CDT: Herman Gulch to Berthoud Pass (CO Sec. 31)
ElevationAscent: 5,228' 1,593 m
Descent: -4,229' -1,289 m
High: 13,204' 4,025 m
Low: 10,315' 3,144 m
GradeAvg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 42% (23°)
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“Herman Gulch to Berthoud Pass is an easily accessible introduction to the Continental Divide.”— Guthrie Alexander
From here, the next portion of the CDT climbs from a junction with Henderson Spur Trail along the southern aspects of Vasquez and Stanley mountains. From the get-go, the trail exceeds treeline and enters the alpine tundra.
After a brief ascent, the trail descends into a neighboring drainage. Now, the trail begins its steepest, most sustained ascent, leading for the summit of Stanley Mountain. This portion of trail is almost all exposed above treeline, so take careful note of the weather. Do not continue if storms appear to be building.
After running a hard-fought series of switchbacks on Stanley's southwestern nose, you'll gain the summit. Revel in the views from the top of the world and begin a stunning ridgetop traverse. The terrain will undulate and eventually drop off precipitously to this trail segment's end at Berthound Pass.
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