Sleep In The Dirt

Section 12:

I-70 (Herman Gulch TH) to Berthoud Pass

What We Found

The content below contains general information about Big Agnes staff experience while traveling along the CDT through Colorado in the summer of 2018. While we have made an effort to provide you with a valuable trip-planning tool, we cannot offer any assurance that this information is current, complete or even accurate – if you choose to travel this route, do so at your own risk. Beautiful, open views and tons of great camping spots. Keep your eyes open for wildlife, and be respectful of the plenty of moose in the area. This section is exposed and can get hit with heavy wind and rain at any moment.

  • distance
    20.6 miles
  • elevation gain
    5,921 feet
  • elevation loss
    4,920 feet
  • highest point
    13,217 feet
  • wilderness area
    yes
  • percent on trail
    100%

"In three days we were able to walk from just outside the Loveland Ski Area, to Winter Park and Mary Jane Mountain. I’m certain there were tougher sections along the way, but this one took its toll on us. The first day was easy as cake, but day two was the real challenge; we had seven straight miles of hiking above tree line, and ten miles between water sources. The day started out beautiful and sunny, but by noon we were running towards tree line to dodge a lighting storm that came up on us in a matter of minutes. After a couple hours of hunkering down in a bush (we hadn’t made it to trees yet), the hike continued to our second overnight camping spot next to the first stream we’d seen since breakfast. The final day of hiking to Berthoud pass was significantly easier than the last, and it was bittersweet to see the chairlifts that let us know the end was near. I wasn’t at all ready to get off the trail, it all ended too soon!" On Trail: July 26th, 2018 - July 29th, 2018

Andy Dittgen, Lead Customer Service Rep, Big Agnes
Learn more about the hike

Our Itinerary

Southern Access Point:

I-70 (Herman Gulch TH Parking Area) Ley Maps CO 15a

Northern Access Point:

Berthoud Pass (CO Hwy. 40) Ley Maps CO 14

Wilderness Area:
Yes

What We Experienced: 

Some sections of the trail have good amounts of loose scree that you’ll need to scramble through. Hiking poles are highly recommended for the steepness of some sections and open ridge walks. Bring your fishing pole and valid license to enjoy plenty of great fishing opportunities along the way.

Additional Resources:

Leave No Trace Principles

Guthook Guide – Continental Divide Trail

U.S. Forest Service – Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forest

Our Route

Ascent:
5,921 feet

Descent:
4,920 feet

Grade per Mile:
526 feet

Pro tips:

Bring some hiking poles for the scree-scrambles and open ridge walks.

Great camping spots are all over the place, but be careful of moose and other wildlife.

Getting an early start is a must to avoid unexpected afternoon showers and storms.

Skills We Needed

• Rock Scrambling
• Lightning Safety
• Map Navigation
• LNT Ethics

* This site and routes described within contain general information about Big Agnes staff adventures in the backcountry, summer 2018. While we have made an effort to provide you with a valuable trip-planning tool, we cannot offer any assurance that this information is current, complete or even accurate – if you choose to travel these routes, do so at your own risk. Prior to setting out check local weather, trail conditions, closures, legal access points, Forest Service, BLM, or National Park rules and regulations, and other risks involved. We hope to inspire responsible backcountry and public land use, but by using our website you agree to use this information at your own risk.