Continental Divide Trail: Copper Mountain to Bakerville, CO

Travel across lush forest, grassy meadows, and exposed alpine slopes to the rocky crown of Grays Peak on this 67-mile section of the Continental Divide Trail.
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Travel across lush forest, grassy meadows, and exposed alpine slopes to the rocky crown of Grays Peak on this 67-mile section of the Continental Divide Trail.

Tread the Rockies' rooftop on this spectacular trek through the Front Range. It's six days of alpine splendor: Mountain goats skip through wildflower fields, mining ruins abound, and steely summits rise in all directions. Charge your camera battery, pack a windshell, and soar up a route that rambles mostly between 10,000 and 13,000 feet.
Day one starts with a three-mile climb through conifers, then crosses the exposed talus fields of the Tenmile Range. Camp below treeline near Miners Creek. On day two, you'll wind across wooded slopes overlooking the Swan River and hunker down for the night among the pines above Horseshoe Gulch. Day three's route stays just below treeline but peeks through openings back across the Tenmile Range. On day four, you enter the alpine zone where 13,370-foot Mt. Guyot looms above flower-filled tundra and marmots whistle at you.
“We saw herds of mountain goats,” says team leader Katie Richards, “and one even came within seven feet of us.” After crossing the Continental Divide, scale 14,270-foot Grays Peak for views over two watersheds. Follow Stevens Gulch down to Bakerville to finish.
-Text by Kelly Bastone
-Mapped by Team 23: Katie Richards, Kim Phillips, Kevin Hollebeek, Matt Vellone, and Chic Chilcott

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 107.8

Waypoints

CDT001

Location: 39.497269, -106.136383

From Copper Mtn.'s Corn Lot, head E on the Colorado Trail/Continental Divide Trail

CDT002

Location: 39.497326, -106.135696

Cross wooden bridge over rushing Tenmile Creek, then walk across meadow toward CDT post

CDT003

Location: 39.495544, -106.133507

Cross two wooden footbridges; good water source

CDT004

Location: 39.493938, -106.131233

Walk across boardwalk over trickling creek

CDT005

Location: 39.482388, -106.125191

Good campsites down hill on R

CDT006

Location: 39.482666, -106.12487

Leave trail for brief descent to campsite tucked in trees on R

CDT007

Location: 39.477718, -106.117226

Stream crossing; lush, verdant hillsides covered with seasonal wildflowers (Indian paintbrush, etc.)

CDT008

Location: 39.47559, -106.115425

L @ 3-way (-|) with Wheeler Trail; small boulder-filled gully on R

CDT009

Location: 39.477196, -106.115349

Views of Copper Mtn.

CDT010

Location: 39.48196, -106.115891

Walk across meadow

CDT011

Location: 39.484692, -106.112457

Trail passes above treeline

CDT012

Location: 39.489246, -106.112885

Traverse boulder field

CDT013

Location: 39.497314, -106.113922

Navigate boulders strewn on saddle, then head N along ridgetop

CDT014

Location: 39.498791, -106.114029

Take a snack break on boulders, then continue trek N

CDT015

Location: 39.504848, -106.113708

Follow switchbacks that drop below the Tenmile ridgetop

CDT016

Location: 39.514301, -106.109467

Traverse boulder field, heading N

CDT017

Location: 39.521877, -106.110756

Descend small saddle through several switchbacks. The rocky slopes of Peak 4 loom to the W

CDT018

Location: 39.523411, -106.111778

Trail passes below treeline into shady forest; continue NE

CDT019

Location: 39.526768, -106.109718

Stream crossing

CDT020

Location: 39.528278, -106.108261

Trees surrounding trail are a good place to escape stormy weather. Trail continues N

CDT021

Location: 39.533173, -106.098694

Navigate a slightly-tilted, slippery log boardwalk that leads across stream (watch your footing where logs are missing)

