Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
3,810.00 ft (1,161.29 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 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 Wyoming portion of the CDT features nearly 550 miles of incredibly diverse terrain. You’ll pass through the open desert plains of the Great Basin, the craggy ice carved peaks of the Wind River Range, and the steaming geysers and volcanic activity of Yellowstone National Park. In this guide we’ll take a closer look at Wyoming Section 19.

Wyoming Section 19 begins by crossing the North Buffalo Fork River. This is a proper river and the ford can be dangerous if water levels are high, use caution. You’ll then roughly follow the river upstream, although you are not near the water at most times.

There are a few small climbs, but nothing too bad during this initial stretch. You’ll notice heavy signs of horse use as this is a popular area for that. There are also some good campsites scattered about, with open meadow land and the beautiful winding river nearby.

The CDT then forks to the left, where you’ll climb through an old burn area. The trail will then descend down to Pacific Creek which you’ll cross on a deteriorating old bridge. A big climb then awaits. This 2,000 foot climb has switchbacks to start, but then just continues straight up. You’ll cross Two Ocean Creek which, as the name implies, eventually flows both into the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans after splitting - a unique creek indeed.

As you near the top of the climb the terrain opens up and the views get better. The very top features fantastic 360 degree views, including the Tetons in the distance. There are two small lakes up top. You’ll then descend somewhat steeply down to Mink Creek. The trail follows near the creek for a while, then climbs slightly.

Next you’ll descend to the Snake River. There is an option here to follow the official CDT, or to hike the old CDT which is a more obvious and clearer trail. You’ll then continue through a large open meadow, and finally come to the border of Yellowstone National Park. This marks the end of Section 19. Please note that a permit is required to camp in any of the backcountry sites in Yellowstone.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Big mountain terrain. Some nice rivers and streams.

Trailhead Elevation

7,380.00 ft (2,249.42 m)

Highest point

10,082.00 ft (3,072.99 m)


Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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