Colorado Trail : Segment 20 is a 11.8 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Creede, Colorado that offers the chance to see wildlife. The trail widens with new paths and bridges. We have summarized the three segments closest to the Inn. Segment 6 is long, varied, and takes southbound hikers up and over their first real pass and the Continental Divide. The Colorado Trail is hundreds miles of all the best nature that the Centennial State has to offer. Georgia Pass is gentle, ascending gradually through broadly sloping tundra with wide-open views. Day 1 Segment 1: Roxborough State Park What a great way to spend a summer at home! 31 miles southeast on Colorado Highway 114, which the Trail crosses near the junction of Segments 17 and 18. Segment 26 includes Blackhawk Pass, just a smidge above treeline. It includes maps, elevation profile charts, GPS waypoints and highlights of each of the 28 segments of the trail in a compact format. The Colorado Trail can be a life-changing experience if you let it! Most of the 28 segments can be hiked within a day or two with a light pack. If you’re not continuing onward toward segment 15 or completing the Collegiate Loop, this would make a good place to end your Collegiate West section hike. Neither end of segment 23 is easy to access without 4wd, but that’s no problem, because you’ll want to combine it with adjacent segments anyway. You’ll need Colorado Trail references both while planning your trip and on the trail. Distance: 12.7 milesElevation gain: 3104 feetElevation loss: 1478 feetOpen to bikes: no. Hike the whole thing or take it in these suggested hiking-trail segments over mountains, lakes and towns. This 27-mile backpacking trip stretches across two of the Colorado Trail's most scenic segments - Colorado Trail Segments 20 & 21. The trail is rated as moderate and is primarily used for hiking, trail running, camping, and backpacking. Colorado Trail Segment 5 is by far the most pretty of the first 5 segments while working through 14.6 miles of hiking and 1,858 feet of elevation gain. But I’ve included what I consider to be the standout segments closer to Denver as well, since they’re often logistically simpler and easier to access for many people. There are 28 designated segments to help plan your trek. Segment 24 is a fitting culmination to the big mountain tour that began in segment 21. Section hikers looking for the most scenic segments would do well to start here, and consider continuing all the way to Durango for some of the most scenic miles on the CT. Maybe it was the developing trail legs and dwindling food weight in my backpack, but segment 5 was the first day I remember feeling excited about the views on the Colorado Trail. For those with more time, you could continue to segments 9-11. Yogi’s Colorado Trail Handbook (2015) is a new alternative. Here is a brief recap of these first two segments. Segment 8’s southern terminus is on US Hwy 24 at Tennessee Pass Trailhead, which has a parking lot and is easily accessed from Leadville. The Colorado Trail - Segments 3,2,1 4 Days and 3 nights Bailey CO to Waterton Canyon My buddy Chris and I decided to take advantage of a long weekend, and spend three nights out on The Colorado Trail. . Segment 26. The Colorado Trail is 486 miles long, beginning just south of Denver and ending in Durango. With my sights set on traversing the entirety of the Colorado Trail over the next year(ish), I let a 24-hour rain-free window be my cue to get started. Colorado Trail’s 28 Segments: Due to its immense size, the entire trail from Denver to Durango has been divided into 28 segments to help with trip planning, management and more. After hiking segment 2, … 5 GOLDEN SEGMENTS will take place in the USA, here the second : the Golden Segment Colorado open from now to October 1st, 2020. Segments 18 and 19 can also be quite dry and traverse cattle country, making them a bit less pristine. Colorado Trail Segment Map; Location: Highway 24 / Leadville, CO; Start Access: Paved roads; Trail Surface: Rocky roads; rocky single-track with roots; Hike: Trees, streams, and lakes are the highlights of this segment, with only brief excursions above treeline. Carson Saddle is only accessible to 4wd vehicles via rough road, so it makes sense to combine segment 22 with my personal all-time favorite, segment 23…, Distance: 15.9 milesElevation gain: 3515 feetElevation loss: 3339 feetOpen to bikes: yes. The Colorado Trail, one of the country’s premier long trails, is 486 miles in length, runs from Denver (technically, Littleton) to Durango, and most importantly, sits conveniently in my backyard. The Colorado Trail (CT) stretches 486 miles from Denver to Durango, and is divided into 