Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
4,391.00 ft (1,338.38 m)
Trail type
31.50 mi (50.69 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 29.

Section 29 begins already high in the mountains along the remote County Road 280. You’ll continue through this scenic terrain as you follow a somewhat recent trail reroute (if you have an older mapset, you may find it to be a bit off).

The CDT comes out of the forest at Upper Canjilon Lake. This scenic small lake is a great spot to take a rest (picnic tables, vault toilet and trash) but is also quite popular with locals as a fishing hole.

From the lake, the trail begins a gradual ascent as it follows Canjilon Creek upstream. You’ll eventually leave the creek behind and top out at over 10,500’.

From here you’ll follow a mix of forest roads and new singletrack trail. Continue gradually descending until you reach the Rio Vallecitos River. This is a good sized waterway, and can run high during spring melt.

After crossing, you’ll again ascend. An option for an interesting short detour soon follows. You’ll see a sign labeled “Icarus” which will leads to a shrine, certainly something you don’t see everyday along the CDT.

After this the CDT continues ascending through some beautiful country. You’ll eventually come to Hopewell Lake where there is a campground and day use area. Section 29 comes to an end just after this at Highway 64.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Gorgeous mountain scenery.

Trailhead Elevation

9,259.00 ft (2,822.14 m)

Highest point

10,579.00 ft (3,224.48 m)


Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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