Continental Divide Trail, Rocky Mountain National Park Hiking

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Continental Divide Trail

Following the Continental Divide Trail through Rocky Mountain National Park takes you on a wilderness trek of spectacular beauty, with towering peaks, beautiful valleys, rushing rivers and sparkling mountain lakes.

  • The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail is a 28-mile loop trail
  • Get to view the best of Rocky Mountain National Park
  • A moderate hike through the backcountry of the Rocky Mountains
  • You’ll have 2,000 elevation gain
  • You can start at the Green Mountain Trailhead off Highway 34


The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDT) is considered the “King of Trails,” running 3,100 miles from Mexico to Canada. This amazing backcountry trail passes through Rocky Mountain National Park, a 28-mile loop hike with incredible landscapes. Mountain lakes shine in the sun; snow-capped peaks make a backdrop to a high altitude campsite. It’s a trek not to miss and one that will be remembered for years to come.


When heading north to south, you can start the route where it enters Rocky Mountain National Park on County Road 491, north of Grand Lake off Highway 34. You follow the River Trail north to where it joins with Highway 34. Here you’ll find the Green Mountain Trailhead. (You can also start here if you like.) Follow the Green Mountain Trail east until you get to Tonahutu Creek Trail and then head south on North Inlet Trail to Grand Lake.


  • Distance – 28 miles
  • Average Time of Hike – 2 Days
  • Elevation Gain – 2,000
  • Difficulty – Moderate
  • Trail Type – Loop

Plan & Prepare

Remember when planning your trip, air is thin at higher altitudes. You should travel slowly until accustomed and be prepared for the strain this puts on the body. Also, early afternoon thunderstorms can be frequent. Bring rain gear.

Boil or treat any water used from lakes and streams. Fires are only allowed in metal grates at designated campsites.

You will need a permit for any overnight trips into the backcountry and you can purchase these at the Kawuneeche Visitor Center.

The best time for this hike is between early July to late September.