Smooth, bald mountaintops alternating with craggy terrain, rocky knolls, and wildflower patches, are some of the reasons the journey from Jones Pass to Berthoud Pass is highly recommended. You will find easy access to the trailhead at Berthoud Pass which offers exemplary above timberline hiking quintessential to the CDT. Travel 19.4 hard-earned miles on the CDT through the Vazquez Peak Wilderness to the Herman Gulch Trailhead just west of the historic town of Georgetown. Contact:CDTC at 1-720-340-CDTC (2382) or the Arapaho Roosevelt National Forest’s Clear Creek Ranger District 303-567-3000.

Difficulty:  Moderate

Length: 19.4 miles, one-way.

Family Friendly Option: Both the Berthoud Pass and Herman Gulch trailheads are located off high traffic areas that allow for quick access and exposure to the CDT. From Berthoud, you can hike up 2 miles to an alpine lake before Mt. Flora; it is steep but offers incredible views. Berthoud Pass is not only easy access to the CDT but it will allow families to visit what will soon become a world-class trailhead. In the future, there will be extensive interpretive components and facilities. From Herman Gulch, trek east almost 3 miles for a moderate hike to Herman Lake, nestled in the shadow of Pettingell Peak. The wildflowers are especially lovely in the July and August on the way to Herman Lake.

Directions: Berthoud Pass: Take US-40 about 14 miles west from Interstate 70 to the summit of Berthoud Pass. The parking area is on the right (east) side of the highway. Herman Gulch: Take exit 218 on Interstate 70 and follow signs to the north side of the highway. Turn right into parking area and be careful crossing US-40 to access the CDT on the west side.

Maps: USGS 7.5 Quadrangles: Berthoud Pass, Byers Peak, Loveland Pass, Grays Peak. Trails Illustrated- #103, #104, USFS: Arapaho/Roosevelt National Forest.

Other Information: Arapaho/Roosevelt National Forests – http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/arnf/