According to our maps, there are approximately 65 hard-surface roads that cross the Great Divide between the Canadian and Mexican borders. However, about 25 of these are unnamed, most of them in New Mexico where the Divide flattens out in the high desert and crossings are not dramatic enough to be called passes. Sometimes they're called "road summits".
The profile below depicts the elevations of the major named passes, from the Canadian border on the left to the Mexican border on the right. The horizontal axis distance is not scaled to the road distance of our route although this refinement is something we might add later. Nevertheless, you can see the general trend of rising pass elevations through Montana and Wyoming, culminating in the very tall road passes above 12,000 feet in Colorado. The highest pass we hope to see is Cottonwood Pass near Buena Vista, Colorado which towers to an elevation of 12,126 feet. I'm short of breath thinking about it. The highest paved road on our route is Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park which peaks at 12,183 feet, although it is slightly east of the Divide.
We're keeping our fingers crossed for early Fall in Colorado to be unusually mild and snow free at elevation!
A pass table is also available where we plan on adding pictures as the trip progresses.
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