Segment 10 is about 13.6 miles. OR you can continue on the Collegiate West Route. No. Like. The west route maintains a significantly higher elevation and adds just 5 miles to a thru-hike. On a clear day with good weather, you really can’t go wrong on this segment. Don’t forget to have a look at my thru-hiking journal! The corresponding Trails Illustrated maps for Hope Pass and Missouri Gulch are #127 and #129. Feel free to contact me with additional questions. Along the way, dip your feet in Chalk Creek. The Colorado Trail is a long-distance trail running for 486 miles (782 km) from the mouth of Waterton Canyon southwest of Denver to Durango in Colorado, United States.Its highest point is 13,271 feet (4,045 m) above sea level, and most of the trail is above 10,000 feet (3,000 m). Replace gear at Sawatch Backcountry (sawatchbackcountry.com). I met some incredible humans on trail, and have found myself a wonderful little tramily. One of the best segments of the Colorado Trail, Segment Six is best enjoyed as a point-to-point backpacking trip. Trail Attributes. Or, if I’m truly ready to enter the 21st century like a modern thru-hiker, I’d ditch all that and simply use the Guthook App and Pmags resupply info. This is a video of the first two segments of the Colorado Trail starting at the Waterton Canyon Trailhead southwest of Denver, CO. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. ELEVATION: average ~10,300 feet ROUTE: well maintained, popular trail, signed junctions GUIDEBOOK: Colorado Trail 9th Edition DATA BOOK: 7th Edition. Incredible high alpine riding and off-the-charts views in one of the most remote areas of Colorado. Justin Simoni has compiled a detailed page about climbing the 14ers along the Colorado Trail, too. Prove the miles to yourself now, and come on out to the Colorado Trail … Participating in this 'at home' challenge, you'll complete 486 miles in 90 days or less. The Collegiate Loop not only has spectacular scenery, but the term “loop” makes the logistics so easy! But opting out of some of these cookies may affect your browsing experience. If you’re looking for some more advice on backpacking gear, start with my ultimate gear list. Trail vets say to shoot for an eight- to 12-mile-per-day average and consider adding another 11 miles (and 1,300 feet) for a detour to Missouri Basin—a perfect basecamp for bagging Mt. If you’re hiking with a partner, create some distance from each other to decrease the likelihood of both of you getting zapped by a single strike. Hike the whole thing or take it in these suggested hiking-trail segments … The Colorado Trail is one of the longest, more arduous, yet most rewarding bikepacking routes in the US. This is easily bypassed via the Indian Creek trailhead (see above). The trail is … Total miles: 22.2, Best Public-transit Trip The Tenmile Range This 11-miler spans a ridge with ski-country views. Mount Elbert is especially tempting too, since it’s the highest mountain in Colorado! This is a MAJOR long distance adventure like the Pacific Crest Trail. Best Week Molas Pass to Creede This 72-miler has the trail’s highest point, its longest stretch above treeline, and a shag carpeting of wildflowers in late summer. In 2012 the Colorado Trail Foundation introduced the 83-mile Collegiate West route. This also acts as a shorcut, shaving 3.5 off of the official route. Collegiate East is 78 miles with a southbound elevation gain of ~17,800 feet. Belford (14,191 feet) and Mt. Segment 10 is about 13.6 miles. If you’re looking for a quick small-scale topo map to do your own research, look no further than the wonderful resource that is CalTopo, free on the internet. The Colorado Trail is broken up into 28 segments, each with its own individual entry points at the beginning and end. The best segment of the Colorado Trail. It’s fun to experience the town of Leadville too. The Colorado Trail is broken down into 28 “Segments.” Rather than diving deeply into each individual segment, I’m going to break down the main sections of the trail according to my own thru-hiking resupply strategy. Get Here. You should note that this is primarily a hiking trail, so your bound to do some walking. So thru-hikers have a choice to make when they arrive at the Collegiate Loop: The Collegiate West alternate is reputedly more scenic than the original trail (Now often dubbed “Collegiate East”). These give a great overview of the trail and surrounding area. If I was going to walk the Colorado Trail, then it couldn’t be just the best of the Colorado Trail. Once you’re below treeline it’s best to squat on your backpack to insulate yourself from the potential ground current. The wilderness areas on the Colorado Trail do have a permit system in place, but they don’t involve any designated campsites, fees, or general planning. allowed here. © 2020 Pocket Outdoor Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. What a fun week it’s been. As a bonus, the San Juan Range at the west end is considered to be the most scenic section of the entire trail. One of the best segments of the Colorado Trail, Segment Six is best … Best Resupply Point Silverton’s Outdoor World (970) 387-5628. Best Views: In my opinion, Colorado Trail Segment 5 offers the best views on the first five segments of the trail. MAP: Trails Illustrated PERMITS: none (easy self-registration for wilderness areas) DESIGNATION: primarily 7 different National Forests BEST SEASONS: July, August, September DISTANCE: 485 miles from Denver to Durango WATER: I thru-hiked with 4 liters capacity. The trail will often close due to issues related to its nearby dam, so there are two alternate trailheads: