I have always been interested by the Continental Divide, sometimes referred to as the "Great Divide" of North America.The idea of a high point that seperates major watersheds and river systems isintriguing. At Monarch Pass in Colorado, for example, I could spit on the eastern side of the divide knowing that glob would theoretically flow down to theArkansas River, then the Mississippi River and eventually to the Atlantic Ocean. A spit on the west side would lead to the Gunnison River and then the Colorado River before flowing into the Pacific Ocean.The Continetal Divide kind of serves as the opposite point of the ocean; it is the backbone of a continent.

Now let me clarify definitions. As noted in the right photo,various continental divides exist in North America. The "Eastern Divide" seperates watersheds that flow to the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico respectively. The Northern Divide seperates the continent from north to south and the St. Lawrence Seaway Divide in the northeast USA and eastern Canada is sometimes noted on more sophisticated maps. For this website, I define the "Great Divide" as the Continental Divide.

Tincup PassAh and let's not forget closed basins - areas in which water drains into the ground instead of flowing down a river. The Great Basin in Nevada is the most noteable example. Also, ina section of land in southwest Wyoming, the Continental Divide splits, creating a basin between it.

During the settlement days, mountains were frequently viewed as pesky obstacles to pass en route to destinations. Hence, the term "pass" was used as thethe most passable point (usually the lowest point) on a ridgeto cross a mountain range. Today our scenic Rocky Mountains are viewed much differently, but the need to get over mountain ranges to various points will always exist!

I created this website to give me an excuse to intentionally visit as many spots as possible along the Continental Divide. Definitely enjoy my photo collections below!Since I live in Colorado, many photos were taken right here in the Centennial State, but I look forward to visiting New Mexico,Wyoming, Montana, Canada and elsewhere. Thank you for visiting!

-Steve

Buena Vista, Colorado

Personal Website: www.coloradoguy.com
Twitter: @stevegarufi
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The Continental Divide (photo: A view of the various divides in North America. The photo is placedon Wikipedia and can be viewed here.)

North Cochetopa Pass, Colorado

North Cochetopa Pass, Colorado HomeNorth Cochetopa Pass, ColoradoAltitude: 10,149 FeetNearest Towns West Of Divide: Doyleville, GunnisonNearest Towns East Of Divide: SaguacheRivers/Watersheds West Of Divide: West Pass Creek, Cochetopa River, Gunnison River, Colorado RiverRivers/Watersheds East Of Divide: East Pass Creek, Saguache Creek, Rio GrandeNo...

Old Monarch Pass, Colorado

Old Monarch Pass, Colorado HomeOld Monarch Pass, ColoradoAltitude: 11,375 feetNearest Towns West Of Divide: GunnisonNearest Towns East Of Divide: Poncha SpringsRivers/Watersheds West Of Divide: Tomichi Creek, Gunnison River, Colorado RiverRivers/Watersheds East Of Divide: West Arkansas River, Arkansas River, Mississippi RiverOld Monarch Pass was the...

Pinos Altos, New Mexico

Pinos Altos, New Mexico HomePinos Altos, New MexicoAltitude: 7,080 feetNearest Towns West Of Divide: Pinos AltosNearest Towns East of Divide: Silver CityIf one travels north out of Silver City, New Mexico toward thehistoric town of Pinos Altos, one will reach the continental divide atthis particular spot. Like the pass on State Highway 90 south of S...

State Highway 180 In Silver City, New Mexico

State Highway 180 In Silver City, New Mexico HomeState Highway 180 In Silver City, New MexicoElevtion: 6,230 feetNearest Towns West Of Divide: MangasNearest Towns East of Divide: Silver CityMy friend Dave and I arrived at the Continental Divide on Highway 180 (just outside of Silver City, New Mexico) just as the sun was setting! The photo above is t...

State Highway 90 In Silver City, New Mexico

State Highway 90 In Silver City, New Mexico HomeState Highway 90 In Silver City, New MexicoAltitude: 6,355 feetNearest Towns West Of Divide: LordsburgNearest Towns East of Divide: Silver CityRiver/Watersheds West Of Divide: Unknown at this timeRiver/Watersheds East Of Divide: Unknown at this timeI was en route to Silver City, New Mexico to meet with...

