Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
3,389.00 ft (1,032.97 m)
Trail type
23.60 mi (37.98 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 some 3,100 miles across 5 states from Mexico to Canada. The trail travels through the Rocky Mountains, exploring a vast array of different environments and landscapes along the way. The New Mexico portion of the trail features 820 miles of diverse hiking from the desolate Chihuahuan Desert in the south, to the unique Canyons of the Gila River, to the Rocky Mountains in the north. Exploring the Continental Divide Trail can be done as a single thru hike that will take 4-6 months, or by section hiking smaller segments. In this guide we’ll look at New Mexico Section 28.

While previous sections may have given the northbound thru-hiker a taste of the mountains, Section 28 is where you’ll finally leave the desert behind as you climb into the mountains and ever nearer to Colorado.

The section begins from Highway 84. You’ll cross a creek, then begin climbing. You’ll cross over a seasonal stream several times that may have water as you ascend. The trail is a bit brushy in areas, and is easy to loose every now and then (markers are few and far in between).

You’ll continue climbing until you get above 9,000’. There is a great spring just off trail, be sure to fill up here. This is also the point where the Ghost Ranch Alternate reconnects with the official CDT.

From here on the terrain is gorgeous. High mountain vistas and rolling pastureland dominate the landscape. As you walk through the open pastureland and meadows the trail can again be faint and a bit tricky to follow.

Continue along until reaching County Road 280 which marks the end of this section.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Fantastic mountain vistas, open meadows and pastureland.


Trail can be a bit hard to follow at times.

Trailhead Elevation

6,884.00 ft (2,098.24 m)

Highest point

9,626.00 ft (2,934.00 m)


Backcountry camping
Big vistas
Bird watching

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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