On Sunday I leave for the Colorado Trail.I will be cooking my dinners and either eating cold food or cold soaking my remaining meals and snacks. There are two tabs, one for Collegiate East and one for West. Distance from the CT: Approx. It can be accessed from two points on the Trail. But, we have to start somewhere! Around 100 miles is a typical “long carry” for a thru hiker of roughly average pace. Step 1: Get Colorado Trail References and Maps. On a busy weekend, a backpacker may find an easy hitch from the mine into town. Our Public Path – Boulder Weekly. Distance from the CT: Right off the Trail at mile 18.7 of Segment 24. At around 500 mile long the Colorado Trail is a non-motorized multi-use trail that starts on the in Denver and ends in Durango, Colorado The trail averages over 10,000′ and includes breath taking passes above tree line. Change up your menu when you get tired of something (and you WILL get tired of something), Save money; mailing food boxes is expensive. That’s around three days at 60 miles a day. In past hikes, we’ve simply resupplied from stores along the trail rather than send ourselves mail drops, and after resupplying from a gas station for the nth time on the AT last year, we decided it was time to rethink our strategy. Consider shipping one resupply box to yourself somewhere around halfway, so you can restock on all those little things that are hard to find in small towns (contact solution, your favorite brand of energy bar, etc). This resort area offers a welcome respite to CT travelers, with its hot springs pool, restaurant and overnight accommodations. Brewhike: Breweries on the Colorado Trail. Here are the stops to consider first if you’re into the trail town scene: The towns listed above tend to be favorites of CT hikers, but of course you can fill in between them with other stops (see the Slow and/or Light plan), or skip those you don’t need. Some resupply possibilities are available from both, though from different mile counts and with differing degrees of difficulty. Of course, you can mix and match between the two for a more varied experience. Distance from the CT: 4 miles to Breckenridge; 5 miles to Frisco. Bicycles are prohibited in each of the six Wilderness Areas; it is against federal regulations. Otherwise, mail a box to Molas Lake Campground. Here's the new Breweries on the Colorado Trail page. Its vibrant downtown features shops and restaurants, and there is a variety of overnight accommodations both there and along the U.S. Highway 50 commercial strip. The rest of the stops can be either maildrop or grocery shopping. We wanted to minimize risks like hitchhiking and hostels, while still getting the food we needed and experiencing at least one or two of Colorado’s famed trail towns on a schedule that fit our pace. This Colorado Trail Resource page contains everything you need to plan and execute a ride/race of the Colorado Trail. Even right now with all the current COVID realities, if you can train, it will […] I’ve left them as-is for simplicity, since it makes the tables far easier to create and read. Note: About 7.5 trail miles south from Twin Lakes Village the CT splits into the Collegiate East and Collegiate West routes. There’s great value in training for the CT, especially for longer excursions. Don’t get confused between the two! I love solitude, big views, and a good lightweight gear setup. These were heavy; I would not have wanted to go any longer between resupplies. 9.5 miles from the Avalanche Trailhead (mile 6.6 of Segment 13) east on Cottonwood Pass Road (County Road 306) to town. 15 miles northwest on County Road 97; turnoff is at the junction of Segments 1 and 2. If you choose to shop along the way, note that only Breck/Frisco have fully stocked mega-supermarkets. Maybe some Ramen or canned goods if you are lucky.. Hard resupply basically. Also known as the 2020 pandemic plan… this Colorado Trail resupply plan keeps you away from towns and minimizes resupply-related transport as much as possible. No matter what your primary resupply plan is, don’t miss stopping for a snack or meal at these on / near-trail spots with restaurants and / or snack shops. The smaller Poncha Springs, which borders the western outskirts of Salida, has a small restaurant and convenience store. I tell hikers not worry too much about resupply before their thru-hikes, but I am not always believed. Distance from the CT: Approx. Another former mining town, and only incorporated town in Hinsdale County, offers a full range of services, including restaurants, lodging, and grocery and convenience stores. On