Tincup Pass, Colorado

Tincup Pass, Colorado HomeTincup Pass, ColoradoAltitude: 12,154 feetNearest Towns West Of Divide: TincupNearest Towns East Of Divide: St. ElmoRivers/Watersheds West Of Divide: Willow Creek, Taylor River, Gunnison River, Colorado RiverRivers/Watersheds East Of Divide: Chalk Creek, Arkansas River, Mississippi RiverTincup Pass is located in a fairly re...

Twining Peak, Colorado

Twining Peak, Colorado HomeTwining Peak, ColoradoElevation: 13,711 FeetNearest Towns West Of Divide: AspenNearest Towns East Of Divide: Twin LakesRivers/Watersheds West Of Divide: Roaring Fork River, Colorado RiverRivers/Watersheds East Of Divide: Lake Creek, Arkansas River, Mississippi RiverIn June 2009, I hiked to the summit of Twining Peak, locat...

Wolf Creek Pass, Colorado

Wolf Creek Pass, Colorado HomeWolf Creek Pass, ColoradoAltitude: UnknownNearest Towns West Of Divide: Pagosa SpringsNearest Towns East Of Divide: South ForkRivers/Watersheds West Of Divide: San Juan River, Colorado RiverRivers/Watersheds East Of Divide: South Fork Rio Grande, Rio GrandeAll of these photos were taken with my old Mavica camera, and so...

Marshall Pass, Colorado

Marshall Pass, Colorado HomeMarshall Pass, ColoradoElevation: 10,842 feetNearest Towns West Of Divide: GunnisonNearest Towns East Of Divide: Poncha SpringsRivers/Watersheds West Of Divide: Marshall Creek, Tomichi Creek, Gunnison River, Colorado RiverRivers/Watersheds East Of Divide: Ouray Creek, Poncha Creek, West Arkansas River, Arkansas River, Mis...

Fremont Pass, Colorado

Fremont Pass, Colorado HomeFremont Pass, ColoradoElevation: 11,318 feetNearest Towns West Of Divide: Copper MountainNearest Towns East of Divide: LeadvilleRiver/Watersheds West Of Divide: Tenmile Creek, Blue River, Colorado RiverRiver/Watersheds East Of Divide: Arkansas River, Mississippi RiverConsidering how often I've driven over Fremont Pass, I r...

Tennessee Pass, Colorado

Tennessee Pass, Colorado HomeTennessee Pass, ColoradoElevation: 10,424 feetNearest Towns West Of Divide: MinturnNearest Towns East of Divide: LeadvilleRiver/Watersheds West Of Divide: Eagle River, Colorado RiverRiver/Watersheds East Of Divide: Tennessee Creek, Arkansas River, Mississippi RiverThe Tennessee Pass sign. The entrance to the Ski Cooper s...

Pinos Altos, New Mexico

Pinos Altos, New Mexico HomePinos Altos, New MexicoAltitude: 7,080 feetNearest Towns West Of Divide: Pinos AltosNearest Towns East of Divide: Silver CityIf one travels north out of Silver City, New Mexico toward thehistoric town of Pinos Altos, one will reach the continental divide atthis particular spot. Like the pass on State Highway 90 south of S...

Hagerman Pass

Hagerman Pass, Colorado HomeHagerman Pass, ColoradoElevation: 11,925 feetNearest Towns West Of Divide: BasaltNearest Towns East Of Divide: LeadvilleRivers/Watersheds West Of Divide: Ivanhoe Creek, Fryingpan River, Roaring Fork River, Colorado RiverRivers/Watersheds East Of Divide: Glacier Creek, Lake Fork (including Turquoise Lake), Arkansas River, ...

Fremont Pass, Colorado

Fremont Pass, Colorado HomeFremont Pass, ColoradoElevation: 11,318 feetNearest Towns West Of Divide: Copper MountainNearest Towns East of Divide: LeadvilleRiver/Watersheds West Of Divide: Tenmile Creek, Blue River, Colorado RiverRiver/Watersheds East Of Divide: Arkansas River, Mississippi RiverConsidering how often I've driven over Fremont Pass, I r...

Continental Divide

State Highway 12 In New Mexico (Near Aragon, NM) HomeState Highway 12 In New Mexico (Near Aragon, NM)Altitude: 7,312 feetNearest Towns West Of Divide: AragonNearest Towns East of Divide: Horse SpringsIn February 2008, one day I cycled from Reserve to Datil, a 68 mile distancealong State Highway 12 in Catron County.This ride was part of my overall jo...