Approaching Searle Pass on Colorado Trail at 12,000 feet
Crag Crest Trail, Grand Mesa National Forest
Colorado National Monument
ADT in Colorado
General Overview of the Trail
The American Discovery Trail route through Colorado, the Centennial State, offers a great variety of challenges and spectacular scenery. The ADT crosses the eastern plains of Colorado following the paths of explorers and pioneers in their wagons painted with "Pikes Peak or Bust!". West of Denver, the towering Rocky Mountains provide magnificent backcountry travel through six national forests on trails that rise above timberline to reveal breathtaking views. The ADT crosses 15 mountain passes over 9,000 feet high including four that are above 12,000 feet. The route crosses the Continental Divide three times and uses portions of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail and the Colorado Trail.
Warning: Plan your trip to cross the passes in July and August to avoid blizzard conditions and closures. Weather conditions can change suddenly and the effects of high altitude can be extreme. Users must guard against dehydration and hypothermia. The official route requires backpacking and camping in remote areas. Some parts prohibit bicycles and some terrain is unsafe for bicycles. Contact the State coordinator for advice on alternate routes to suit your particular mode of travel and capabilities.
Detailed Trail Description
The total length of the ADT in Colorado is 1,153 miles. The northern route from Nebraska to Utah is 776 miles long. The southern route from Kansas to Utah is 912 miles. Most of the route east of Denver uses roads; west of Denver it is mostly off road on trails.
Southeast segment, Kansas to Canon City — 219 miles
Front range segment, Canon City to Denver — 158 miles
Northeast segment, Nebraska to Denver — 241 miles
East mountain segment, Denver to Buena Vista — 227 miles
West mountain segment, Buena Vista to Redstone — 130 miles
West segment, Redstone to Utah — 178 miles