to the resupply info… Marginal resupply – Soda, chips, snacks. And finally, for general advice about backpacking that will undoubtedly apply to the CT, check out these popular resources: Hi there, I’m Alissa. If time is your primary concern, you may complete your hike faster overall by carrying a bit more weight and stopping less frequently. There are pros and cons to both. These are the towns where you’re most likely to find other hikers gathered at a hostel or brewery. This planning guide covers when to go, which direction, navigation, dangers, section highlights, elevation, wildlife, terrain difficulty, how long it takes and more. Distance from the CT: Salida is approx. As befits a town of its size, it boasts a full range of services and is a popular resupply point for CT travelers. If stretching your limits, it’s wise to think through backup resupply stops that could be added if your planned mileage doesn’t quite work out. We are still opting to send ourselves resupply boxes along the trail…we know that many hikers aren’t into that style of resupply (they would rather buy in stores along the way), but for us, we really prefer it. July 7th, 2020 22 mile day hiking closer to Salida. Colorado Trail Food Resupply. Distance from the CT: The Trail runs through the property. Hikers disagree on which town is best. Your Support and feedback is cherished. To start with, below are tables showing the full list of resupply options. Not everyone can manage it. The CT crosses the lower slopes of Copper Mtn ski area, making this one of the easiest resupply points. Interactively explore all 500 miles of The Colorado Trail between Denver and Durango using topographic maps and satellite imagery. Distance from CT: Approx. 10 miles from San Luis Pass at the intersection of Segments 20 and 21. One note of caution: while this may seem attractively efficient during the planning phase, don’t be surprised if you find yourself craving a burger and bed when you’re 200 miles deep. This one will be different. How to hike 20 mile days without (too much) pain, All about water filtration for backpacking, backpacking resources from Exploring Wild, 12 Stretches To Do in Your Tent For Better Sleep and Stronger Hiking, Review: BigBlue 28W Solar Charger After 35 Days on the Colorado Trail, Hiking the Colorado Trail: Answers to Essential Questions. We are a print-on-demand company. Tips and Tricks for thru hiking the Colorado Trail and what we learned on the CT. When two stops are accessible from roughly the same trail mileage, I’ve combined them into one row to make the choice obvious. ctf@coloradotrail.org, The Official Guidebook to the Colorado Trail. You’ll want to be sure you have extra food. Sorting through the various towns and mail drop options can feel overwhelming when you don’t have enough information. Distance from the CT: less than a mile to services. Colorado Trail Day 13 – Twin Lakes Resupply | Average Hiker September 17, 2020 Posted by averagehiker Colorado Trail - 2020 Thru-hike Twin Lakes was about a mile down to the mountain, so we did not begin hiking until around 7:00. My resupply will be in Lake City; I’ll hitch 17 miles on Colorado 149 to get there. This historic mining town of about 300 is the only incorporated town in sparsely populated Mineral County. Learn more. The Summit Stage provides free bus service between the towns and beyond, including to Copper Mountain Resort. I’ve made separate tables for Collegiate East and Collegiate West, and highlighted the section where they differ in yellow. In 2015 it was decided that on odd years the race would be raced South to North. How to put the pieces together? It can also save you money and time, because it keeps you closer to the trail and more self-sufficient instead of allowing you to get lost in the vortex of zero days. While not technically a town, Copper Mountain Resort offers a range of services, including accommodations, shops and restaurants. More social and popular than nearby Frisco because it has a hostel. The Monarch Crest Gift Shop, a short hike north from where the Collegiate West route crosses Highway 50, has some groceries and a restaurant. If you’re into exploring the wild outdoors, sign up here for occasional emails with my best tips and inspiration for backpacking, hiking, and more. The Colorado Trail Association website is a helpful resource.. Paul Magnanti offers a very useful Route Guide on his website.. Guthook’s Colorado Trail Hiker App, is extremely useful and very worthwhile.. We recommend The Colorado Trail Databook for use on the trail. My Colorado Trail Food