CDT022

Location: 39.533016, -106.097664

R @ 3-way

CDT023

Location: 39.530041, -106.089897

Cross stream on log

CDT024

Location: 39.53064, -106.088646

Cross stream on log

CDT025

Location: 39.533798, -106.082443

Walk across bridge

CDT026

Location: 39.533535, -106.080872

L @ T

CDT027

Location: 39.537537, -106.081696

R @ Y

CDT028

Location: 39.539558, -106.07608

Straight @ 4-way

CDT029

Location: 39.542507, -106.057991

Stay R @ 4-way, heading E

CDT030

Location: 39.541004, -106.042068

Trail meets CO 9. Note: Backpacker's CDT map showed the trail heading N at this point. Instead, turn R onto paved walking/bike path, heading S towards Breckenridge

CDT031

Location: 39.537971, -106.042381

Carefully cross CO 9 @ Summit Stage bus stop to Tiger Run. Next, follow Revette Dr. as it curves around to the NE

CDT032

Location: 39.540539, -106.03614

Leave road and rejoin Colorado Trail on L, heading SE to small footbridge

CDT033

Location: 39.54031, -106.035522

L @ Y

CDT034

Location: 39.542416, -106.035172

Turn L @ T (first switchback). Climb four more switchbacks that cut across wooded slopes

CDT035

Location: 39.5429, -106.011154

Straight @ 3-way with side trail that enters on L

CDT036

Location: 39.542042, -106.006577

Straight @ 3-way (-|) as trail dips to the SE

CDT037

Location: 39.536182, -105.999367

Filter water from small stream. Next, turn L @ Y, heading N

CDT038

Location: 39.536488, -105.9991

R @ Y

CDT039

Location: 39.539837, -105.990334

Good campsite tucked between conifers on R side of trail

CDT040

Location: 39.539654, -105.985298

L @ T

CDT041

Location: 39.540749, -105.971352

Trail cuts across a grassy meadow

CDT042

Location: 39.541355, -105.971359

Views of Dillon

CDT043

Location: 39.542122, -105.971542

R @ 3-way

CDT044

Location: 39.542763, -105.969322

Views across meadow

CDT045

Location: 39.546391, -105.96814

Trail hugs the ridge

CDT046

Location: 39.550999, -105.958115

Straight @ 3-way

CDT047

Location: 39.545525, -105.950371

Look between gaps in trees on L for views of Keystone's chair lifts

CDT048

Location: 39.541313, -105.945183

Straight @ 3-way

CDT049

Location: 39.521366, -105.937492

Cross bridge

CDT050

Location: 39.519188, -105.938278

Straight @ 4-way

CDT051

Location: 39.516518, -105.934731

Cross a dirt road

CDT052

Location: 39.516449, -105.933861

R @ Y

CDT053

Location: 39.515507, -105.935051

Walk past numerous campsites

CDT054

Location: 39.51421, -105.937065

Cross bridge

CDT055

Location: 39.497868, -105.925529

Turn R where trail meets dirt road

CDT056

Location: 39.497742, -105.925713

Turn L to rejoin CDT, leaving dirt road

CDT057

Location: 39.497471, -105.925766

Cross bridge over Middle Fork Swan River's muddy waters

CDT058

Location: 39.49696, -105.925735

Cross clear stream on logs

CDT059

Location: 39.492283, -105.921196

Pass small lake on L

CDT060

Location: 39.488796, -105.922325

Straight @ 4-way

CDT061

Location: 39.483948, -105.920319

Straight @ 4-way

CDT062

Location: 39.483448, -105.915215

Good campsites between trees on R side of trail

CDT063

Location: 39.482372, -105.909882

Walk across small meadow; striking views of Mt. Guyot's bald, red-stained slopes appear on R

CDT064

Location: 39.464741, -105.90564

Views open up as you leave the forest

CDT065

Location: 39.461128, -105.910294

L @ 4-way

CDT066

Location: 39.46312, -105.905334

R @ Y

CDT067

Location: 39.463322, -105.904892

Straight @ 4-way

CDT068

Location: 39.479095, -105.89389

Summit an unnamed grassy highpoint. Ahead: Descend grassy terrain, then start steady NE ascent toward Glacier Peak (12,853 ft.)