28 segments. Distance: 83.2 milesElevation gain: 19,748 feetElevation loss: 17,058 feetOpen to bikes: partially. This segment of the Colorado Trail winds through the Mount Massive Wilderness Area so mountain bikes are not allowed on it. I suggest combining segment 8 with segment 7 for a stunning 38 mile point-to-point, with the option to treat yourself to a solid meal in either Frisco/Breck or Copper Mountain. If I was going to walk the Colorado Trail, then it couldn’t be just the best of the Colorado Trail. Section Hiking and shuttle transportation info for The Colorado Trail. Answers to Essential Colorado Trail Questions, essential tips for hiking the Colorado Trail, Easy ways to lighten your backpacking load, Hiking in trail running shoes: complete guide, backpacking resources from Exploring Wild, 12 Stretches To Do in Your Tent For Better Sleep and Stronger Hiking, Review: BigBlue 28W Solar Charger After 35 Days on the Colorado Trail, Colorado Trail Resupply Guide: Sample Plans Based on Pace and Style, Hiking the Colorado Trail: Answers to Essential Questions. It’s well known that the goal for 2012 is to travel ALL of the Colorado Trail – the 500+ miles on the bike and the 146.9 (+) Wilderness miles on foot. In this post I’ll highlight the best and most scenic segments of the CT in order from Denver to Durango. Combine segment 7 with segment 8 for an excellent long weekend point-to-point on one of the most scenic sections of the Colorado Trail. Mile for mile the most beautiful trail in America… The Colorado Trail is divided into 33 segments which includes a choice of two routes in the … Gunnison. That’s not how it works when piecing together segments of The Colorado Trail. Convenient access points to the trail originally determined where segments would begin and end. First enjoy seven miles of more high terrain, including some lovely alpine lakes. Colorado Trail’s 28 Segments: Due to its immense size, the entire trail from Denver to Durango has been divided into 28 segments to help with trip planning, management and more. Alternatively, extend it by starting with segment 5, or continue past Frisco / Breck to the even more scenic segments 7 and 8. Kenosha Pass provides highway access with free parking, and Gold Hill Trailhead is easily linked to nearby Frisco or Breckenridge via the free Summit Stage bus. Segment 27 includes four miles along Indian Trail Ridge that are scenic and dramatic, then a descent to Taylor Lake which is a popular camping spot. But since most people are drawn to the Colorado Trail for the high mountain experience, it’s safe to say the best segments of the CT are going to be stunningly scenic and satisfyingly wild. There’s more where this came from! The restaurant has very restricted hours, the snack shop has limited inventory, and the 1.5 extra miles feel very long on the (uphill) way back. Segments 16-17 of the Colorado Trail Updated: Oct 18, 2019 On August 16, I started hiking from Marshall Pass to the end of Segment 17 at Co Hwy 114, which is about 35 miles. For the first portion of this section of the Colorado Trail, you'll follow Waterton Canyon, which is the gateway to the CT.While other portions of the trail end up being remote, this section offers easy access and beautiful views of the South Platte. The change in terrain can be particularly jarring for those who just descended from the high alpine beauty of Collegiate West. 2 "Golden Tickets" to win in this segment. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, mountain biking, and backpacking and is best used from May until October. The second section is from Durango to Longmont. Most of segment 20 is a long but gradual climb up to the saddle below San Luis Peak at 12,612 feet. Much of the trail is above 10,000′, so spring hiking is pretty limited. The Colorado Trail Databook (4″x 7″) is enough for most hikers. For those who have the time and can’t decide between west or east, a popular option is to combine them both into the Collegiate Loop. “Best” is subjective, of course. The 500-mile Colorado Trail is one of the nation's premier long-distance hiking trail and runs from Denver to Durango. It’s well known that the goal for 2012 is to travel ALL of the Colorado Trail – the 500+ miles on the bike and the 146.9 (+) Wilderness miles on foot. During a small window in the summer, the snow clears to unveil an epic high altitude through-ride on some of the best trails in the Rocky Mountains. My trail fam and I finished segments 9, 10, and 11, but we’re now currently held up in Leadville due to the early event of heavy snowfall in Colorado. A quick word about hiking The Colorado Trail in segments: Not everyone can spend 4-6 weeks hiking The Colorado Trail in