Resupply Plan is finished and my Gear is all packed and ready to go. Descend on a side trail south along the headwaters of West Willow Creek until you meet up with Forest Service Road 503, which leads into town. It’s hard to get the formatting right for a table this big on all devices, so I’ve included each table as both an embedded Google Sheet and an image. This trail journal documents my solo thru-hike of The Colorado Trail in August of 2010. Because the Collegiate West alternate is about 3 miles longer than Collegiate East, the “miles from Denver” counts in this post are off by this amount for all resupply stops after the end of Collegiate West. Buena Vista, located in the Arkansas Valley between the Mosquito Range and towering Sawatch Range, certainly lives up to its Spanish name (translation: good view). Date of experience: August 2020. Not a town, but a campground, it offers showers, limited grocery items, and a mail drop. Matt pointing the way to the next town on the Colorado Trail. There are many good ways to craft your CT resupply plan. Mileages are listed from Denver. There are two tabs, one for Collegiate East and one for West. Frisco is approximately 5 miles northwest of the trailhead. For those with more time on their hands or who want to keep food weight to a minimum, simply choose more closely spaced resupply stops. This small, but charming town of about 500 offers restaurants, a coffee shop, lodging, and post office, but it can be a long hitch from the Trail. 6 miles north of Molas Pass on U.S. Highway 550, which the CT crosses at the split between Segments 24 and 25. Do you want to hitchhike, or avoid it as much as possible? Most are somewhere in between. Distance from the CT: Approx. 8 miles from either turnoff. Breckenridge is approximately 4 miles south of the Gold Hill Trailhead on Colorado Highway 9 at the junction of Segments 6 and 7. The race is on July 26th, 2020. Includes maps, descriptions, virtual tours, and driving directions to every main and alternate access point. Princeton Hot Springs and Monarch Spur RV & Campground are listed as resupply options for both Collegiate East and West in the CT Databook. Categories Quick and Dirty Guides, Trip Planning Tags collegiate loop, Colorado, Colorado Trail, resupply, thru hiking. Silverton is a short hitchhike down from Molas Pass. Thanks for reading! It is a long hitch, however, from the trail on a lightly used county road. For example, Mt. But also unfortunately, the same is true! The CT was first conceived in 1974, but was not completed until the late 1980's. Do you want to have the addresses and phone numbers of trail town Post Offices, resupply stor 15 miles east of where the Collegiate East route crosses U.S. Highway 50 and about 22 miles from where the Collegiate West routes crosses Highway 50. 17 miles northwest of Spring Creek Pass, at the intersection of Segments 21 and 22, on Colorado Highway 149. Another option is to exit the Trail at Clear Creek Canyon Road (County Road 390) at the end of Segment 11, travel east to U.S. Highway 24, and go south (total travel distance: 19 miles). Note: Molas Lake Campground is just 0.2 mile from the CT and southbound travelers can diverge at the sign as they approach Molas Pass. A few notes about the tables that follow: Important: If the formatting of the tables below doesn’t work well on your device, you can go directly to the google sheet HERE. I suggest starting from either the “trail town” or “no hitchhiking” plan above and then adding stops as needed. Golden CO 80401 8 miles northwest from the junction of Segments 3 and 4; turnoff is on Wellington Lake Road (Forest Service Road 560), which becomes County Road 68. Resources. This a historic mining and railroad town, and highest U.S. city at 10,200 feet, offers a full range of services, including accommodations, several restaurants, grocery stores and camping equipment shops. I won’t duplicate those here. It travels through some of the most spectacular country in Colorado, through 6 wilderness areas and eight mountain ranges. From Princeton Hot Springs to Silverton its 183 miles. The CT comprises 567 miles of trail between Denver and Durango and passes through some of the most spectacular scenery in the Colorado Rockies. Distance from the CT: Approx. Essentially it’s the opposite of the “Favorite Trail Towns” plan above. Vertical spacing of the rows is based roughly on mileage from Denver, to help you quickly understand the distances between them. Despite its size, Creede is a popular tourist destination and offers a full range of services. Keep your schedule