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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > Rio Grande National Forest > Divide Ranger District

Quick Facts

Continental Divide - Elwood Pass to Sawtooth Mountain Trail

Beginning Elevation: 11,630 Feet (3625.3 Meters)
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Elevation Gain: 770 Feet (240.0 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 12,400 Feet (3865.3 Meters)
Length, One-way: 25.0 Miles (41.67 Kilometers)
Recommended Season: July-August
Trail Number: 813
Usage: Moderate
USGS Maps: Elwood Pass,Wolf Creek Pass,Spar City

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

Wild geranium
Copyright: Unknown
Wild geranium
This is but a small portion of the Continental Divide Trail that runs from Canada to Mexico. Most of this part of the trail is at or above timberline and crosses some of the highest elevations on the whole trail. Snow can be present until late June or July and extreme weather conditions can appear at any time. The trail is in good condition and not terribly steep, but the high elevation and rugged terrain make the trail moderate to difficult. Portions of this trail were relocated and reconstructed in 1989 for user convenience and safety. The scenery along the trail is spectacular.

As this trail winds along the Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico, it passes through a wide variety of topography and life zones. This particular portion of the trail, from Elwood Pass to Sawtooth Mountain, crosses some of the highest elevations on the trail.

Directions from Del Norte: From the Del Norte Ranger District, take U.S. Highway 160 west for 23 miles, to Park Creek Forest Development Road 380 which is 7 miles of South Fork. Turn left and follow Park Creek Road for approximately 17 miles to Elwood Guard Station Cabin. The trail is about 1/4 of a mile west of the cabin.

Directions from South Fork: Wolf Creek Pass on U.S. Highway 160, 20 miles southwest of South Fork.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Open: Late Summer through Early Fall .

Current Conditions & Trip Reports
Snowed in Updated: 2000-05-09 10:32:00.0

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Hiking & Walking Continental Divide - Elwood Pass to Sawtooth Mountain Trail
ICON Horseback Riding Trail is in good condition and not terribly steep
ICON Viewing Scenery Spectacular

Related Activities
Gibbs Trail - This trail follows a portion of the eastern boundary of the Weminuche Wilderness and has not been maintained for years.

Highland Trail - Some people prefer to use the Hunters Lake trail (Forest Trail 800) which goes straight toward the Stairsteps. The Stairsteps are another scenic attraction of the Weminuche Wilderness.

South Fork Trail (Divide Ranger District) - This trail is entirely within the Weminuche Wilderness and the main attractions are the Continental Divide and Spruce Lakes.

More Information
Frequently Asked Questions
Email the Local Ranger

Visitor Information:

Divide Ranger Station, 13308 West US Highway 160, P.O. Box 40 , Del Norte, CO, 81132, Phone: 719-657-3321, TTY: 719-657-6038


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