Average Distance Per Day: 17.5 Miles. Day 5 was the first day I cried due to the pain, but it wouldn’t be the last. Riding the north end might save some time, but bikes are specifically prohibited on the south end between the trailhead and unmarked wilderness boundary. If you haven’t guessed already, we weren’t successful in completing the entire thru-hike, but you’ll have to read on to find out why! That’s very good advice and I try every day to do just that! We tried & failed to get a fire going. The remaining sixteen miles gradually cross a ten thousand foot hump at the base of the fourteener Mount Princeton, with the last five being an unusually long stretch of dirt and paved roads though a small town. Snowmobiling. But unfortunately, it was a small store and they didn’t carry footwear. The roads fairly typical, and not particularly steep, and the few difficult sections of trail are no worse than some whole segments. It was extremely tough, not just to make the decision, but the feeling of failure afterwards. Distance: 13.1 Miles. Hiking. The over five thousand feet of elevation gain takes place in two stages in the first half of the segment, followed by a long, gradual descent. 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. Bike: Unlike the end of the previous segment, which specifically prohibits bikes between the trailhead and the wilderness boundary, this one specifically allows them. Because the only reliable source in the next segment is at the end, postponing a refill would probably not be a good idea. While doing quite a bit of hiking around the West this summer I met quite a few PCT through hikers. I just got back from 8 day hiking tour in Kumano Kodo in Japan. Sadly, the forest is pretty much gone forever, but it is slowly being replaced by new growth that will eventually obscure the remains of the fire, while still leaving the previously hidden rock outcroppings visible to decorate the landscape. The segment is mostly through open fields, rolling hills and ends on beautiful Kenosha Pass which is littered with Aspen Trees. We got to the long 6 mile meadow right around storm time & it started raining & hailing on us. The road parallels the South Platte River as it works its way gently up the canyon. I always enjoy reading about other people’s struggles, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one! Before long you’ll reach the South Platte River Trailhead and the end of this segment. 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. It took me just over five days to hike from the Waterton Canyon trailhead all the way to Breckenridge. View 7 Day Forecast on weather.gov. It stopped raining as soon as camp was set up. Colorado Trail Segments 22-28 and Segment 1 – September 20 to October 1. Both mountains are accessible from the trail, but not as short excursions. Segment 1 of the Colorado Trail (#1776) begins at Waterton Canyon. Segment 1 of the Colorado Trail; Segment 1 of the Colorado Trail. 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. It took a long time to accept my decision to pull off the trail. Thus when we rode segment 3 of the Colorado Trail, we started from the roadside parking lot (marked on map) then rode the short distance to the Little Scraggy Trail. We found wild strawberries at our campsite. My feet just weren’t ready. 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. 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. Thru-hikers hike the entire trail from one end to the other in usually a little over one month. The following map shows most of Colorado Trail segment six from its eastern starting point at Kenosha Pass to where the trail crosses the middle fork of the Swan River. From here follow a well defined trail winding its way through the Buffalo Creek Fire (1996). Figures. We saw a hummingbird on a purple flower [at our campsite]. The cots were very uncomfortable. Interactively explore all 500 miles of The Colorado Trail between Denver and Durango using topographic maps and satellite imagery. I will let you know if I find a solution haha! Bike: Except for a few miles of smooth single-track on either end, and the occasional rockless section, this segment is nothing but rocky trails and roads, which is no fun at all on a bike. Segment 1 of the Colorado Trail is easily accessible, located only 30 minutes from downtown Denver. COTREX is a project by the Colorado DNR and Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Stories such as yours gives us a deep appreciation for what they accomplish. Great post – it’s important, I think, to be honest about our struggles – that is incredibly helpful to others who are experiencing difficulty. Beware that a large portion of Colorado Trail Segment 4 (miles 1.9-8.2) is in the Lost Creek Wilderness which prohibits bikes and motorized vehicles from using the trail. Even with the reassurance of regular trail markers, it can be difficult at times to stay on the trail. A paved ramp, that at first appears to lead to a gondola terminal, soon turns into a dirt road next to a sign that describes the route ahead. The regular start (Waterton Canyon) is closed to dogs, and I would not dream of leaving behind my faithful companion Baloo. I was also super sore from a long 14 mile day yesterday. After that the trail flattens out for the most part, with a brief stretch of forested area that provides some shade. This is the first edition Guidebook that covers both the CT Collegiate East and CT Collegiate West. Colorado Trail: Segment 1 is a 18 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Littleton, Colorado