This is the primary alternate for those with dogs. I earn commission with links to other websites, like Amazon. With strong legs and an ambitious plan, you can see more wild country in 12 hours than some backpackers see in a week, and still make it home in time for dinner. Hikers have the option of traveling the Colorado Trail starting in either either Denver or Durango. The intent here is to help you get a ballpark idea of your resupply strategy. Most of us mere mortals would probably take something like 15-20 days. Trail in San Isabel National Forest, Mount Massive Wilderness. My key references were the The Colorado Trail Foundation website, the Colorado Trail Databook (pocket-sized, lightweight, and a must-have for planning and as an on-trail reference), and the Colorado Trail Hiker app (as another on-trail reference). You can donate to their efforts here, because money makes the world go ’round. Some people section hike the Colorado Trail – meaning they tackle the CT a few segments at a time, rather than all 28 segments at once, and not necessarily in sequence. San Luis Peak is the easiest one to get, as its summit is nearest to the official trail. Sometimes businesses along the trail will accept packages too (Especially worth considering for UPS and FEDEX, which do not deliver to the Post Office). The race is held each year in early July. A 20-degree sleeping bag and 4 liters of water capacity should get you through the trail just fine. Try entering “Junction Creek Campground Durango” in Google maps to get on the right track. 16.8 – County Rd 97: Conifer 26.9 – County Rd 126: Buffalo Creek 40.5 – FS 543/68: to Bailey 71.7 – US Hwy 285: Kenosha Pass, Jefferson, Fairlplay 104.4 – Hwy 9: Breckenridge, Frisco, 117.6 – Hwy 91: Copper Mountain 143 – US Hwy 24: Leadville, 176.9 – Hwy 82: Twin Lakes 183.4 – Collegiate East/West Divide 209.7 – County Rd 365: Buena Vista 216.3 – County Rd 306: Buena Vista, There are several paved roads in Segment 13. You can still park at a trailhead, but after a few days you’re probably 20 or 30 miles away from your ride. The Colorado Trail Foundation has an informative conditions page that provides links to local weather forecasts and snowpack levels, organized by segment. Bear canisters are not required anywhere on the Colorado Trail. The trail widens with new paths and bridges. Thru-hikers hit the best blooms at mile 423; dayhikers can hit them on a four-mile out-and-back west from Kennebec Pass. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, mountain biking, and backpacking and is best used from May until October. You can ship it via USPS to a local post office. The trail widens with new paths and bridges. You’ll have to pay an entrance fee for the state park, but some folks still like this as a quiet alternative to the busy Waterton Canyon Trail. Jeannie Dreyer set the female course record in 2015 at 5 days, 15 hours, 36 minutes. A good book for navigating the Colorado Trail is The Colorado Trail: The Official Guidebook of the Colorado Trail Foundation. As a whole, the Colorado Trail averages over 10,300 feet above sea level! If you’d like a more subjective take on thru-hiking the trail, check out my journal. Colorado Trail: Segments 1-8. MAP: Trails Illustrated PERMITS: none (easy self-registration for wilderness areas) DESIGNATION: primarily 7 different National Forests BEST SEASONS: July, August, September DISTANCE: 485 miles from Denver to Durango WATER: I thru-hiked with 4 liters capacity. Otherwise dogs are okay throughout the entire Colorado Trail. Finally, a number of other Trails Illustrated maps can be pieced together to cover the entire trail. Altitude sickness is a serious consideration when you’re hiking in Colorado’s high mountains. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. Remember that the Colorado Trail is hiking trail that simply allows cyclists to use it… if you dare . This way you’re less likely to get caught on the move above treeline. This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. Total Length 13mi; Elevation Range summitstage.com. Most of the 28 segments can be hiked within a day or two with a light pack. The still waters frame the near-vertical ramps of Vestal and Arrow Peaks. The second section is from Durango to Longmont. If I were to go again, then that’s the road I’d choose – the Collegiate West. You’ll be tempted to leave all of your backpacking gear behind to bag these summits. Durango – It’s only about 4 miles from the end of the trail to downtown Durango. Merrill Hastings, as editor of Colorado Magazine, played a big roll in drumming up early support. Missouri Mountain, in particular, had a short section that struck me as exceptionally exposed. Its lowest point is at 5,520 feet in Waterton Canyon – the trail’s eastern terminus near Denver. Elevation profiles are listed in the Data Book. Trippiest Wildflowers Indian Trail Ridge A rainbow of early-August blossoms—a confetti-throw of Western-slope endemics—sprinkles the tundra on this ridge northwest of Durango. The Colorado Trail connects Boulder and Golden to the south side of the Continental Divide. Fortunately the logistics of traveling to Denver and Durango are fairly simple. See map of all 28 segments. WOW! Just remember that you’re bound to see plenty of other hikers in this section. Colorado Trail : Segment 6 is a 30.8 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Jefferson, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. Eventually the official trail was re-routed to the east, but several hikers still chose to incorporate Hope Pass into a thru-hike. 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