Continental Divide Trail: MacDonald Pass to Priest Pass



10.8 miles

Elevation Gain

2500 ft

Route Type


Added by Chris Engelsman

Section hike a portion of the CDT only 25-minutes from Helena!

The CDT trail is a popular trail with thru-hikers, and is considered one of the three Crown Jewels. The Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail being the other two. 

This section of the Continental Divide Trail starts 25-minutes to the West of Helena just off Highway 12 at the CDNST Trailhead at MacDonald Pass. This section of trail heads north and consists of an access trail and double track for the first three miles. Then the trail gets a bit more difficult and is rated difficult - a T2 - Mountain Hiking rating. 

The Continental Trail from MacDonald Pass to Priest Pass is 5.4 miles one way with approximately 2,500 feet of vertical elevation gain. It's a lightly used trail and is used mostly by hikers and mountain bikers. 

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Know for

Mountain Biking
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking


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Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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