CDT069

Location: 39.494324, -105.873375

Traverse wide, grassy ridge

CDT070

Location: 39.494495, -105.866371

Summit Whale Peak (13,078 ft.), then head N for descent to a small saddle

CDT071

Location: 39.49641, -105.866699

Faint trail leads across saddle

CDT072

Location: 39.501457, -105.864235

Rocky point rises above grassy slopes; look for herds of grazing mountain goats

CDT073

Location: 39.501961, -105.863976

End of faint trail

CDT074

Location: 39.503902, -105.862007

Cairn

CDT075

Location: 39.505592, -105.860268

Fire ring and/or cairn

CDT076

Location: 39.505981, -105.859528

L @ 4WD road

CDT077

Location: 39.513443, -105.862442

Straight @ 3-way

CDT078

Location: 39.52087, -105.868912

Straight @ 3-way

CDT079

Location: 39.526699, -105.865341

Straight @ 3-way. NOTE: For a more direct route, you can also turn R @ 3-way and follow steep 4WD road to the top of Teller Mountain

CDT080

Location: 39.527615, -105.865562

Straight @ 3-way

CDT081

Location: 39.529083, -105.866692

R @ 3-way

CDT082

Location: 39.532505, -105.8657

Pass mine on L

CDT083

Location: 39.535248, -105.864777

Turn R on Radical Hill, heading E

CDT084

Location: 39.534714, -105.861427

L @ old trail

CDT085

Location: 39.534992, -105.85817

L @ 4WD road

CDT086

Location: 39.536182, -105.856392

4WD road crests a summit of Teller Mtn., then begins steep descent down rocky switchbacks. ATV's zip up and down this rugged road

CDT087

Location: 39.534465, -105.8534

Road passes an old cabin

CDT088

Location: 39.536751, -105.842438

Road continues descent, heading below treeline

CDT089

Location: 39.537483, -105.841705

R @ Y

CDT090

Location: 39.537579, -105.841194

R @ T

CDT091

Location: 39.537251, -105.840225

Potential campsites in narrow Snake River valley. A good place to stop before long stretch above treeline. Next, follow 4WD road up to Webster Pass. Note: The mapped section to Webster Pass on 4WD road differs from route suggested on Backpacker's CDT map, which was not apparent from the trail

CDT092

Location: 39.532814, -105.839592

Switchback veers L, heading E to Webster Pass

CDT093

Location: 39.531254, -105.832611

Webster Pass

CDT094

Location: 39.531387, -105.832489

Turn L onto climber's trail

CDT095

Location: 39.532513, -105.831856

Walk across loose rock

CDT096

Location: 39.533085, -105.831001

Trail crosses talus

CDT097

Location: 39.531334, -105.826477

Turn L @ road; cairn

CDT098

Location: 39.531013, -105.825523

Turn L onto trail

CDT099

Location: 39.533489, -105.822273

Cairn

CDT100

Location: 39.53307, -105.821541

Cairn

CDT101

Location: 39.533264, -105.821213

L @ ridge

CDT102

Location: 39.533215, -105.821068

Pass trail post

CDT103

Location: 39.536453, -105.820534

Cairn

CDT104

Location: 39.536682, -105.820358

Cairn

CDT105

Location: 39.538136, -105.819107

Cairn

CDT106

Location: 39.538326, -105.818848

Cairn

CDT107

Location: 39.538506, -105.817818

L @ ridge

CDT108

Location: 39.53833, -105.81781

Unnamed peak

CDT109

Location: 39.539703, -105.818382

Cairn

CDT110

Location: 39.540913, -105.818542

Cairn

CDT111

Location: 39.543186, -105.819084

Cairn marks faint trail

CDT112

Location: 39.543682, -105.819122

Walk across narrow saddle on Continental Divide

CDT113

Location: 39.544296, -105.819069

Cairn

CDT114

Location: 39.547867, -105.817566

Bear R, traversing Landslide Peak's SW slopes

CDT115

Location: 39.549854, -105.817085

Pass a cairn. Continue traversing grassy slopes, heading NW below Landslide Peak (13,238 ft.)