flexible; change resupply plans on the fly. For reference, my thru hike was 35 days which is a fairly average pace. The Colorado Trail meets real civilization where it crosses the Blue River between Frisco and Brekenridge. Or, you may be able to catch a train from the trail. Road crossings and other resupply options are mentioned within each section. For those who plan to hike fast or don’t mind carrying a heavier pack, you’ll be able to skip many of the resupply stops listed in the “Big Table” above. Distance from the CT: Approx. Was this helpful? Finally, take a deep breath and remind yourself that the trail tends to provide. There is also a small side trail that leads to the west side of the village beginning at mile 5.9 of Segment 11. This town of about 6,000 is home to Western Colorado University and styles itself as “Base Camp of the Rockies” for its many outdoor recreational opportunities. When you decide to tour the Colorado Trail you have to consider multiple factors in picking a direction of travel. Westminster, Colorado 1,092 contributions 183 helpful votes. Also don’t expect phone service out there if you’re running late or early and need to contact your shuttler from the trail. All that prep takes time before your hike. Sarah S wrote a review May 2020. However, they’re both basically on-trail for Collegiate East hikers, but require hitches of 15 and 10 miles respectively from Collegiate West. There is a convenience store/gas station near Wheeler Flats Trailhead. Distance from the CT: Approx. The Trail passes through six National Forests, six Wilderness areas, traverses five major river systems and penetrates eight of the states mountain ranges. Here are the big ones. The Colorado Trail Pocket Atlas provides detailed topographic maps, data book, elevation profiles, gps waypoints, campsites, water sources, resupply guide and other essential information to help you successfully hike the 567 mile Colorado Trail… in one ultralight, pocket-sized, easy-to-use booklet. Read more. It’s all part of the adventure anyway. Yogi’s handbook is the most detailed of all, even presenting addresses and contact … The tiny campground store has snacks. Before 2015 the Colorado Trail Race always travelled North to South. Do you want to mail yourself resupply boxes, or shop as you go (or a mix)? Princeton has restaurant also), Walk (1.5 miles each way, uphill on way back), Snacks and maildrop, restaurant with limited hours, Small towns with small grocery stores and maildrops, Walk (< 1 mile) to campground or easy hitch to Silverton. I finished the trail in 37 days, taking three “zero days.” Day 1 – Waterton Canyon to the South Platte River – Segment 1 As the terminus of the popular Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, Silverton is a popular with tourists and offers a full range of services. This is probably the hardest section of the entire race. Both towns are restored mining/railroad towns serving the popular year-round resorts of Summit County. It will start at Waterton Canyon in Denver at 4 am. The town day vortex is real; once you get in, it’s hard to get out again. Here are the best Colorado Trail resupply stops for those who want to minimize off-trail transport and/or avoid hitchhiking: Note that many hitches can be avoided by pre-arranging a shuttle, making plenty of other resupply options hitch-free with some advance arrangements. CT travelers often carry the pocket-sized, official Colorado Trail Databook . To make the above table even clearer, I’ll highlight a few sample Colorado Trail resupply plans based on style. 39 miles (total) northwest on Colorado Highway 114, which the Trail crosses near the junction of Segments 17 and 18, then west from where 114 intersects with U.S. Highway 50. There is a bus stop on Highway 9 about 0.2 miles south of the trailhead. Posted on July 14, 2011 July 21, 2011 Author Paul Mags Leave a comment. The Colorado Trail flows through eight mountain ranges, six wilderness areas, five major river systems, and six National Forests. Pre-arranged shuttles work best for hikers who prefer to make a detailed plan and then stick to it. 710 10th Street Rm 210 I personally struggled with this while planning my 2020 CT thru hike, especially in the midst of a global pandemic. I seeded the list with breweries from this post on The Trek. Don’t worry if it looks like a lot, because the rest of this post is all about how to choose the best options from this list. We went out 25th street and hiked for an hour out and back on the Colorado Trail. On February 16th, 2016, I presented an overview of The Colorado Trail that covered logistics, resupply, gear, section hiking and other topics of interest to travelers on The Colorado Trail.. For those interested, the presentation may be viewed here. The entire race of long trails ), LongTrailsWiki.net it boasts a full range of services, including Amazon.... The section where they differ in yellow the six wilderness areas ; it is federal... Prefer to make a detailed plan and execute a ride/race of the Trailhead table... 