that features a river and is rated as difficult. Significant elevation changes, where the trail crosses a series of valleys and saddles, make the last few miles the most difficult. Although Colorado Trail Segment 1 is 16.7 miles long, it has relatively little elevation gain, … Even though the elevation makes the four mile ride in each direction across the mesa at unexpectedly difficult, riding is still much faster than walking. The canyon offers a 6.5-mile route to a view of Strontia Springs dam. It was relaxing hanging out and watching the hummingbirds. Starting Time: Sunday, July 14th, 7:00 AM. I mentioned my struggles briefly in one or two posts but perhaps I should write more extensively on it. It was in his backpack the whole time. Section hikers hike individual segments. We were both nervous, but excited to start. While the views are amazing any time of year, those hiking the whole trail will be forced to use their imaginations to transport themselves a few months into the future, when it is blanketed by the bright yellows, oranges, and reds of aspen groves reacting to the onset of winter. The Colorado Trail (Segments 1 - 6 Denver to Breckenridge) T HE C OLORADO T RAIL. It was a wet day. Through hikers & bikers would start in Waterton Canyon near Denver. Denver to Breckenridge. Surprisingly, water is available throughout the year at various points along the trail, but not necessarily at the most convenient locations. 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. The CDT takes you right through the resort; the CT goes around it. We braved the rain & kept on as the trail through the meadow is relatively flat. Because marked and unmarked roads, all practically identical, lead off in every direction throughout the first half of the segment, it is important to evaluate every intersection to avoid getting lost. The shortest segment is 10.9 miles and the longest is 32.7 miles. Leave a Comment Denver, CO The Colorado Trail runs 500 miles from Denver to Durango. 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. Hike: After so many miles of following ridges and climbing in and out of valleys, the rolling grasslands of this segment will be a welcome change. At the other end, there are several access points along the trail to the fourteeners Mount Shavano and Tabeguache Peak, which are close enough together that they can both be climbed on the same day with a relatively uncomplicated ten mile hike. These same features make the segment one of the most amazing and isolated experiences anywhere on the trail when under cloudless blue skies. I desperately wanted to finish, and I truly felt like a failure for not being able to do so. We intended to thru-hike the entirety of the Colorado Trail from Denver to Durango (485 miles). Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Stats: 16.8 miles; 2,830-foot … You can still park at a trailhead, but after a few days you’re probably 20 or 30 miles away from your ride. I’ve finally simplified my life again… it’s just me and my backpack. The whole section can be comfortably ridden in both directions in one day, but because the trail conditions deteriorate significantly during the descent towards Marshall Pass, the return trip can be surprisingly long and difficult. OHV Riding (>50”) Nordic Skiing. Due to snow constraints, I had to wait until June to begin Segment 6 (Kenosha Pass). The segment then plunges back down to its low point in a valley below the divide, only to climb almost all the way back up again. Segment 7 begins at Goldhill Trailhead, just off Highway 9 and located halfway between Breckenridge and Frisco. While there is plenty of water at the beginning of the segment, it will become harder to find past the midpoint, until there none at all. Segment 1. Bike: Only a few miles at either end of this segment are outside of the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness. Bike: The most important thing to know about this segment is that unlike the first half, with its gradual grades and smooth surfaces, the second half is so steep and rocky in places as to be almost impossible to ride, either up or down. Start/End Access: Rough roads/Paved roads. There will still be a lot of gradual climbs and descents, but the views are unlike anything seen on the trail so far. While the roads are inconsistent, the route is not difficult to follow. Bike: Contrary to what some guidebooks say, there is no reason not to ride this segment. On October 15, 2019 January 26, 2020 By coloradochelsea In Colorado Trail, Hiking & Travel Blogs. 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. However, it is not uncommon to see wildlife nearby, which along with some nice views, make the miles go by fairly quickly. Day 5 was our longest day so far, and even though I’d just rested my feet for nearly 16 hours, the pain was getting more and more intense. Alternate start to the CT. It was super. It was a long, hard day. Segment 11/12 – Mount Belford, 14,197 – Missouri Gulch Bypass, TI map #129. The trail begins at Waterton Canyon and follows a gravel road for the first seven miles. Yay…, Day 2 | 07/25/17 | ~ 9.8 miles | Segment 1: MM 10.0 to Segment 2: MM 3.0, West Bear Creek Campsite to Buffalo Creek Fire Campsite. Trail Surface: Rocky roads; rocky single-track. Stay tuned for that post! Today mostly sucked. Starting Point: Waterton Canyon Trailhead, Denver, CO. This segment is popular with day hikers, backpackers and mountain bikers and is one of the most heavily trafficked segments of the Colorado Trail. There are no long stretches without water, and most sources are reliable throughout the year. Interestingly, even though they are still standing, and seem normal from a distance, all of the large pine trees in the area are dead. Colorado Trail segment 6 on Trailsnet Motorcycle Riding. 