Sleep In The Dirt

Section 18:

Willow Creek Pass to Hwy. 14

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. This section starts out on rough trail and has a lot of blow downs. Once you summit Parkview Mountain the hiking becomes much more mellow.

  • distance
    40.4 miles
  • elevation gain
    7,680 feet
  • elevation loss
    8,776 feet
  • highest point
    12,258 feet
  • wilderness area
    yes
  • percent on trail
    95%

"The biggest obstacle you will face during this section is Parkview Mountain. With minimal trail markings, you will find yourself bouncing from cairn to cairn, and if you have low visibility this could be slow going. Although on paper this may look like a great bikepacking section, if you have massive blowdown, (like we did) you will find hauling a bike to be a massive hindrance." On Trail: August 13th, 2018 - August 15th - 2018

Devin Dummit, Parts Specialist, Big Agnes
Read more about bikepacking the CDT

Our Itinerary

Southern Access Point:

Willow Creek Pass (Hwy. 125). Ley Maps CO9

Northern Access Point:

Hwy. 14 (where trail meets road). Ley Maps CO6

Wilderness Area:

Yes

What We Experienced:

This section is fairly slow-going, partially due to the amount of blow down.

Water is hard to find on the trail, so check up-to-date information using the Guthook App.

Awesome ridge-walking between Parkview Mountain and Troublesome Pass, with mellow downhill hiking after that.

Additional Resources: 

Leave No Trace Principles

Guthook Guide – Continental Divide Trail

U.S. Forest Service – Medicine Bow and Routt National Forests

 

Our Route

Ascent:
7,680 feet

Descent:
8,776 feet

Grade per Mile:
408 feet

Pro tips:

Top-off your water every chance you get, opportunities to re-fill are not frequent.

Blow down can be bad in this area, so pack extra hiking pants to save your legs.

Great camping spots between Parkview Mountain and Troublesome Pass.

Skills We Needed

• Map Navigation
• Lightning Safety
• LNT Ethics
• Widow-maker safety
• Widow-maker safety

* 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.