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Continental Divide Trail gets going after 30 years

Brief by Central Staff

Outdoor recreation – August 1997 – Colorado Central Magazine

Continental Divide Trail gets going after 30 years

The concept of a 3,100-mile Continental Divide Trail, akin to the Appalachian Trail in the East and the Pacific Crest Trail in the Sierra Nevada, has been around for years without much activity.

But now there’s a Continental Divide Trail Alliance raising money, co√∂rdinating volunteers, and pushing to build the remaining 800 miles — most of it in Montana.

In Central Colorado, much of the route is already in use, since it joins the Colorado Trail in several places — north and west of Leadville, and west of Salida. But where the Colorado Trail stays relatively low west of Buena Vista, the Divide Trail will run closer to the crest.

The route hasn’t been all that controversial, but one proposed funding source has raised a few hackles: Outdoor-minded corporations can donate, and in return, their logos will be placed on trailhead signs.

Some have complained about commercialization of the wilderness, but the alternative, according to Trail Alliance leaders Paula and Bruce War, is no trail at all.