Cumbres Pass/CDT South Hike – 08/13/2021

This was the 2nd hike was during a 5 day camping trip to Northern New Mexico. We set up the R-Pod at Heron Lake for 4 nights. While Pat attended a 3 day workshop in Chama on dyeing wool, I drove up to Cumbres Pass for a hike on the Continental Divide Trail. The day before, I had hiked the CDT north from Cumbres Pass.

The Drive In

See the description for the CDT North Hike.

The Hike

Cumbres Pass CDT South Hike. 2021-08-13

The trail begins from the parking area on the right side of CO 17 at the top of Cumbres Pass. As yesterday for the CDT North hike, my timing was good – the Cumbres and Toltec passenger train was parked at the station, preparing to continue on to Antonito.

As it was for the CDT North, the trail is well used, smooth ground bordered by very green grasses with an abundance of flowers. From just under 10,000 feet elevation, the trail climbs a couple of hundred feet in the first half mile, then descends a bit on the top of a ridge for 3/4 mile.  The views are spectacular, to the west towards Chama down the Wolf Creek valley. For the next 1.25 miles the trail climbs close to 500 feet, up to 10,469 feet elevation. Most of the distance is in open grassland with parcels of forest along the way.

Nearing the trailhead on the return, I looked down upon the Cumbres & Toltec RR siding to see a service train heading back to Chama.



Amazing views, across green grasslands with flowers in bloom everywhere, to distant hills and mountains.


Total Distance:  7.98 miles
Elevation: start  9,966 ft, maximum  10,469 ft,  minimum 9,964 ft
Gross gain: ft.  505 Aggregate ascending 1,662 ft, descending 1,664 ft
Maximum slope: 26% ascending, 27% descending, 06.5% average
Duration: 4:41

GPS Track Files for Download
If you haven’t explored these hiking tracks with Google Earth, I urge you to try it. With the virtual 3-dimensional presentation, achieved by panning and tilting the view, you can get a much better idea of the hikes and terrain than you can get from the screenshot above. For some ideas, check out  Using Google Earth Track Files.

Related Posts

Hikes around Cumbres Pass

References and Resources

GAIA GPS:  Continental Divide Trail
MTB Project: CDT: Cumbres Pass to lagunitas (NM Section 31)

This entry was posted in 2021, Camping, CDT, Hiking, Northern New Mexico, Years and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply