Jul 9, 2016 Neko1234 Fain. The easiest solution is for you and a hiking partner to shuttle a second car to your pre-determined endpoint. We tend to judge ourselves very seriously, and I think we need to be nice to ourselves, even or especially when we don’t live up to our own expectations! The views are incredible from start to finish, but the second half is particularly breathtaking, especially in the fall when the trail is surrounded by bright yellow aspen groves. But unfortunately, it was a small store and they didn’t carry footwear. While there is a chance of encountering a few small streams a short distance into the next segment, there are no reliable sources of water for almost twenty miles. It is your official resource for hiking, … Pics of Segment 1 – From the Back of the Pack. Thanks for sharing. I will let you know if I find a solution haha! In addition to numerous stream crossings, there are lakes at either end of the segment, so water is never far away. Not only was the pain worse, but the new shoes (literally) rubbed me the wrong way, causing blisters to form. Interactively explore all 500 miles of The Colorado Trail between Denver and Durango using topographic maps and satellite imagery. The route is either obvious or well marked at all intersections in the trail, but a map or directions might be necessary to stay on the correct roads, especially towards the end of the segment. Sadly, my new shoes seemed to make things even worse. Day 1 | 07/24/17 | ~ 10.0 miles | Segment 1: MM 0.0 to MM 10.0, Waterton Canyon Trailhead to West Bear Creek Campsite. I used the Indian Creek trail as an alternate route, intersecting with the regular CT at Larry's Rest after 4 miles … So, in early May, I blocked off a weekend to hit the trail for the first time on Segment 1. Hopefully my story can do that for someone as well, but I do think it’s so important to be transparent. The summit is only about three thousand feet higher than where the trails intersect, but the physical effects of the higher altitude is dramatic. The road parallels the South Platte River as it works its way gently up the canyon. Day 9 | 08/01/17 | ~ 13 miles | Segment 6: MM 19.7 to Segment 6: MM 32.7 (end of segment), North Fork Swan River Campsite to Gold Hill Trailhead (and detour to Frisco & Dillon, CO). Hiking. You can still park at a trailhead, but after a few days you’re probably 20 or 30 miles away from your ride. Bike: It is not clear where bikes are allowed on this section, because none of the many access roads or trailheads have the standardized, designated use signs that can be found at most every other trailhead. A short descent past a lake in a small valley is followed by a much longer ridge crossing that ends in a large cluster of lakes and a final precipitous descent. There are several small streams near the middle of the segment, but beyond that the only reliable water source will be halfway through the next segment. This segment is popular for mountain biking, too. After hiking Segments 1-3 of The Colorado Trail, since they melted early, we decided to tackle a high elevation segment. Biking. I’ve finally simplified my life again… it’s just me and my backpack. It was a beautiful section though, and it was fun following cattle tracks and then coming out to a meadow where we watched them graze. Today was our longest day yet and the foot pain showed no signs of improvement. Ridden one way, the elevation changes are spread out nicely, but riding in both directions might be overly ambitious. A good warm-up, the first 6 miles climb gradually along a dirt road, then turn onto rolling and climbing singletrack trail. Segment one of the Colorado Trail starting at the Waterton Canyon just South is Denver, and ending at the South Platte River trailhead. I couldn’t even bear to journal because I was so upset about my situation. A thirty mile round trip ride from the bottom would probably be more fun than a shorter one way ride from the top, and it wouldn't require such a long drive. Pursuing Balance Through Adventure There are two signs a few hundred feet apart on the north side, where the trail intersects an old road, that first generically prohibits vehicles and then prohibits motor vehicles, but nothing similar at the other end. Hike: Much of the first half of this segment has been devastated by pine beetles, with a result similar to the burned areas experienced earlier. There are rough days and we go through a lot to get to where we want to go. We could hear it crashing through the brush. They’re doing 20 mile days already & aren’t taking good care of themselves. It was around Day 3 that I started to question whether or not my foot pain was normal. Day 5 | 07/28/17 | ~ 14.0 miles | Segment 4: MM 0.0 to MM 14.0, Rolling Creek Trailhead to Long Gulch Campsite. Colorado Trail Segment 10 of 28. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. It was super. It was relaxing hanging out and watching the hummingbirds. A short climb to the top of a thirteen thousand foot ridge, followed by a similar descent after three miles of gentle grades, which includes the highest point on the entire trail, completes the segment. Bike: Even though there are some nice trails along and around this segment, few would choose to ride the whole thing on a regular basis. Most southbound thru hikers welcome the transition back into high alpine terrain that begins with segment 20. Ending Point: Goldhill Trailhead, Breckenridge, CO . Trail Surface: Paved and dirt roads; smooth single-track with rocks. It was a long, hard day. Trail Surface: Rocky roads; rocky single-track with mud and roots. ELEVATION: average ~10,300 feet ROUTE: well maintained, popular trail, signed junctions GUIDEBOOK: Colorado Trail 9th Edition DATA BOOK: 7th Edition Great post – it’s important, I think, to be honest about our struggles – that is incredibly helpful to others who are experiencing difficulty. Bike: All but the first three miles of this segment are within the Mount Massive Wilderness, but easy access and the relatively good trail surface make riding worthwhile, especially in combination with walking through the wilderness in both directions. From here follow a well defined trail winding its way through the Buffalo Creek Fire (1996). My feet were killing me and it took up my thoughts 24/7. At one point, the rain was so bad, we had to stop & pitch the tent. Yesterday I rode the Greyhound from Durango to Denver and arrived in downtown Denver at about 6pm. For the first portion of this section of the Colorado Trail, you'll follow Waterton Canyon, which is the gateway to the CT. The northern half is the better of the two, with fewer rocks and better scenery, particularly in the fall, but both have steep sections on either end. It took me just over five days to hike from the Waterton Canyon trailhead all the way to Breckenridge. The first quarter of the trail is the majority of the climbing you'll do. It left me demoralized and sad. Thank you for the feedback! I’m glad you were able to get it figured out and get back on trail! Bike: Unlike the end of the previous segment, which specifically prohibits bikes between the trailhead and the wilderness boundary, this one specifically allows them. The shortest segment is 10.9 miles and the longest is 32.7 miles. August 1, 2010 Today’s Miles: 16.8 Beginning Elevation: 5,520 ft Dinner Elevation: 6,120 ft High Point: 7,520ft. Bike: Only a few miles at either end of this segment are outside of the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness. Bike: Because the trail enters the wilderness area within two miles, and stays either within it or near the boundary all the way to the end of the segment, and a few miles into the next one, it is essentially off limits to bikes. Thanks for sharing. This is a moderate and very scenic route near Denver. The final bit of the trail is mostly a flat open meadow where a recent fire burned off much of the trees. Bike: Even though the much celebrated Monarch Crest Trail follows this segment from its high point all the way to the end, no part of their shared five mile route, which consists of a steep, rocky trail and a rocky road, is particularly noteworthy as a mountain biking trail. Thanks for your kind words! Kyle found his pack cover. Trail Surface: Rocky roads; rocky single-track. SECTION ONE. Thanks Allan! Colorado Trail Alt Segment 1 Hiking trail in Moonridge, Colorado (United States). Section hikers hike individual segments. It’s just starting to rain again at 7:45pm. At higher elevations, the trees are less affected, but treeline comes soon after. Fortunately, there are numerous access points that allow breaking it down into more manageable pieces, on roads that are suitable for cars in most cases. The longest flat section is in the middle, along more than five miles of dry, exposed trails and roads that lead around a lake. Kyle booked a hotel and we took the free bus to REI, where I traded in my dirty trail runners for a sturdier pair of hiking shoes. Hike: The first six miles of this segment consist of a steep, three thousand foot climb and descent though the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness, over a twelve thousand foot ridge east of the fourteener Mount Yale. Once the last ski run is left behind, the trail will drop into a valley and follow a stream for a long climb to over twelve thousand feet. Bike: Except for the short distance where the trail crosses the access road at the beginning of the segment, bikes are not allowed anywhere on or near the trail until well into the next segment. Featured Routes. Trail Surface: Dirt roads; rocky single-track with roots. Snowshoeing. Segment one of the Colorado Trail starting at the Waterton Canyon just South is Denver, and ending at the South Platte River trailhead. A good warm-up, the first 6 miles climb gradually along a dirt road, then turn onto rolling and climbing singletrack trail. Trail Surface: Dirt roads; smooth single-track with rocks and roots. September 24, 1999 Written by Charlie and Carol. The trail starts at the end of CT - Segment 1 along the Platte River. The regular start (Waterton Canyon) is closed to dogs, and I would not dream of leaving behind my faithful companion Baloo. Bike: Twenty miles is only slightly longer than the average segment, but the rapid succession of steep climbs and descents, and a generally rocky surface, make this one difficult to complete in two rides beginning at each end. A Few Comments: In 2011 I experienced Segment 1 from the Indian Creek trailhead twice. I was also super sore from a long 14 mile day yesterday. Here are the details. Surprisingly, water is available throughout the year at various points along the trail, but not necessarily at the most convenient locations. We made it to Segment 2! We’ll make good time to Woodland Park gravel grinding up Rampart Range Road, then circle around Pikes Peak itself via the Ring the Peak trail system, until finally finishing up at Horsethief. Colorado Trail: Segments 1-6 | Colorado | 07/24/17-08/02/17, https://nationalparkshikingpursuingbalancethruadventure.wordpress.com/, Colorado Trail: Segment 7 | Colorado | 08/31/19 – Colorado Chelsea. Because the only reliable source in the next segment is at the end, postponing a refill would probably not be a good idea. Like. I’ll admit that having grown up here I have some bias, but Colorado is truly a beautiful state, and the southwest area that I hiked through on the last leg of the … Your trip sounded like quite an adventure, even hardship due to your feet and also the amount of rain and storms you had to endure. For now, I am section hiking the trail meaning I am hiking one segment at a time. Only 3 of us ended up back on the trail this morning, us & Steve. Segment 11/12 – Mount Belford, 14,197 – Missouri Gulch Bypass, TI map #129. Waterton Canyon also connects to the Roxborough State Park trail system and the Indian Creek Trail (#800). Allan. Denver to Breckenridge. However, there are no long stretches of trail on peaks and ridges, and the numerous deep folds in the terrain that can provide some semblance of cover are never far away. I wonder when we will stop hurting. The creek in the valley is the only source of water for about ten miles in either direction, and is usually at least trickling all year. Even though the last eight miles are mostly uphill, and the trail follows an old railroad grade near the end, the second half of the segment is a better overall ride than the first. When your feet go bad, there’s little you can (and should) do but call the trip. The Colorado Trail (Segments 1 - 6 Denver to Breckenridge) T HE C OLORADO T RAIL. In the summer of 2017, Kyle and I set out on the adventure of a lifetime. It was extremely tough, not just to make the decision, but the feeling of failure afterwards. The route follows a series of trails, old logging roads, and dirt roads with multiple crossings that can be confusing at times, because it is not always clear whether it will be necessary to follow a road or look for a trail. After visiting a podiatrist, it was determined that I strained tendons in both my feet. -We cheated and followed the Continental Divide Trail instead of the Colorado Trail for the beginning of Segment 6. Hike: A combination of roads and trails gradually climb away from Marshall Pass along the Continental Divide to a high point of over eleven thousand feet near Windy Peak. There are no long stretches without water, and most sources are reliable throughout the year. Along the way you’ll run into lots of bikers and the … As there is nothing particularly difficult along the way, and plenty of water, a lot of progress can be made at a fast pace and with minimal effort. OHV Riding (>50”) Nordic Skiing. We all went into Bailey to get dinner & drinks & ended up in bed around 9pm. Download its GPS track and follow the itinerary on a map. At the end of a valley, a series of short switchbacks take the trail over a steep ridge where the trees thin out briefly and the terrain becomes more rugged. It was in his backpack the whole time. We pulled off the trail on Day 7 to see if the sporting goods store in Fairplay had any insoles. My feet just weren’t ready. Perusing the Colorado Trail Ninth Edition, the official guidebook of the Colorado Trail Foundation (CTF, 2016), I noticed that for Segment 1, the elevation gain is 2,830’ while the elevation loss is 2,239’ feet, the highest elevation for this section is 7,517’. He ran back to get it but it wasn’t there. We were ready to go! Motorcycle Riding. The trail begins at Waterton Canyon and follows a gravel road for the first seven miles. There is some cover along the way, but the heat radiated by the ground and rocks, combined with the lack of moisture, can make a typical summer day almost unbearable. What a great accomplishment! This is the first edition Guidebook that covers both the CT Collegiate East and CT Collegiate West. There are several intersections in the second half of the segment, at least one of which requires a turn in the least travelled direction, but all of them are well marked. While the roads are inconsistent, the route is not difficult to follow. Day 5 was the first day I cried due to the pain, but it wouldn’t be the last. The first half is still well worth riding though, because the prohibition of all but two wheeled vehicles has allowed the roads to become overgown to the point where they are basically single-track trails. Day 1 – Waterton Canyon to the South Platte