Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
3,982.00 ft (1,213.71 m)
Trail type
36.60 mi (58.90 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 24.

Section 24 is a scenic and enjoyable segment of the CDT. The majority of this section stays high on mesas, offering stunning views.

You’ll begin the section near Cerro Colorado and the Deadman Peaks, then climb slightly up to La Ventana Mesa. The trail follows near the rim of this mesa for quite a while. There are some ups and downs as the trail travels around undulations, and even some fun sections of slickrock hiking.

As you descend, Jones Canyon Spring is just off trail to the right. You’ll then cross the dry Arroyo Piedra Lumbre before heading toward the next mesa. The trail first skirts around the base of Mesa Portales before turning and climbing steeply up to the top.

The trail then follows the rim of the mesa with stunning views, and no more climbs. As you descend there is another water source (a solar well and cattle trough) off trail to the left.

The trail then comes to Highway 197 which you’ll follow to its junction with Highway 550. Follow 550 as it passes through the town of Cuba. Here you can resupply, enjoy a hot meal and stay the night if needed.

You’ll then turn right on Highway 126 and follow it out of town. Do be aware that there have been numerous reports of aggressive dogs along this stretch. Hike with your trekking poles ready to defend yourself if need be.

Follow 126 until turning left onto Eureka Mesa Road. Follow this road to the end of Section 24.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Mesa rim walking with stunning views.


Possible aggressive, loose dogs on roadwork out of Cuba.

Trailhead Elevation

6,565.00 ft (2,001.01 m)

Highest point

8,190.00 ft (2,496.31 m)


Backcountry camping
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required



Nearby Adventures


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