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. 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. 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. Even though motorcycles are allowed throughout the section, there is actually very little evidence of their presence. This is a moderate and very scenic route near Denver. The trail generally stays at treeline, traversing steep slopes almost as often as it follows ridges, with plenty of cover, and at the same time, unlimited views. Day 1 – Waterton Canyon to the South Platte River – Segment 1. updated: March 20, 2017. (My first on this trip!) Tomato and Peach October 6, 2020 1 Comment We did it! Best Views: In my opinion, Colorado Trail Segment 4 offers the best views on the first four segments of the trail. . While riding one way, and returning on the bikepath, is a definitely a difficult undertaking, it is not at all unreasonable. Trip Stats. Colorado Trail Segment 1 [Trip Report] by Gordon | Jun 14, 2020 The Colorado Trail (CT) covers about 500 miles from Denver to Durango, Colorado. After a long descent, the trail joins a rough road for a little over a mile, and finally the old railroad grade on Marshall Pass, where there is parking and easy access. 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. Hike: This section is unique in that it begins by following the forested shore of a reservoir for several miles, suddenly climbs and descends three thousand feet, and ends with several more miles of flat terrain. Pics of Segment 1 – From the Back of the Pack. Finally we found a campsite at 14.0 miles in, almost to the end of Segment 4! The first quarter of the trail is the majority of the climbing you'll do. What a great accomplishment! The first quarter of the trail is the majority of the climbing you'll do. 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. At one point, the rain was so bad, we had to stop & pitch the tent. It was around Day 3 that I started to question whether or not my foot pain was normal. Segment 10 is about 13.6 miles. Glad to hear you’re working through it. The west side is almost entirely smooth, but too steep for a comfortable uphill ride, making the east side the best place to start. 55 miles in 6 days and Peanut did great. After that the trail flattens out for the most part, with a brief stretch of forested area that provides some shade. Now there will be no stopping me, and I look forward to doing a few more sections every year. Wow! The regular start (Waterton Canyon) is closed to dogs, and I would not dream of leaving behind my faithful companion Baloo. The southern trailhead is much busier since it is also the access point for climbing Mt. After that, we kept moving, trying to get to MM 5.2. 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. There is no water and little shade. 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 … Although the trail is mostly off to the side, the first half of the segment passes through an area in which camping is extremely popular. Hike: This segment leaves behind the seemingly endless miles of roads surrounded by grassy hills and small clumps of trees at its halfway point, and concludes with a gradual descent through a secluded valley next to a boggy stream. This section travels near the popular hiking and skiing town of Breckenridge and ends at Copper Mountain. Hopefully my story can do that for someone as well, but I do think it’s so important to be transparent. Hike: At barely eleven miles, this is the shortest segment on the trail, but the highest point is over a thousand feet higher than the ends, and the elevation change overall is almost six thousand feet. Interestingly enough, when I was planning this hike, my brain kind of skipped over the first two numbers; I really didn’t think much of it because if … The trail continues to the south of the reservoir for about 10 miles to the confluence of the North Fork of the South Platte River and the Gudy Gaskil bridge. The trail starts at the end of CT - Segment 1 along the Platte River. Except for some steep and rocky sections near the top, where walking might be unavoidable, the trail is rideable in both directions. Bike: Because the Monarch Crest Trail follows this section and part of the next one, and riders usually take a shuttle to the top of the pass, it is possible to encounter large groups during peak times, so plan accordingly. The low point is at an elevation that will not be seen until within a few miles of Durango, whereas the average on the whole trail is almost four thousand feet higher. Pics of Segment 1 – From the Back of the Pack. We do not run, so we will walk it and so it begins. Horseback Riding. 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. Thanks for sharing. Colorado Trail Segment 1 Facts. On Day 8 we reached treeline for the first time along the trail. Here are my notes: It took exactly 8 hours from sign to sign (18 miles). While running water will no doubt be encountered now and then, most of it will be found soaking the ground, which in several cases forces the trail away from an impassible section of road, or out of the grass and into the trees. While there may be water thoughout the segment, only the creek can be depended upon at any time of year. 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