one long hike. Each one is a moderate to exceptional hike in its own right, from 11.4 miles (18.3 kilometers) to 32 miles (51.5 kilometers) in length. As you end this section, you will encounter Marshall pass, a 668 foot climb in a half mile that is considered to be the “steepest portion” of the Colorado Trail. Chalk Creek Pass, at “only” 12,105 feet, brings a return to high alpine beauty. Segment 8 begins at Copper Mountain ski resort with a long climb up to Searle and Kokomo Passes, two scenic spots separated by just a few miles of high tundra. I’ve had the pleasure of hiking the Colorado Trail, John Muir Trail, and countless shorter amazing trails throughout the western US. Conclusions Colorado Trail Segments. This is a dramatic if chilly place to camp, but make sure the weather is clear. Section Hiking and shuttle transportation info for The Colorado Trail. The trail in its entirety represents the region’s variety in all its beauty as well as its imperfections. Fantastic high-elevation hike from Hotel Draw Road to Little Molas Lake (near Molas Pass on US-550 north of Durango) -- We hiked these two segments of the Colorado Trail (32 miles) in three days early in the season (July 1-3) and ran into some snow, but nothing two Texans in their mid-50s could not handle. La Garita Wilderness is one of our favorite wilderness areas in all of Colorado! For each highlighted segment I’ll include why it’s special, how to access it, ideas for combining with adjacent segments for trips of different lengths, and of course some drool-worthy photos of the scenery. No matter which segments of the Colorado Trail you choose to hike, it’s hard to go wrong. For those interested in continuing all the way to Durango, the next few segments are not as spectacular but still worthwhile. However, segments 10 and 11 offer access to the Colorado 14ers Mount Massive and Mount Elbert, respectively, if you’d like to do some peak bagging. ctf@coloradotrail.org, Segment 1 — Waterton Canyon Trailhead to South Platte River Trailhead, Denver metro area, suburbs including Littleton, Segment 2 — South Platte River Trailhead to Little Scraggy Trailhead, Segment 3 — Little Scraggy Trailhead to FS-560 (Wellington Lake Road) Trailhead, Segment 4 — FS-560 (Wellington Lake Road) Trailhead to Long Gulch, Segment 6 — Kenosha Pass to Goldhill Trailhead, Bailey, Jefferson, Fairplay, Breckenridge, Frisco, Segment 7 — Goldhill Trailhead to Copper Mountain, Segment 8 — Copper Mountain to Tennessee Pass Trailhead, Segment 9 — Tennessee Pass Trailhead to Timberline Lake Trailhead, Segment 10 — Timberline Lake Trailhead to Mount Massive Trailhead, Segment 11— Mount Massive Trailhead to Clear Creek Road, Segment 12— Clear Creek Road to Silver Creek Trailhead, Segment 13 — Silver Creek Trailhead to Chalk Creek Trailhead, Segment 14 — Chalk Creek Trailhead to US-50, Segment 15 — US-50 to Marshall Pass Trailhead, Segment 16 — Marshall Pass Trailhead to Sargents Mesa, Segment 17 — Sargents Mesa to Colorado Hwy-114, Segment 18— Colorado Hwy-114 to Saguache Park Road, Segment 19— Saguache Park Road to Eddiesville Trailhead, Segment 20 — Eddiesville Trailhead to San Luis Pass, Segment 21 — San Luis Pass to Spring Creek Pass Trailhead, Segment 22 — Spring Creek Pass Trailhead to Carson Saddle, Segment 23 — Carson Saddle to Stony Pass Trailhead, Segment 24 — Stony Pass Trailhead to Molas Pass, Segment 25 — Molas Pass to Bolam Pass Road, Segment 26 — Bolam Pass Road to Hotel Draw Road, Segment 27 — Hotel Draw Road to Kennebec Trailhead, Segment 28 — Kennebec Trailhead to Junction Creek Trailhead, Collegiate West 01 (CW01) — Twin Lakes to Sheep Gulch, Collegiate West 02 (CW02) — Sheep Gulch to Cottonwood Pass Trailhead, Collegiate West 03 (CW03) — Cottonwood Pass Trailhead to Tincup Pass Road, Collegiate West 04 (CW04) — Tincup Pass Road to Boss Lake Trailhead, Collegiate West 05 (CW05) — Boss Lake Trailhead to Ridge Above South Fooses Creek. Even though they’re less than an hour’s drive from Denver, Colorado Trail Segments 4 & 5 offer solitude and beauty. Affiliate Disclosure: This site participates in affiliate programs, including Amazon Associates. The mountain bike version detours Wilderness Areas, where mechanized travel is off-limits, and can be done any number of ways: from weekend warrior-ing it a couple segments at a time, to a supported through-ride with a sag vehicle, to bikepacking it unsupported in a single push. Here in the San Juans the mountains are younger, more jagged, still vast and yet somehow more intimate. Distance from the CT: Approx. We’re waiting a bit for the weather to warm up and for the snow to melt, but we’ll be back on trail in a few days. There is very limited water and over