Views · Wildflowers
Follow the CDT (plus a fun spur trail) to 360-degree views on a ridgeline hike along the Continental Divide. At the beginning, a large parking lot with bathrooms (porta-potties due to COVID-19) and easy access right off Highway 40 between Idaho Springs and Winter Park makes access a breeze. The hike can be shortened to just reach the ridgeline if desired (1.7 miles one way, 3.4 round-trip).
This hike offers a great option to see breathtaking Colorado mountain views, including multiple 14ers as well as Rocky Mountain National Park from a distance. It can also be shortened to just reach the Continental Divide ridgeline, which you reach 1.7 miles in.
Start at the Berthoud Pass parking lot. Follow the fire road up a couple of gradual and easy switchbacks. Keep an eye out for a small sign at the corner of one of the switchbacks for "Mt. Flora Trail" (really the CDT), which will take you off of the fire road and on a more direct route up to the ridgeline. At the sign, continue straight (north) on this aforementioned trail.
Once you reach the ridgeline, prepare for long-ranging views here on out. Turn left onto the ridgeline and follow the CDT upwards to the Mt. Flora summit. Take in the views, then backtrack down the way you came, for a grand total of ~6.4 miles.
In Winter: Be aware of avalanche terrain just below the trail on the northern side of Colorado Mines Peak. You can avoid this by following the road to just below the summit of Colorado Mines Peak, walking down along the ridge to the saddle between Colorado Mines and Flora, and rejoining the standard route there. This will add a about a mile and an additional 300' of elevation gain to the route.
Shared By: Cam Morton