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Topic: The Colorado Trail, Intermediate Hiker looking for tips!< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 15 2012, 12:42 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

So my wife and I have always loved the outdoors and are in the mountains at least every other weekend through the spring, summer and fall. We usually car camp, do day hikes,  we ride ATV's and also Jeep.
On our bucket list is to conquer the Colorado Trail. No i'm not delusional and do not plan on doing it all at once!
However I would like tips on equipment, how to break the trail down, times of year to attack certain segments of the trail. Time frames for each segment, etc.

You get the idea. I'm just looking for the experience you guys on here have that can help us cross this one off our bucket list! Any information any of you care to share is greatly appreciated, and I look forward to your insight.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 15 2012, 1:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The Colorado Trail Foundation's Guide is a darn good one, well worth the 20 bucks or whatever.

When I started the CT southbound on June 1, 2002 I ran into just one tiny chunk of ice in the lost creek Wilderness. Didn't get to far past Kenosha Pass before the Hayman Fire ended my attemtped Through Hike. Most folks say start July 1 southbound, but I think unless its a historic year like 2011 you could start the 23rd or so of June unless you're a speed demon and hit Georgia Pass super early.

There are defeinitely sections that shouldn't be considered until July, and with so much higher elevation stuff in the San Juans most folks go Southbouond starting in early July since you don't really hit treeline for more than 70 if not 80 miles that direction.

The Colorado Trail Data Book is small and really helps with consideration of distances, elevation, water sources, etc. Maps are a choice. I recommend starting with National Forest Maps to put the whole trail in broad but fairly detailed perspective. Beyond that the Foundation has a companion Map set for the guide.

My lesser known favorite stretch would be HWY 50 south to the Cochetopa Hills. Lots of Elk on both sides of Jarosa Mesa. The Bolam Pass area in the Juans is an awesome place to meet folks that just want to do a couple of dayhikes and enjoy some awesome scenery car camping at fairly high altitude.


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 15 2012, 8:48 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Have you checked their site?  They have a massive amount of planning information available.  There is a book available too if you love to have a book in your hands for planning.  

http://www.coloradotrail.org/


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 16 2012, 8:00 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I will check out the site and the book.

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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 16 2012, 11:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The entire trail is about a 6 week trip to complete. The sections are broken down into  comfortable day trips. This means the beginning and end of the section gets you to a road. That doesn't mean it gets you to civilization, I know of one couple where the wife shopped the CT and the husband day hiked it. Each night she returned from her activities and drove the two of them to dinner and a hotel.

I live about a mile from Waterton Canyon. This year I saw more long distance hikers than in all the 20+years since the trail was first completed. The trail is much more popular with mbers rather than hikers or horses. You'll want to avoid their typical access points on the weekends in you can. This includes Waterton, Kenosha, Breckenridge, Copper Mtn, Monarch, etc. You're safe in the Wilderness.

This isn't a lot of high altitude exposure until you get to Monarch as DC mentioned. Generally a starting date after Memorial day is advisable. You can finish by mid October but if you're that late you'll definitely encounter at least one snowfall


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 17 2012, 10:29 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(bill g @ Oct. 16 2012, 11:39 pm)
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The entire trail is about a 6 week trip to complete.

Thanks for your input. I'm hitting the gym this winter to get a few excess pounds off! I like the idea of breaking it into day trips but are you allowed to camp along the CT?

You said it's 6 weeks to complete; is that figuring one day at a time or straight through?


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PostIcon Posted on: Oct. 17 2012, 11:05 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

You are allowed to camp along ALMOST all of the trail, it crosses mostly Federally Protected Public Land; the vast majority of it in National Forests.

At a bit shy of 5 hundred miles the 6 week figure would be EVERYDAY averaging somehwere between 11 and 12 miles a day. With certain sections well over 12 miles dayhiking much of the trail would prove impractical unless certain sections were run, and IMO running any trail defeats the purpose of experiencing it as best you can. I'm not against runing outside of Grizzly Country, I just think you shortchange the enjoyment of the experience. Of course I'm not an athlete anymore, so I admit a bias too.


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