If any long trail is likely to induce a headache, it's the Colorado Trail. my wife was going crazy because I kept pulling over and taking Pictures. The Colorado Trail Foundation states that the average thru hike typically takes 4-6 weeks so 33 days falls almost squarely in the middle of that range. The San Juan National Forest Association offers Colorado Trail maps for $18 plus $2 shipping (whole set) and $10 plus $1 shipping (half set: 1-16 North, 17-29 South) and Colorado Traveler (a detailed guidebook for day hikes on the Colorado Trail) for $5 plus $1 shipping. The Colorado Trail is a 486-mile-long greatest hits collection of the Centennial State’s most picturesque scenery, from wildflower-strewn meadows to sky-high rocky ridges, that runs from Denver to Durango. © 2020 Pocket Outdoor Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. I ended up losing 15 pounds, and gained a ton of muscle, by the time I reached Durango. With the help of friends, and by shipping boxes ahead of me, I resupplied food about every five days, and I filtered water from streams and springs along the trail. Chipmunks and ground squirrels are common campsite visitors, and raccoons and skunks may visit after dark. Pedal enthusiasts can hop off the official route for a serious of detours that make the Denver to Durango ride possible. Last year, I decided to hike the Colorado Trail (CT), and now I’m writing a book about my experience. Spring comes earlier to this mountain paradise. In fact, the route described here has been traversed solo and self-supported in an astonishing 3 days, 23 hours and 38 minutes by Jefe Branham of Gunnison in 2012. Once again, this will depend on your elevation. All told, I hiked over 500 miles and gained nearly 100,000 vertical feet during my trip. The CT is divided into 28 segments with access points at the end of each. And Purgatory Resort offers 38 miles of skiing. The Strater Hotel (800-247-4431) in Durango was built in 1887 and houses the largest collection of antique walnut furniture in the world. Each campground has a self-service registration and fee-payment station near the entrance. It took me 35 days to complete the Colorado Trail, taking two zero days and four nero days, leaving Denver on July 6, 2016 and arriving in Durango on August 10. Rattlesnakes are seldom seen but may be found in lower elevations during the summer. The silence of the alpine void of wind, foliage and wildlife, just two weary travelers making passage across the top of the world. Posted on April 8, 2020 May 13, 2020 by MAD Hippies Life. The Colorado Trail Databook, 7th ed. Guide to Bicycle Routes on Public Lands of Southwest Colorado and Durango Area Southwest Colorado Mountain Bike Routes are helpful for mountain bikers and are available from forest offices and local bike shops. Head south on the trail. The Centennial State's namesake route offers a tour of some of the country's best high alpine scenery in one monthlong hike. Thru-bikers should allow 15-20 days for the trip. While mountain bikes aren’t allowed in the Colorado Trail’s wilderness areas, a series of detours from the official route make a Denver to Durango ride possible. But to really savor the trail, to fully appreciate just what a magnificent land it traverses, you've got to take your time, hiking or riding slowly, camping wherever night finds you. Katy Trail State Park. Mosquitoes are usually an annoyance only in damp and densely forested locations. With nearly 500 miles of length from Denver Metro to Durango, it may take up to six weeks to complete its entire length. In Durango, there are over 10 raft companies to help plan a white water trip. New waterproof 7th edition coming out in 2018), The Colorado Trail Map Book by Jerry Brown, Women of the Colorado Trail (women-only group). The Colorado Trail Guide Book, 9th ed. The calories eaten and poos taken are rough estimates, but the other stats are spot on. Ken Ratcliff/Flickr. Be prepared for high altitudes, and possibly accompanying sickness from ascending too rapidly. The Colorado Trail “End to End” Guide by Paul Magnanti, “Yogi’s Colorado Trail Handbook” by Jackie McDonnell. They’re the ultimate planning resources for the Colorado Trail Race. You will have forgotten it by the time the Colorado River comes into view way below as you ride around a cliff face before descending to the road. I look forward to keeping in touch. Taking a month or so to thru-hike the entire length would be a dream for most backpacking enthusiasts. Because thru-hikers are in it for the long haul, we often take a half-day break from hiking (nero day) or a full-day break (zero day) in a nearby mountain town to shower off the grime, do laundry, drink a beer, grab some supplies, eat a hot meal, chat up the locals, devour ice cream and sleep in a mediocre bed that feels like heaven. Poison ivy grows in the area, usually in the lower elevations ~ in thickets along streams and on rocky hillsides. The shortest hikes in the survey were in the mid 20 day range (see note below) while 52 days was the top end. Colorado has climbs that belong on every cyclist's bucket list and Trail Ridge Road in Rocky Mountain National Park is my favorite. I’m often asked What does the actual path look like? There are about a dozen great peaks to climb within a one-day walk from the trail. I also earned the trail name “Serendipity,” but that’s a story for another day. You may make reservations up to 120 days in advance for individual sites and up to 360 days in advance for group sites. You'll spend most of the time near timberline, which in Colorado hovers around 12,000 feet. Autumn foliage brings magnificent gold to the area. Everything I needed to survive was in my 60-liter backpack, which weighed between 30-34 pounds when fully loaded with food and water. The trail is maintained by the Colorado Trail Foundation which organizes groups of volunteers to work on the trail. hours west of Durango. The Colorado Trail Foundation bills the Colorado Trail as “mile for mile, the most beautiful trail in America.” There’s truth to that, but it doesn’t come for free. And believe it or not, the Facebook pages are good forums for discussion before, during and after hiking the CT. Best overall bike trail I have ever ridden. Hike like a conquistador through Colorado's Sangre de Cristo Mountains. (The CT Bible, don’t leave home without it! Serendipity on the Trail is a memoir loaded with personal stories, life-changing events and a cast of characters I couldn’t make up if I tried. Thanks for signing up! The morning quiet was deafening. It’s the perfect place to try your first week-long bike tour. 8.7mi — 1h 09m Jul 24, 2009 Justin Theilman. They contain everything you need to plan and execute your ride/ride of the CTR. It usually takes thru-hikers 4-6 weeks to complete but it can be completed in sections over several years. Contact: SJNFA P.O. The finest information is found in the Colorado Mountain Club's excellent guidebook for the entire trail, which includes topo maps. More common are ravens, flickers, gray jays, mountain bluebirds, and hummingbirds. If you’re sane, it’ll probably take you between 15 and 20 days, if you’re averaging 25-35 miles per day, though backpackers regularly take upwards of 30 days, so it really depends on how long you want to be out there. 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