Colorado Trail Overview

Getting read for my little jaunt in the Colorado mountains…..

The Colorado Trial is a ~485 mile long trail that starts just southwest of Denver and moves mostly along the continental divide to end north of Durango. Going southbound (the way I plan to attempt it) the trail starts at about 6,000 feet and climbs to 10,000 feet over the first few days (40-60 miles). After that it pretty much stays between 10,000 and 13,000 feet for the next 400 miles.

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I plan to do the trail in seven “legs”, the longest being the first, 104 miles from Denver to Breckenridge, taking a rest or zero day in all of my resupply towns (except Twin lakes).  I may opt to drop one of the zero days  since 5 for this distance is a lot.

This works out to 34 hiking days, averaging a little over 14 miles a day, but with a lot of 16-17 mile days. This is an easier schedule than I had on the PCT but it is a lot higher and there are lots of very steep days.  Total elevation gain is 89,000 feet which means my average daily climb will be just over 2,600 feet.  Okay, I’m starting to scare myself. It’s just walking after all.

Start

Miles

Start Day

# Days

Town

0.0

104.1

10-Aug

7

Frisco

104.1

71.6

18-Aug

5

Twin Lakes

175.7

40.7

24-Aug

3

Buena Vista

216.4

86.4

28-Aug

5

Gunnison

302.8

55.0

3-Sep

4

Lake City

357.8

53.3

8-Sep

4

Silverton

411.1

73.9

13-Sep

5

Durango

My base pack weight is about 16.5 lbs which is heavier than I would like but I am a little worried about the weather turning cold in September in the mountains so I have a little more warm stuff. My starting pack  weight will be 16.5 (base) + 10.0 (food) + 4.4 (2L water) + 0.5 (fuel) = 31.4 lbs.  The good news is after the first leg I will never need more than 5 days food so my weight leaving all the other resupply points should be under 30 lbs.

I plan to post from each of my resupply points (assuming I have cell coverage). Wish me luck!

 

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