550, which the CT Databook that way, note that only Breck/Frisco have fully stocked.... A range of services, including accommodations, shops and restaurants shuttle requires to! All the CT: less than a mile to services able to catch a free bus between. July 21, 2011 Author Paul Mags Leave a comment that the Trail crosses near the junction Segments! Views, and overall Trail experience small general store and maildrop ( Mt i started on August in! Breckenridge is approximately 5 miles to breckenridge ; 5 miles to Tennessee Pass ; 156 to. September 6th climbing nearby San Luis Peak, hunters during hunting season, and a lightweight! To Frisco and then stick to it there is also a small business center supported by dispersed mountain residences feat! I only recommend and link to products i know and love and 21 value in training for the,! Resupply strategies and remind yourself that the Trail crosses near the junction of Segments and! Segments 1 and 2 a little further the Trail crosses Coney Summit which... Mining/Railroad towns serving the popular year-round resorts of Summit County to provide have to! Mile the most beautiful Trail in America… …cared for by the Colorado Trail other you... Road or take cutoff Trail ), snacks and maildrop roughly on mileage from Denver, to you... 80401 ctf @ coloradotrail.org, the route splits into the Collegiate East and for. Take care to not mix up resupply stops 5 miles northwest along County road ;. Race would be raced south to north course our own experiences and communicating many... Monarch mountain Lodge to Lake City ; i would not have wanted to go of! Northwest of the Colorado Trail resupply plan for an hour out and back on Colorado... Traffic, from the Trail focus here is more on your schedule than the towns themselves miles! Carry the pocket-sized, official Colorado Trail of its size, Creede a. Mileage from Denver, the official Guidebook to the Colorado Trail meets real civilization where crosses... The fly food resupply plan is finished and my Gear is all packed and to... At 4 am beginning at mile 5.9 of Segment 2 – Soda, chips, snacks Soda,,... They ’ re going to hitch into one town on the Colorado Trail of Segments 20 and.... A lot of options when designing your Colorado Trail meets real civilization where it the... Bikepacking & Touring Backpacking & hiking adventure travel Recent Posts about Exploring Wild, all Reserved! 13,000 feet and thus the highest point on the Trek top up your food supplies or stretch your meal a. Collegiate East and one for West: this site participates in affiliate programs, including to Copper Resort! Programs, including Amazon Associates, Leadville, Buena Vista, Salida, has a hostel or.! Road or take cutoff Trail ), snacks hold maildrop resupply packages shipped UPS., and can be accessed from two points on the Colorado Trail flows through eight ranges! Make sense of these lists faster by categorizing and grouping them based on style participates in programs. Last good resupply stop before arriving in Durango on September 6th or grocery shopping listed as resupply options mentioned... 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To mail yourself resupply boxes, or would you prefer to push through longer with! 24 and 25 ” or “ no hitchhiking ” plan above and then stops! This Resort area offers a range of services, including accommodations, shops restaurants! A shower is possible ( bring your own towel ) and the campground will accept hold. Arriving in Durango be in Lake City ) get away with more cases mining towns with a high tolerance town! Hiker of roughly average pace would be raced south to north have wanted to go great way to top your... Recommend and link to products i know and love, or would you prefer to make the above even! Resupply will be in Lake City ; i ’ m Alissa, your virtual guide, here to help make... 25Th street and hiked for an hour out and back on the Colorado Trail is... First conceived in 1974, but a campground, it boasts a range... Distance from the CT: the Trail crosses Coney Summit, which borders the western outskirts Salida... 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