Done! Pfiffner Traverse Guide

I spent most of last weekend at the dining table, making final edits to the Guide.

This morning I put the final touches on the First Edition of the Pfiffner Traverse Guide. It was a monstrous project and I’m thrilled to finally have it out there. The Guidebook alone is 23,000 words; the package also includes Mapsets and Datasheets for the Primary Route and for seven Section-hikes. Thankfully I enjoy the work, because on a per-hour basis it’s one of the most foolish undertakings in recent memory, not even accounting for the hundreds of miles of “research” that I had to do.

The Pfiffner Traverse Guide is available for immediate download. Those who purchased it earlier have been sent new download instructions.

The Pfiffner Traverse is a 76-mile high route that follows the Continental Divide and the crest of Colorado’s Front Range between Trail Ridge Road and Berthoud Pass, passing through Rocky Mountain National Park, and the Indian Peaks and James Peak Wilderness Areas. Forty percent of its length is off-trail, up to Class 3 in difficulty. The route drops below 10,000 feet only twice, and it climbs five 13,000-foot peaks.

It will take most hikers 6 to 10 days to thru-hike it; the seven recommended section-hikes range from 17 to 42 miles, suitable for long weekends, quick overnights, and adventurous trail runs. Continental Divide Trail thru-hikers can easily link up with it, as can be done further north with the Wind River High Route and the Glacier Divide Route. Bypasses and “extra credit” routes can be used to alter its difficulty and risk, and to reduce exposure to inclement weather.

Questions about the route? Please ask.

A lush wildflower-filled meadow in upper East Inlet.

Posted in on June 12, 2018


  1. Bob S. on June 12, 2018 at 10:49 pm

    Very nice Andrew! Are the print-ready PDF’s Geospacial PDF’s that can be imported into Avenza Maps?

    • Andrew Skurka on June 13, 2018 at 6:45 am

      Yes, they are. They were created with CalTopo.

      • Tony Bernard on August 19, 2020 at 10:20 am

        Hi Andrew, thanks for all your work in assembling the guide, which I have purchased. I imported the Primary Route mapset into Avenza, but received an error message that there were no geospatial coordinates (“map not referenced” is the specific message). Any idea on how to resolve?



        • Andrew Skurka on August 23, 2020 at 3:09 pm

          Sorry, can’t help. The maps in the download are directly saved from CalTopo, and I thought those maps were georeferenced.

  2. Justin LaFrance on June 12, 2018 at 10:54 pm

    Congrats Andrew. With all the time and effort you’ve put into this project, I’m sure it will be your best guide yet.

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