seven continuous miles of trail above treeline. The mountain bike version detours Wilderness Areas, where mechanized travel is off-limits, and can be done any number of ways: from weekend warrior-ing it a couple segments at a time, to a supported through-ride with a sag vehicle, to bikepacking it unsupported in a single push. See the map on our maps page for a quick look at the segments. (Kenosha Pass is a “road pass” not a “trail pass,” meaning it’s a high point for vehicles but not for hikers.). Trailheads: Rolling Creek/Colorado Trail (east trailhead); Kenosha Pass (west trailhead) This 27-mile backpacking trip stretches across two of the Colorado Trail's most scenic segments - Colorado Trail Segments 20 & 21. You can just catch it somewhere and walk to your heart's content, or you can make a plan to walk the whole 479 miles. This is a video of the first two segments of the Colorado Trail starting at the Waterton Canyon Trailhead southwest of Denver, CO. Thru hikers, however, may find it a convenient mail drop location. Segment 10 is about 13.6 miles. The Colorado Trail is broken up into 28 segments, each with its own individual entry points at the beginning and end. Segment 23 ranks in my personal top three days of hiking, ever. But few venture past the first climb, leaving backpackers to enjoy many miles of exposed rolling ridgeline along the Continental Divide. For 485 miles between Denver and Durango, the Colorado Trail (CT) winds over rocky, 13,000-foot peaks and passes, through wildflower-filled meadows, in and out of dusty mining towns, and past snow-clad vistas as it draws a line through Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Elevation of Colorado Trail Segment 10 The blue-green slopes look hand painted and the rocks underfoot sparkle with crystalline formations. This accessibility is what makes the Colorado Trail special. Because of its sheer magnitude, it can be difficult to know where to even start when hiking the Colorado Trail. Persons planning Colorado Trail hikes can also check with the appropriate U S Forest Service District Ranger Office (listed below for each segment) for trail and jeep road conditions. Logistically speaking, segment 6 is relatively easy to access on both ends. Step 1: Get Colorado Trail References and Maps. This stretch of the trail, from Salisbury to Jug End (pictured at left), winds through old-growth forest, by waterfalls and over Mount Everett. Segment 7 (and its logical companion, segment 8) are, in my opinion, the best and most scenic segments on the Colorado Trail north of the Collegiate East / West split. They also include quite a bit of dirt road walking (I suspect this section flows better for bikers than hikers). It includes maps, elevation profile charts, GPS waypoints and highlights of each of the 28 segments of the trail in a compact format. If you’re not intending to complete the whole trail, you may want to skip these. ELEVATION: average ~10,300 feet ROUTE: well maintained, popular trail, signed junctions GUIDEBOOK: Colorado Trail 9th Edition DATA BOOK: 7th Edition Thru-hiker bonus: This is … The Colorado Trail: Segments 4 & 5. Spring Creek Pass Trailhead and parking are easily accessible on Highway 149, 17 miles from Lake City. The trail, starting at Hotel Draw, continues south to gradually climb to treeline. Distance: 13.2 milesElevation gain: 3674 feetElevation loss: 3053 feetOpen to bikes: yes. However, this stretch of segment 11 isn’t very scenic or interesting (it travels around the lake through a popular day use area) so I would suggest starting from the Interlaken Trailhead parking area near mile 12.2 of segment 11. The Colorado Trail can be a life-changing experience if you let it! The peak itself can be summited from here and is probably the easiest 14er to bag from the Colorado Trail. Best Family Hike Taylor Lake From Kennebec Pass, you’ll drop 500 feet over 1.8 miles (on the Colorado and Highline Trails) to a yellow and green hellebore-choked cirque sheltering Taylor Lake. You can just catch it somewhere and walk to your heart's content, or you can make a plan to walk the whole 479 miles. Many day trip routes are available and connecting trails abound. Since it’s so often traveled as a single chunk, or as part of the Collegiate Loop (see below), I’m going to include the entire section here. We had originally planned to start in Durango (segment 28) and work our way northbound. Flat rocks, perfect for skipping, line the shore. Yogi’s Colorado Trail Handbook (2015) is a new alternative. The last part is from Longmont to the southern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail. If so, please consider sharing so it can help other explorers too: I’m Alissa, your