CDT116

Location: 39.552567, -105.819939

Dramatic views extend to the N from saddle. Look down scree-laden slopes to find Josephine Lake

CDT117

Location: 39.552845, -105.821716

Mine

CDT118

Location: 39.554272, -105.823952

Summit the rocky crown of Geneva Peak (13,266 ft.), then begin rocky descent of windy, talus-covered slopes. Watch footing on this section

CDT119

Location: 39.554771, -105.824646

Cairn

CDT120

Location: 39.554974, -105.825203

Cairn

CDT121

Location: 39.555271, -105.825531

Cairn

CDT122

Location: 39.555439, -105.825676

Cairn

CDT123

Location: 39.556419, -105.825966

Cairn

CDT124

Location: 39.55685, -105.826248

Cairn

CDT125

Location: 39.557129, -105.826492

Cairn

CDT126

Location: 39.557438, -105.826485

Cairn

CDT127

Location: 39.557899, -105.826668

Cairn

CDT128

Location: 39.558125, -105.827034

Cairn

CDT129

Location: 39.558617, -105.827026

Walk NW across saddle, passing a cairn

CDT130

Location: 39.56002, -105.828247

Cairn

CDT131

Location: 39.560478, -105.828903

Cairn

CDT132

Location: 39.560661, -105.828934

Cairn

CDT133

Location: 39.560963, -105.829529

Cairn

CDT134

Location: 39.561314, -105.829178

Cairn

CDT135

Location: 39.562008, -105.82943

Cairn

CDT136

Location: 39.563042, -105.828743

Cairn

CDT137

Location: 39.563187, -105.828514

Trail summits Sullivan Peak (13,134 ft.), then travels NW along ridge

CDT138

Location: 39.564266, -105.829033

Cairn

CDT139

Location: 39.565464, -105.829788

Cairn

CDT140

Location: 39.566051, -105.830132

Pass a cairn marked with the word "SWCORZAP1"

CDT141

Location: 39.567413, -105.833237

Mine

CDT142

Location: 39.567852, -105.83432

Pass a mine. Ahead, 4WD road curves around Santa Fe Peak (13,180 ft.)

CDT143

Location: 39.570129, -105.837814

Begin descent on 4WD road

CDT144

Location: 39.57777, -105.838562

Stream crosses dirt road

CDT145

Location: 39.577812, -105.839378

Keep straight @ 3-way; views N into Warden Gulch. Ahead, the CDT travels NNW along Collier Mtn., circles around Morgan Peak, then descends into Warden Gulch

CDT146

Location: 39.580986, -105.842712

R @ Y; leave jeep road for narrow trail cut through grass

CDT147

Location: 39.587864, -105.849907

Leave ridge; trail swings to the NE, traversing grassing slopes

CDT148

Location: 39.586182, -105.841988

Mine on L

CDT149

Location: 39.583916, -105.840988

Mine

CDT150

Location: 39.586407, -105.835625

Cross stream

CDT151

Location: 39.586494, -105.835114

Cross stream

CDT152

Location: 39.591591, -105.835106

Cross wide stream

CDT153

Location: 39.593151, -105.835121

Pass campsite on L

CDT154

Location: 39.596104, -105.832687

Trail swings to the L, heading NW. A stream flows down on R side of trail

CDT155

Location: 39.598434, -105.834991

Campsite on R

CDT156

Location: 39.598614, -105.835907

Campsite on R

CDT157

Location: 39.598724, -105.836166

Straight @ 3-way

CDT158

Location: 39.599262, -105.83886

Powerlines on R

CDT159

Location: 39.599365, -105.839684

Straight @ 3-way

CDT160

Location: 39.599655, -105.840263

Turn R, heading N

CDT161

Location: 39.600109, -105.839981

Ford wide stream

CDT162

Location: 39.600449, -105.840172

Turn R onto dirt road, heading E

CDT163

Location: 39.602726, -105.812996

L @ Y

CDT164

Location: 39.609116, -105.798866

Set up camp @ Shoe Basin Mine parking area. Peru Creek's milky waters rush down on the R. A good place to stop before last leg of trip

CDT165

Location: 39.613579, -105.796349

Turn R and leave 4WD road @ Argentine Pass trailhead, heading E toward Peru Creek. Note: Prepare for strenuous stretch ahead from Argentine Pass to Grays Peak. You'll encounter a series of steep climbs and descents, a rocky, knife-edge ridge, and exposed 14,000-ft. terrain.

