ADT Colorado

State Coordinator
Steven Hill
6925 Cabriolet Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80923

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

Colorado has almost 30 species of ticks – read more about protecting yourself here

For more details on the route, click here.

The most up-to-date, detailed trail directions are published in the ADT Data Books.

Affiliated Trails

  • Pueblo River Trail System
  • Arkansas Riverwalk Trail
  • Gold Camp Trail
  • Ute Pass Trail
  • America The Beautiful Trail
  • Cavalier Park Trail
  • Fountain Creek Greenway
  • Green Mountain Falls Bikeway
  • Sinton Trail
  • Pikes Peak Greenway
  • New Santa Fe Trail
  • Greenland Open Space Trail
  • Indian Creek Trail
  • Carpenter Peak Trail
  • Waterton Canyon – Colorado Trail, Seg 1
  • Chatfield Trails System
  • Mary Carter Greenway
  • South Platte River Trail
  • Bear Creek Beltway
  • Castle Trail
  • Pioneer Trail
  • Spring Creek Trail
  • South Park Trail
  • Burning Bear Trail
  • Hall Valley Trail
  • Colorado Trail
  • Vail Pass Tenmile Canyon National Recreation Trail
  • Chalk Creek Trail
  • Continental Divide National Scenic Trail
  • Timberline Trail
  • Taylor Pass Trail
  • Brush Creek Trail
  • Crystal River Trail
  • Braderick Creek Trail
  • Lake Ridge Lakes Trail
  • High Trail
  • Sunlight-Powderhorn Snowmobile Trail
  • Cedar Mesa Trail
  • Crag Crest National Recreation Trail
  • Kannah Creek Trail
  • Old Spanish Trail
  • Colorado Riverfront Trail
  • Audubon Trail
  • Liberty Cap Trail
  • Black Ridge Trail
  • Monument Canyon Trail
  • Kokopelli’s Trail

National Forests

  • Pike NF
  • Arapaho NF
  • San Isabel NF
  • Gunnison NF
  • White River NF
  • Grand Mesa NF


Points of Interest

  • Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site
  • Pueblo Museum
  • Colorado Territorial Prison Museum
  • Royal Gorge
  • Cripple Creek National Historic Area
  • Pikes Peak Highway
  • Manitou Springs
  • Pikes Peak Cog Railway
  • Barr National Recreation Trail
  • Garden of the Gods
  • US Olympic Headquarters & Training Center
  • Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame/ American Cowboy Museum
  • US Air Force Academy (Chapel under renovation – Reopens 2027)
  • Overland Trail Museum
  • Fort Vasquez State Museum
  • Denver Museums (10)
  • Red Rocks Amphitheater
  • Georgetown National Historic District
  • Georgetown Loop Historic Mining & Railroad Park
  • Breckenridge National Historic District
  • Camp Hale 10th Mountain Division Memorial
  • Leadville National Historic District (highest city in the US 10,430)
  • National Mining Hall of Fame
  • Argentine Pass (highest point on the ADT)
  • Mt. Elbert (highest mountain in Colorado & Continental Divide 14,433)
  • Mt. Princeton Hot Springs
  • Crested Butte National Historic District
  • Marble Museum
  • Redstone Mining Camp
  • Grand Mesa
  • Colorado National Monument
  • McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area

Adjoining Trail States:  UtahNebraskaKansas