This trail segment begins with a 1/4 mile traverse of the cliffs that form the fable Knife Edge. Crossing the Knife Edge is not as scary as it used to be, as it has been "improved" to reduce hazardous conditions. From the Knife Edge to Piedra Pass, the trail goes up and down like a roller coaster. Most of it is reasonably short, steep pitches. The trail slopes quite close to the Divide and frequently weaves above and below timberline. From the water diversion ditches at Piedra Pass, the trail makes a rather lengthy climb towards South River Peak. From the south River Peak Area to Sawtooth Mountain, the trail winds along the crest of the Continental Divide,well above timberline. Some of the highest elevations along the trail occur in this segment. Following this section is occasionally difficult in places as some sections of the trail can be indistinct.
Beautiful views, isolated wild country, elevations approaching 13,000 feet and spine-tingling climbs along rocky cliffs await the hiker on this trail segment. The hiker who likes to fish can go to Goose Lake which is within two miles of the trail. This lake also has several good camping areas. Little Goose Lake is sterile, so fishing would be futile. There are also a number of nice camping areas, with comfortable tree cover, between the Knife Edge and Piedra Pass. From the pass to Sawtooth Mountain, one may have to wander away from the trail a short distance to find a nice flat camping area with tree cover and ready water supply. Hikers usually have this segment of the Continental Divide Trail all to themselves, as it is not widely visited in the summer months. Several trail junctions are not well defined or signed, so be sure to have a USGS topographic map to help guide you if needed.
Directions from Creede: Travel on Highway 149 southwest from Creede for 7 miles to the junction of Highway 149 and Middle Creek Road (Forest Development Road 523). Follow this road 9 miles to the Trout Creek Trailhead. Proceed on the Main Trout Creek and West Trout Creek Trail to Trout Lake. The Continental Divide Trail (Forest Trail 813) can be seen south and above Trout Lake as it traverses the fabled knife edge.
Late Summer through Early Fall .