CDT166

Location: 39.613518, -105.796127

Ford Peru Creek (may be knee-deep or higher), then turn R. Trail winds to the S, then curves SE

CDT167

Location: 39.612228, -105.793991

Cross stream

CDT168

Location: 39.611301, -105.793121

Small stream

CDT169

Location: 39.606678, -105.789619

Trail becomes rocky

CDT170

Location: 39.606689, -105.789322

Powerline on R side of trail

CDT171

Location: 39.610512, -105.788513

Trail cuts across boulder field

CDT172

Location: 39.617752, -105.786133

Short scramble up rocky face

CDT173

Location: 39.624027, -105.783165

Post

CDT174

Location: 39.62429, -105.783081

Possible shelter

CDT175

Location: 39.625584, -105.782303

Top of Argentine Pass; head N

CDT176

Location: 39.626144, -105.78228

Posts

CDT177

Location: 39.626675, -105.78231

Cairn

CDT178

Location: 39.627136, -105.782417

Cairn

CDT179

Location: 39.62719, -105.782661

Cairn

CDT180

Location: 39.628532, -105.782806

Cairn

CDT181

Location: 39.630283, -105.78363

Cairn

CDT182

Location: 39.631184, -105.784554

Cairn

CDT183

Location: 39.631748, -105.786079

Wind shelter

CDT184

Location: 39.633846, -105.789948

Cairn

CDT185

Location: 39.634682, -105.790779

Cairn

CDT186

Location: 39.634579, -105.791443

Cairn

CDT187

Location: 39.635506, -105.792686

Cairn

CDT188

Location: 39.63644, -105.794128

Walk across Mt. Edwards summit (13,850 ft.), then head W along knife-edge ridge toward Grays Peak. Caution: Knife-edge may be tricky to navigate with heavy packs. Loose rock, windy weather, and route-finding make this a challenging stretch

CDT189

Location: 39.636478, -105.797974

Saddle

CDT190

Location: 39.6357, -105.800629

Descend knife-edge ridge

CDT191

Location: 39.635551, -105.801125

Saddle

CDT192

Location: 39.635582, -105.802811

Crest rocky pinnacle

CDT193

Location: 39.635216, -105.805023

Crest another rocky pinnacle

CDT194

Location: 39.634975, -105.807495

Pass small overhang

CDT195

Location: 39.635197, -105.80806

Saddle

CDT196

Location: 39.635384, -105.809464

Steep scree slope drops off on R. Listen for the sounds of falling rocks as mountain goats traverse back and forth

CDT197

Location: 39.635227, -105.811943

Keep straight; steep climb continues

CDT198

Location: 39.634853, -105.813293

Straight @ 3-way

CDT199

Location: 39.634293, -105.814636

Trail reaches 14,000 ft.

CDT200

Location: 39.634277, -105.814682

Turn R

CDT201

Location: 39.633465, -105.816795

S end of Grays Peak

CDT202

Location: 39.633831, -105.817566

Grays Peak (14,270 ft.): This popular, often crowded, summit offers incredible views of Summit County and its neighboring 14er Torreys Peak. Next, begin switchback descent that drops into Stevens Gulch to the NE

CDT203

Location: 39.636177, -105.811859

L @ jct.

CDT204

Location: 39.637917, -105.813217

R @ T

CDT205

Location: 39.640301, -105.812019

Wind break on L

CDT206

Location: 39.647144, -105.801628

Cross stream

CDT207

Location: 39.660519, -105.78492

Cross bridge

CDT208

Location: 39.660854, -105.784492

Grays Peak trailhead and parking area. Follow the 4WD road to its jct. with I-70

CDT209

Location: 39.680061, -105.805504

Straight @ 3-way

CDT210

Location: 39.688049, -105.804382

L @ Y

CDT211

Location: 39.691078, -105.803459

R @ Y

CDT212

Location: 39.691391, -105.804871

Road meets I-70

The Tenmile Ridgetop

Location: 39.499199, -106.114197

Mist and clouds settle over the Tenmile Range.

Tenmile Range

Location: 39.500084, -106.114243

Katie and Kevin strap on their packs after a short break on the Tenmile ridge.

