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CDT: Herman's Gulch to Berthoud Pass

Difficult
 4.9 (10) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A well-maintained section of the CDT that rolls along the ridgeline near Jones Pass.


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Map Key

21.6

Miles

34.7

KM

Point to Point

13,200' 4,023 m

High

10,323' 3,147 m

Low

5,034' 1,534 m

Up

4,018' 1,225 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (5°)

43%

Max Grade (23°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features Lake · Views · Wildflowers

Overview

A very well-maintained and surprisingly lonely section of the CDT that follows the ridgeline for several miles with views into numerous remote bowls. Besides the popular access at the Herman Gulch Trail #98 and near Berthoud Pass, there are few hikers on this section when considering the proximity to Denver. The Gore Range, Indian Peaks, and the Front Range 14ers all make a majestic backdrop for this route. A point to point hike requires a little bit of logistical work for two vehicles, but is well worth it.

Description

From the trailhead at the start of the Herman Gulch Trail #98, you climb for about 2.5 miles through pines and increasingly open alpine meadows. The short dogleg to Herman Lake adds less than a half mile to the route.

After this trail intersection, it is a short climb to the ridgeline. From here, you have several miles of well-maintained singletrack that mostly follows the ridge, occasionally hugging the side of some of the prominences. For 8 miles, you stay above 12,000 ft, and despite the remoteness, the trail has seen recent maintenance, which makes looking up at the views very tempting. The trail then passes Jones Pass, which gives an option to cut the route short, down the jeep road towards Berthoud Falls.

After the section on the ridgeline, the trail drops to the south of Vasquez Peak, losing elevation. There is another intersection, which gives access to parking at the Henderson Mine trailhead for Jones Pass. Stay high and you'll stay on the trail. At 16 miles, the trail starts climbing steeply up Stanley Mountain, and after gaining the ridge, there are a final 3 miles above 12,000 ft as you arrive at Berthoud Pass.

Contacts

Shared By:

Cory Linfield

Trail Ratings

  4.9 from 10 votes

#1

in Front Range

#586

Overall
  4.9 from 10 votes
5 Star
90%
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Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in Front Range

#120

in Colorado

#586

Overall
80 Views Last Month
6,345 Since Dec 12, 2015
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Photos

Fall color and snow dusting over Herman Gulch.
May 12, 2016 near Georgetown, CO
Discrete Peak Series - Berthoud Pass
Jul 21, 2015 near Winter…, CO
Discrete Peak Series - Berthoud Pass
Jul 21, 2015 near Winter…, CO
Great, well maintained singletrack on the way to Stanley Mt.
Sep 17, 2015 near Winter…, CO
The Citadel
Jul 26, 2018 near Georgetown, CO
Pettingell Peak on the far right
Nov 8, 2017 near Georgetown, CO

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Check-Ins

Sep 6, 2020
Jumbo Delfin
10mi
Jul 6, 2020
Ann Zweig
Jun 26, 2018
Caroline Gann
9mi
Oct 28, 2017
Josh Downs
Jul 15, 2017
Jenn Rosenthal
Dec 26, 2015
Sam Waters
amazing, needed snowshoes 6mi