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CDT: Copper Mountain (CO-91) to Herman Gulch (I-70)


Copper Mountain




A 67-mile section of the CDT ideal as a section hike ending with one of Colorado's best 14ers - Grays Peak.

Hiking Severe

108 km
5.1 km
5 km
1 day +
Low Point
2.8 km
High Point
4.3 km
CDT: Copper Mountain (CO-91) to Herman Gulch (I-70) Map

Continuing its northward journey, this section of the CDT begins on CO-91, just south of Wheeler Junction. For those traveling cross-country by vehicle, this is one of the most accessible stretches of trail, with a start and end both within sight of Interstate 70. Overnight parking is available at either, with Herman Gulch offering as many as 70 spots. Gold Hill, about 13-miles into the section, also offers overnight parking.


Though not listed as an official trail town or Gateway Community, when the CDT crosses Highway 9, you're just a short walk away (or hitchhike) into Breckenridge. Known for its world-renowned ski resort, the small town of 4,500 residents is acclaimed as one of Colorado's top vacation towns, with epic mountain biking, white water rafting, alpine slides, and roller coasters all available nearby. Though the quaint town was originally founded - and later revived - thanks to the discovery of gold, downtown also offers abundant shopping, restaurants, and plenty more amenities for thru-hikers needing resupply.

Sharing the first half of this section with the Colorado Trail, the CDT arrives at Georgia Pass, a remote road crossing only accessibly with a 4wd vehicle. While it's been described as a "long bumpy ride" by this source, it's "very suitable for stock sport utility vehicles unless snow covered." It also noted as one of the highest roads in the state and is loaded with views that are nothing short of epic.

While the first 30-miles have wandered through dense evergreen forests and lower elevations, Georgia Pass also marks a distinct transition into alpine terrain. Glacier Peak (12,862') and Whale Peak (13,055') both lie ahead and are followed by a ridgeline traverse with several more 13,000-foot summits. The CDT Water Report also notes consistent and dependable sources along the way, though the mountaintops themselves tend to be dry.

For thru-hikers, section-hikers, and day-hikers alike, the highlight of this segment comes as the trail summits Grays Peak, one of the state's most iconic 14ers. According to Jesse Weber, the out-and-back to Grays tends to be one of the more attainable 14ers for those new to hiking the Colorado high peaks. He also suggests this route as an excellent option to summit two 14ers in a single hike, though be sure to get an early start to avoid the dangerous afternoon thunderstorms that are frequent during the summer months.

If you're looking for a long section hike, or perhaps a long trail run, this section might be one of the best options along the CDT. Similar to the El Mapais National Monument found on this segment of the trail, the CDT begins and ends near a major road, Interstate 70 in this case. While the 67-mile segment could take upwards of 5 days based on your pace, the drive between trailheads is less than 30-minutes.

Sources: https://continentaldividetrail.org/ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breckenridge,Colorado https://www.dangerousroads.org/north-america/usa/4433-georgia-pass.html



Hiking challenging trails where simple scrambling, with the occasional use of the hands, is a distinct possibility. The trails are often filled with all manner of obstacles both small and large, and the hills are very steep. Obstacles and challenges are often unexpected and can be unpredictable.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.


3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

between June and October


  • Alpine
  • Wildlife
  • Historical
  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Family friendly
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area