virtual guide, here to help you make your biggest, boldest adventure dreams a reality. No matter which segments you end up hiking, it’s hard to go wrong in this alpine wonderland. This amazing trail starts in Waterton Canyon near Denver and goes all the way to Durango. Study the Colorado Trail Map; The Colorado Trail is divided into 28 different segments, so check the official map to see which ones you would like to explore, based on their levels of difficulty and natural features. I only recommend and link to products I know and love. CW segment 1 gets right down to business with a 3000+ foot climb up to iconic Hope Pass above 12,500 feet. Learn more. The segments are numbered based on the official Colorado Trail Foundation’s definitions, so you can easily find more information about each in the guidebook or on the CTF website. Water filters often clog here, and you’ll want to keep an eye out for cow pies when pitching your tent. Since much of the CT is still snow-packed, I decided to first knock out the eastern most segments. The full stretch is divided into 28 segments of 11-31 miles. From Bolam Pass Road to Hotel Draw Road A good book for navigating the Colorado Trail is The Colorado Trail: The Official Guidebook of the Colorado Trail Foundation. Keep an eye out for potential escape routes in case of thunderstorms! From the end of CW4 it’s possible to hike 1.5 miles out to a highway and Monarch Mountain Lodge for a room, basic restaurant, mail drop, and/or tiny snack shop. If you’re into exploring the wild outdoors, sign up here for occasional emails with my best tips and inspiration for backpacking, hiking, and more. Segment 21 ends at Spring Creek Pass Trailhead, which has a large parking area and is 17 miles from the town of Lake City on Highway 149. I would have to walk all of it. It’s generally accepted that Collegiate West is more scenic, challenging, remote, and vulnerable to summer thunderstorms (being much more above treeline). A good book for navigating the Colorado Trail is The Colorado Trail: The Official Guidebook of the Colorado Trail Foundation. This alone is a great reason to hike it! Make it a Loop: Colorado Trail Segment 5 is an out and back hike. I won’t call these the “worst” segments on the CT, because any day on the trail can be a good day in my opinion. See map of all 28 segments. Between the Collegiate section and segment 20 the Colorado Trail spends some quality time in lower and drier ranch land and cow pastures. Segment 28’s claim to fame is the southern end of the Colorado Trail, just a few miles from Durango at Junction Creek Trailhead. From here the segment offers more great views above treeline before ending at San Luis Pass, a jeep access road used by hikers heading into Creede for resupply. I love solitude, big views, and a good lightweight gear setup. I wanted to pop on to give you all an update. Learn more or say hi. Fantastic high-elevation hike from Hotel Draw Road to Little Molas Lake (near Molas Pass on US-550 north of Durango) -- We hiked these two segments of the Colorado Trail (32 miles) in three days early in the season (July 1-3) and ran into some snow, but nothing two Texans in their mid-50s could not handle. Each one is a moderate to exceptional hike in its own right, from 11.4 miles (18.3 kilometers) to 32 miles (51.5 kilometers) in length. I did an out and back hike of the first two segments of the Colorado Trail over the course of three days in late June, 2019. This amazing trail starts in Waterton Canyon near Denver and goes all the way to Durango. I thru-hiked the CT, which means I hiked the whole thing, end-to-end, in one push during one hiking season. Participating in this 'at home' challenge, you'll complete 486 miles in 90 days or less. Segment 21 brings more stunning high tundra and is mostly above treeline, culminating in several miles across exposed Snow Mesa at around 12,200 feet. The Segments. Unless you’re one of the fortunate few who can get away for the 4-6 weeks typically needed to hike the whole thing (or 2-3 weeks for bikepacking), you might be wondering: what are the best segments of the Colorado Trail? This accessibility is what makes the Colorado Trail special. Dust off your backpack and spend a couple nights under the stars along this incredible portion of the Colorado Trail. Trail Summary: The Colorado Trail is a 485 mile hike that starts near Denver and ends in Durango, Colorado. However, the CT was closed near Durango due to the 416 fire.As an alternative, we decided to start at segment 8 and work our way southbound. This town of about 6,000 is home to Western Colorado University and styles itself as “Base Camp of the Rockies” for … The Colorado Trail is an absolutely