Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
2,513.00 ft (765.96 m)
Trail type
21.30 mi (34.28 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 31.

Section 31 is the last of New Mexico for northbound thru hikers. The previous few sections have provided a small taste of the mountains to come in Colorado, and Section 31 is no different, topping out at over 11,000 feet in elevation at its highest point.

You’ll begin by walking a gravel road that leads to the Lagunitas Lakes. These small but gorgeous lakes are well worth taking a break at. There are even 2 small campgrounds here that are unlikely to be full and offer free camping (with vault toilets). One campground is at lake level, and one is just above the lakes.

The trail then skirts the border of the Cruces Basin Wilderness. Soon thereafter you’ll have your first views of the San Juan Mountains of Colorado that are quickly approaching. In fact, you’ll have many great views during this next stretch as the trail stays above treeline for a while.

You’ll then descend down to some pastureland before making one last ascent up to 11,000’.

The last highlight of this section is of course the New Mexico/Colorado border. There is a small sign at the state line. This marks the end of New Mexico Section 31, and the start of Colorado Section 1. Cumbres Pass is only 3 miles north of here where hikers can hitch into Chama.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Lagunitas Lakes. Great views. Done with New Mexico!

Trailhead Elevation

10,254.00 ft (3,125.42 m)

Highest point

11,031.00 ft (3,362.25 m)


Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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