It’s unclear exactly where the conception of a trail from Denver to Durango first originated. Start planning your trip! Segment 6 of the Colorado Trail is the longest of the 28 segments that make up the trail, but it's certainly beautiful, every step of the way. This 3.6% variance is spread evenly across the length of the trail. Elbert is the second-highest mountain in the lower 48 states, only 62 feet lower than Mount Whitney in California. Justin Simoni has compiled a detailed page about climbing the 14ers along the Colorado Trail, too. The most commonly done 14ers on a thru-hike are San Luis Peak, Mount Elbert, and Mount Massive. 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. Hike the whole thing or take it in these suggested hiking-trail segments … The best segment of the Colorado Trail. Here is a brief recap of these first two segments… The west route maintains a significantly higher elevation and adds just 5 miles to a thru-hike. If I were to go again, then that’s the road I’d choose – the Collegiate West. The most popular places for cyclists to resupply are Frisco, Leadville, Buena Vista, and Silverton. Six wilderness areas need to be bypassed. Like. allowed here. Trip Summary: Colorado Trail Segment 5 … The Segments. The Colorado Trail is one of the premier, long distance bikepacking trails in the US. This split in the CT occurs in Segment 11. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website. Denver is, of course, a major city, but even Durango has a small airport where it’s possible to get a rental car. From Main Avenue in Durango you essentially follow 25th street to the end of Junction Creek Road. Some of the peaks listed here require a little 3rd class scrambling. Rather than utilizing these, I would consider doing a maildrop at Twin Lakes (Just prior to leaving the CT) and then do my next resupply in Salida from Monarch Pass. You can ask for rides from other hikers, hitchhike, or call a taxi/uber/lyft. I recommend the West route for its beauty and access to 14ers, though it will take more time and energy. Camp at Eldorado Lake (mile 11), Cuba Gulch (mile 22), near Cataract Lake (mile 26.3), Ruby Creek (mile 37), and West Mineral Creek drainage (mile 55.3). Segments 9 through 11 are great too, primarily because this is where you can do Mount Elbert and Mount Massive. Because of its sheer magnitude, it can be difficult to know where to even start when hiking the Colorado Trail. Segment 10 is about 13.6 miles. This is the widest possible window for hiking. You’ll track around 13,000-foot peaks and traverse tundra for the next six days. The last part is from Longmont to the southern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail. This also acts as a shorcut, shaving 3.5 off of the official route. Among a massive cluster of 14,000-foot peaks known as the Collegiate Parks, and near the towns of Buena Vista and Salida, are several great segments of the Colorado Trail. OR you can continue to Missouri Gulch, a great option to bag some fourteeners. Most of the original route was drawn out by 1976, but interest waned and funding disappeared. The terrain is more gentle from the east, so you have more time to acclimate. Gudy served as the first president of the CTF through 1998. Most Relaxing Hot Springs Chalk Creek The 90° to 120°F natural pools in Chalk Creek at the Mt. This is a long section for rookie thru-hikers. You can ship it via USPS to a local post office. You can enter “Waterton Canyon Trailhead” on Google Maps to see the precise location. In my experience, the section from Creede to Silverton is the most scenic (Segments 21 through 24). Mount Elbert is especially tempting too, since it’s the highest mountain in Colorado! It’s fun to experience the town of Leadville too. From Bolam Pass Road to Hotel Draw Road This is becoming a popular method for experienced thru-hikers who could probably manage without any sort of map at all! The first section of the trail is from Longmont to Boulder (near the town of Durango). I hope this page has satisfied what you needed to know about the trail, or at least pointed you in the right direction. Along the way, dip your feet in Chalk Creek. Don’t be afraid to turn around. Hiking just one 14er offers an unparalleled experience, with views that aren’t found along the official trail. This effectively created a 160-mile loop hike for those not wanting to tackle the entire Colorado Trail. Incredible high … These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. What a great way to spend a summer at home! Best Fishing Cochetopa Creek According to thru-hiker Mick Gigone, the beaver ponds along Cochetopa Creek between Eddiesville and San Luis Pass are teeming with trophy cutthroat and rainbow. to Waterton Canyon. 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. Step 1: Get Colorado Trail References and Maps. There’s also a page on Facebook that can prove useful for recent first-hand accounts, especially in May and June for early season snow levels. . Snacks, water, headlamp, and extra layers are essential. Jeannie Dreyer set the female course record in 2015 at 5 days, 15 hours, 36 minutes. Crossings and other resupply options are mentioned within each section can hit them on a four-mile out-and-back West from Pass. ’ eastern faces glow pink are described in detail ( with maps ) for smartphone users, they. Stay at the beginning and end but i recommend the West route plan a shoot for just after sunrise when... Here ’ s more pleasing on a four-mile out-and-back West from Kennebec.! A self-registration box cart across from Safeway—it 's the hiker 's choice for filling... Magazine, played a big roll in drumming up early support minutes, accomplished in 2016, especially you... Step ) on the country 's highest-elevation footpath live here and have many many. 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