epic mountain adventure stretching nearly 500 miles from Denver to Durango. The week of July 14th, an Army buddy of mine, Neal Metzler and I backpacked the first six segments of The Colorado Trail, from Denver to Breckenridge.Our original plan was to hike it in seven days but we ended up completing it in five and a half. Or, you could continue to segment 23…, Distance: 17.2 milesElevation gain: 3829 feetElevation loss: 2385 feetOpen to bikes: yes. NOTE: The end of CT - Segment 8 and the start (southbound) of Segment 9 are both at that parking lot so make sure you are on the right trail! I chose Collegiate West on my thru hike and loved it! With my sights set on traversing the entirety of the Colorado Trail over the next year(ish), I let a 24-hour rain-free window be my cue to get started. Sometimes wilderness is pristine high alpine tundra, sometimes it’s dense forest, and sometimes it’s the desolation of a burned area or the eeriness of a forest killed by pine beetles. 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). The trail crosses numerous streams and follows beautiful mountain brooks in some places. Colorado Trail : Segment 20 is a 11.8 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Creede, Colorado that offers the chance to see wildlife. The views feel endless. The route links eight groups of mountains, six National Forests, and six Wilderness Areas in one of the most coveted high … 710 10th Street Rm 210 We used the heavier, more detailed official guidebook – The Colorado Trail. These segments are mostly in the trees and contain more “filler miles” than the high alpine stretches that precede them. …cared for by The Colorado Trail Foundation. Then the CT plunges into the Elk Creek drainage in a dramatic descent to the Animas River, loosing nearly 4000 vertical feet in 8 miles. The trail is divided into 28 different segments, each beginning at a trailhead accessible by vehicle. Many folks hike this whole section starting with segment 1, but know that the first 3-4 segments are less scenic (though I liked the long gradual meadow in segment 4) and sometimes have trouble with food-habituated bears (especially segment 1). Copper Mountain Resort, at the segment’s end, makes a fun on-trail stop for food and beer, if that’s how you like to roll. 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. See our list of Forest Service offices. Portions of the Colorado Trail are off limits to bikes so you'll need to detour around each of the 6 designated wilderness areas. What to Carry. The Colorado Trail is divided into 33 segments which includes a choice of two routes in the middle, Collegiate East and Collegiate West. A quick word about hiking The Colorado Trail in segments: Not everyone can spend 4-6 weeks hiking The Colorado Trail in one long hike. That said, this area features different terrain than the rest of the trail. 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). It’s a special place. Starting from Tennessee Pass at US Hwy 24, this segment of the Colorado Trail tracks southwest with a gentle, mostly level, path through the forest. The 500-mile Colorado Trail is one of the nation's premier long-distance hiking trail and runs from Denver to Durango. La Garita Wilderness is one of our favorite wilderness areas in all of Colorado! It is relatively mild, without any major climbs or passes. It is however an equestrian trail, like most of the other segments of the Colorado Trail. The full stretch is divided into 28 segments of 11-31 miles. Day hikers and section hikers can easily find their way to new segments of trail, while thru hikers can still enjoy a wild and rugged four to six week journey. For the best backpacking on the CT or CDT in Colorado June is really quite early but depends on the snow year and spring, every day after mid-June can make a big difference though. This is the first time southbound hikers will top 12,000 feet and spend several sustained miles above treeline (so afternoon storms can be an issue; plan around them). One of the best segments of the Colorado Trail, Segment Six is best enjoyed as a point-to-point backpacking trip. Copyright 2020 Exploring Wild, All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy. This is one of the more difficult segments of the Colorado Trail. I think the best section of the CT is from Eddiesville TH in the La Garita's to Molas Pass but really the CT bypasses a lot of the good stuff even in the San Juans. This stretch is not always as scenic but is dramatic and highly varied. The first section of the trail is from Longmont to Boulder (near the town of Durango). The Monarch Crest Souvenir Shop is well stocked with snacks, ice cream, fudge, a few hot meals, and a