the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic (Hudson Bay) Oceans.

You’ll descend from the pass following the Hudson Bay drainage. Keep descending down the valley, coming to Red Eagle Creek and a small wooden suspension bridge. Red Eagle Lake is next (camping here, permit required). Continue along through the relatively unexciting terrain until turning left and contouring above Saint Mary Lake.

Continue until reaching Virginia Falls. You’ll suddenly run into a mass of day hikers as you descend along the beautiful and rugged Virginia Creek. Saint Mary Falls is another highlight of this stretch. There is some great swimming near here too.

The CDT then turns left on the Piegan Pass Trail, past Reynolds Creek Campground (permit required) then up to the Going to the Sun Road. This marks the end of the section.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

National Park Pass

Open Year-round



Diverse section with stunning scenery. Triple Divide Pass.


Some areas of trail may be a bit brushy and overgrown.

Trailhead Elevation

5,176.00 ft (1,577.64 m)

Highest point

7,606.00 ft (2,318.31 m)


Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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