River – Segment 1. updated: March 20, 2017. Quite an adventure. Thank you for sharing! Along the way it meanders through high alpine mountains and valleys, offering a glimpse at some of the finest terrain Colorado has to offer. Colorado Trail (Segment 1) + Indian Creek Loop I was able to get out to the first segment of the Colorado Trail on Saturday. Segment 10 – Mount Massive, 14,421 – TI map #127. The other 3 decided to quit. Except for a few steep sections, the roads are relatively smooth and easy to ride, but because it is necessary to return by the same route to go around the wilderness, and the scenery is similar to the previous segment, a desire to complete the entire trail is really the only reason to ride it. After that, we kept moving, trying to get to MM 5.2. But thank goodness. Colorado Trail Segments 22-28 and Segment 1 – September 20 to October 1. Although the terrain around the segment seems as dry as a desert at times, there are reliable streams at fairly regular intervals. The MTB version of this route will start on designated bike paths and a little bit of singletrack that border the Front Range Urban Corridor, before catapulting you into the Rocky Mountains via Segment 1 of the Colorado Trail. Didn't go all the way to the top but made it just passed the dam into the Colorado trail single track entrance. While parking is available, a free shuttle system runs daily between many of the local towns and is a convenient option for those looking to avoid driving (or looking to get back to their vehicle after a hike). Saw very few people today and just two deer. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. The trail alternates between open meadows and lush forests that are teeming with wildflowers and wildlife. Due to snow constraints, I had to wait until June to begin Segment 6 (Kenosha Pass). Steve, Dan, & Skyler. Day 3 | 07/26/17 | ~ 12.0 miles | Segment 2: MM 3.0 to Segment 3: MM 3.4, Buffalo Creek Fire Campsite to Stormy/Soggy Campsite. The trail winds through nearly 500 miles of the awe-inspiring Rocky Mountains drawing hikers from around the world and is open to hikers, bikers, and horseback riders. Many of the trails in the first half of the segment are simply randomly worn paths that shortcut the roads, but even walking on them is preferable to staying on the road. ATV Riding. What remains ranges from faint tracks across grass covered rocks, to seemingly random ruts created by off road vehicles, and none of it is enjoyable to ride. Hike: The long climb from the previous segment continues along an old road to over ten thousand feet, eventually leveling out for almost fifteen miles at the bottom of a straight, soggy valley. Trail Surface: Rocky roads; rocky single-track with grass. End: Mount Massive TH. While doing quite a bit of hiking around the West this summer I met quite a few PCT through hikers. For our purposes, we're using the official distances from The Colorado Trail Foundation. The trails at either end are largely smooth single-track however, and definitely worth riding, even if only to provide faster access for a hike up to the pass. On October 15, 2019 January 26, 2020 By coloradochelsea In Colorado Trail, Hiking & Travel Blogs. I’ve added some comments to provide clarification as well as many of the pictures I took along the way. Alternate start to the CT. 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. It took a long time to accept my decision to pull off the trail. Although Colorado Trail Segment 1 is 16.7 miles long, it has relatively little elevation gain, … Trail Surface: Dirt roads; rocky single-track. That must have been a bitter disappointment, Chelsea. Living in Colorado is a hikers dream. Trail Surface: Smooth single-track with rocks and grass. Btw, the left side of my left foot below the little toe down to the ball of my foot, all on the very side, hurts no matter what I do, such as hike, play racketball, backpack, so if you come up with a fix let me know, lol. Bike: The huge elevation loss may make this segment seem like nothing but downhill from beginning to end, but that is definitely not the case. The west side is almost entirely smooth, but too steep for a comfortable uphill ride, making the east side the best place to start. It was the hardest decision I had ever made, but it ultimately was a good one. Location: Waterton Road / Littleton, CO; Start Access: Paved roads; Trail Surface: Dirt roads; smooth single-track with rocks and sand; Hike: The first half of this segment follows a wide, flat road at the bottom of Platte Canyon. Sorry you had to quit the trail. Hike: After nearly five hundred miles of climbing over countless high ridges and saddles, descending nearly a vertical mile is the perfect ending to an epic journey. The meadow was beautiful even in the rain. Colorado Trail Segment 7 Goldhill Trailhead to Copper Mountain . I don’t remember all the miles, but I remember the owl that watched me set up camp near Tincup Pass, cold streams — even individual trees. Figures. Segment 1 of the Colorado Trail is easily accessible, located only 30 minutes from downtown Denver. 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