The Continental Divide National Scenic Trail stretches approximately 3,100 miles north to south across the nation, from the Canadian border in Montana to the Mexican border in New Mexico. The trail showcases some of our country’s most stunning wild terrain – over mountains, through forests, and across the alpine tundra of the high country.
The aptly named trail travels roughly along the Continental Divide, which spans generally along the high points of the Rocky Mountains. On the west side of the mountain, water flows west to the Pacific Ocean; on the east side water flows to the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic.
Of course, the Continental Divide Trail traverses right across the Colorado Rockies and right through Rocky Mountain National Park. In fact, some of the trail’s most spectacular scenery can be found as the trail passes right through Grand Lake. There are actually two alternate Continental Divide Trail routes through the park, a “short loop” and a “long loop” (click here for a map of the Continental Divide Trail through Rocky Mountain National Park).
Since pets aren’t allowed in the park, there’s also an alternate route that bypasses the park for thru hikers with pets. This alternate route travels along County Road 491 and Highway 34 past Grand Lake to the Arapaho Bay Road, where it rejoins the trail route south of the park.
The Continental Divide Trail offers incredible adventure opportunities, from a quick day hike to thru hikes that really test a backpacker’s endurance. Grand Lake has been proud to serve Continental Divide Trail hikers as well, providing resources to thru-hikers and day-trippers alike.