Campsite #2

Location: 39.539978, -105.989731

Campsite above Horseshoe Gulch.

CDT Team 23

Location: 39.542122, -105.971451

Matt, Kevin and Katie in Arapaho National Forest.

Campsite #3

Location: 39.483408, -105.914919

Campsite #3

Location: 39.483624, -105.914962

Retrieving the bear bag line.

Campsite #3

Location: 39.483823, -105.915027

Katie tries to fix the satellite phone.

Mt. Guyot

Location: 39.464692, -105.905156

Passing above treeline with views of Mt. Guyot.

Nearing the Divide

Location: 39.463253, -105.906387

The trail cuts across an alpine meadow before gaining the Continental Divide.

CDT Post

Location: 39.461594, -105.909083

Looking back on alpine meadow.

CDT Sign Post

Location: 39.461147, -105.910006

Mt. Guyot rises in the background.

Route Finding

Location: 39.461948, -105.90741

Katie and Matt discuss the day's route.

South Park Views

Location: 39.467533, -105.901543

Vibrant wildflowers speckle alpine meadows along the trail.

Rocky Outcroppings on the Divide

Location: 39.469115, -105.90153

Marking Waypoints

Location: 39.470409, -105.900902

Grassy Ridge

Location: 39.47842, -105.894386

CDT crests an unnamed grassy summit.

Kevin

Location: 39.485031, -105.885902

Kevin on the trail near Glacier Peak.

Bird's Eye View of Summit County

Location: 39.485126, -105.884598

Grassy Traverse

Location: 39.484196, -105.881248

Route Finding near Glacier Peak

Location: 39.484287, -105.879387

Katie, Kevin, and Matt double check the route from a grassy ridge east of Glacier Peak.

Grassy Descent

Location: 39.48494, -105.878273

Matt begins his descent to a saddle southwest of Whale Peak.

Descent to Saddle

Location: 39.486057, -105.879013

Katie and Kevin descend grassy slopes that overlook several snowfields.

Rugged Backdrops

Location: 39.489967, -105.878181

On the Divide

Location: 39.490898, -105.877434

Sea of Peaks

Location: 39.501491, -105.8637

High-Country Road Sign

Location: 39.52086, -105.868464

Curious Mountain Goats

Location: 39.53564, -105.857348

Fearless mountain goats size up Katie, Kevin, and Matt on Teller Mountain.

Baby Mountain Goat

Location: 39.535822, -105.857069

More Mountain Goats on Teller Mountain

Location: 39.535987, -105.856769

Mountain Goat Herd

Location: 39.536186, -105.856061

Goats on Teller Mountain.

Views of Webster Pass

Location: 39.535822, -105.854774

Southeast views across the Snake River Valley.

Campsite #4

Location: 39.537518, -105.840744

Looking up at Teller Mountain from campsite in the Snake River Valley.

Campsite #4

Location: 39.537796, -105.840324

Campsite in the Snake River Valley.

Continental Divide

Location: 39.543713, -105.819

Broad ridge south of Landslide Peak.

Snake River Valley

Location: 39.544741, -105.819197

Matt looks out onto the Snake River Valley.

Panoramas from a rocky saddle

Location: 39.552193, -105.819191

Rocky Saddle

Location: 39.552658, -105.820869

Geneva Peak Ridge

Location: 39.554058, -105.823479

Geneva Peak

Location: 39.559792, -105.827942

Collier Mountain

Location: 39.588917, -105.847244

Horseshoe Basin

Location: 39.612896, -105.795636

The Climb to Argentine Pass

Location: 39.622936, -105.78405

Views from Mt. Edwards

Location: 39.636431, -105.793662

McClellan Mountain rises up from Stevens Gulch.

Rocky Ridge

Location: 39.635307, -105.80379

Views of Kelso Ridge

Location: 39.635126, -105.805829

Grays Peak

Location: 39.635147, -105.806793

Vistas from Grays Peak

Location: 39.63356, -105.816994

Grays Peak Views

Location: 39.633701, -105.817223

Looking NE into Stevens Gulch.

Grays Peak Summit

Location: 39.633793, -105.817596