Continental Divide National Scenic Trail

Continental Divide National Scenic Trail

Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (Photo by Mike Blakeman)The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail provides spectacular backcountry travel for the length of the Rocky Mountains from Mexico to Canada. The nature and purposes of this trail are to provide for high-quality scenic, primitive hiking and horseback riding opportunities and to conserve natural, historic, and cultural resources along the [Trail's] corridor.

The Trail navigates diverse ecosystems through mountain meadows, granite peaks, and high-desert surroundings. Coined the "King of Trails," it is the longest and most challenging long-distance trail within the National Trails System.

BLM Colorado manages one mile of the nearly 800-mile Colorado section of the Trail itself, as well as many trails that provide access to this scenic trail.

Continental Divide Trail National Scenic Trail Logo


Total Length: 
~3,100 miles
Colorado BLM Management: 1 mile
Designated: 1978 (National Trails System Act; congressionally designated)


The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail winds in a north-south fashion through New Mexico, Colorado (~770 miles), Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. In Colorado, the Trail passes approximately 18 miles east of Pagosa Springs, seven miles east of Silverton, directly between Gunnison and Saguache, four miles north of Breckenridge, through Grand Lake, and seven miles east of Steamboat Springs. It also passes through Rocky Mountain National Park.

Recreation: Activities include hiking, backpacking, camping, horseback riding, wildlife viewing, and photography. There are also a number of cultural and scenic sites located in close proximity to the Trail, including Rocky Mountain National Park, numerous wilderness study areas, and more. For more information, visit the Recreation page. Please note that though recreation is encouraged on National Scenic and Historic Trails, specific types of recreation may be barred from a specific area or trail to prevent degradation of natural conditions.

National Scenic Trails are 100 miles or longer, continuous, primarily non-motorized routes of outstanding recreation opportunity. Such trails are established by an Act of Congress.

The three federal agencies that manage this trail: the Bureau of Land Management, the US Forest Service, and the National Park Service - work collaboratively with trail partners such as Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, the Continental Divide Trail Coalition, the Continental Divide Trail Society, Backcountry Horsemen, state, county, and municipal governmental agencies, private landowners, nonprofit groups, and many others.

Click here for additional information about the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. provides the best information about access, maps, and needs to hit the trail. Here is the ArcGIS map of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail.

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BLM Colorado State Office  |  (303) 239-3600  |  2850 Youngfield St., Lakewood, CO 80215

National Landscape Conservation System Program Lead  |  (303) 239-3752