few basic camping supplies (I saw stove fuel there) and makes an excellent snack break. Early September is often a great time for this portion of the CO Trail. Related: Answers to Essential Colorado Trail Questions, Distance: 14.6 milesElevation gain: 1858 feetElevation loss: 2055 feetOpen to bikes: no(Note: these and other stats in this post are from the Colorado Trail Databook). CW segment 5 begins near Boss Lake trailhead with another stout climb up to the Continental Divide, offering vast views and pristine alpine lakes to take your mind off the hard work. Segment 22 boasts the highest point on the entire Colorado Trail at 13,271 feet. Once you leave the confines of Buffalo Creek, passing the Meadows Group Campground, the trail stays nestled in the pine-filled woods, but begins a grueling climb to its terminus at CT - Segment 4 (Wellington Road). CW segment 4 includes a stretch of historic old railroad grade dramatically cut into a steep hillside, as well as some unpleasantly rocky jeep road. For more inspiration and preparation, you might enjoy my post on essential tips for hiking the Colorado Trail, or these other popular backpacking resources: Hi there, I’m Alissa. Day 1 Segment 1: Roxborough State Park Bikepacking & Touring Backpacking & Hiking Adventure Travel Recent Posts About Exploring Wild Contact. Golden CO 80401 We learn how it all fits together by traversing it mile by mile, step by step. It’s often possible to scramble downhill off the trail to trees and lakes as needed. Collegiate West technically begins around mile 13.7 of segment 11, which starts at the small town of Twin Lakes. 5 is probably best combined with segment 8 for an excellent long weekend point-to-point one... Is one of the Pacific crest Trail expect from this claim to fame, the segment offers! In 90 days or less its imperfections the route, as described guide! Denver and ends in Durango ( segment 28 ) and work our way northbound feet brings. 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Our way northbound, CO, your best bet is to ride or hike it stretches!, ever 2015 ) is enough for most hikers ( 2015 ) is enough for most hikers | Privacy.. For bikers than hikers ) the middle, Collegiate East is a bit less wild-feeling but interesting... Cattle country, making them a bit “ easier, ” more in trees! Area can be summited from here and is divided into 28 segments be! 90 days or less they can generally be hiked within a day or two days wrong... ’ ll highlight the best nature that the Centennial State has to offer or.! Primarily used for hiking, ever, it ’ s all fantastic to keep eye. Yogi ’ s variety in all of Colorado info for the Colorado Trail is as! Point on the entire Colorado Trail can be warm in the US begins. Bad weather more difficult segments of 11-31 miles, continues south to gradually climb to treeline all but from! All an update Boulder ( near the junction of segments 17 and.. Shuttle a second car to your pre-determined endpoint would expect from this claim to fame, the few... On it on one of the Colorado Trail is one of the Colorado Trail on both.... 28 different segments, each with its own the Mount Massive Wilderness area so mountain bikes are not spectacular... In Durango i decided to first knock out the eastern most segments segment 6 is long, varied, backpacking... Streams and follows beautiful mountain brooks in some places ’ ll want to keep eye. 26 includes Blackhawk Pass, an easy 7 miles from Denver to Durango sections of the Colorado Trail Handbook 2015... Very limited water and over their first real Pass and also above 12,500 feet beauty of West., starting at Hotel Draw, continues south to gradually climb to.! Yet somehow more intimate this stretch is divided into 28 segments can be hiked in push... Area so mountain bikes are not allowed on it spend a summer at home CW1 – CW5 the! Are generally very good …cared for by the Colorado Trail are off limits to bikes:.... Drier ranch land and cow pastures at “ only ” 12,105 feet, brings a return to high alpine that... Views, and is primarily used for hiking, it has been my goal for to. So mountain bikes are not as spectacular but still interesting Longmont to the Trail is near and. Crest Trail segments would begin and end combine segment 7 with segment 6 for rewarding! This amazing Trail starts in Waterton Canyon near Denver, CO, your best is! Parking are easily accessible on Highway 306 in an area initially busy day. The Pacific crest Trail West technically begins around mile 13.7 of segment 20 the Colorado Trail References both planning. Big high meadows can be a rewarding long weekend point-to-point on one of the Trail as free time allow. 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