The Colorado Trail Guide: Everything you need to know to hike the CT

Jhiking the Colorado Trail is no small feat. It is 486 miles long and traverses some of the most rugged mountains in the United States. But the best things in life never come easy, do they? Backpacking all over CT is so challenging, so beautiful, it’s sure to become one of those unforgettable memories you’ll cherish forever if you succeed.

If that’s your dream, set yourself up for success by learning everything you need to know to hike the Colorado Trail with this handy six-part guide (plus helpful bonus content). We cover everything from trail highlights to restocking logistics to a detailed, section-by-section breakdown of the entire trail.

Colorado Trail Highlights

I always say the first step to embarking on a hike is to look at lots of great pictures and prepare for the adventure ahead. Pretty views and memorable towns won’t pitch your tent for you or keep you from getting lost, but they will remind you why you’re there when the going gets tough. And motivation is just as important as (if not After important than) cut and dry logistics for the success of a hike.

Packing list

Equipment costs a lot of money. You need to consider your packing list when making a financial plan for your hike, because depending on how much gear you already have, it can consume a significant portion of your total budget. Your packing list will determine how much luxury you’ll enjoy at camp, how much weight you’ll have on your back during the day, and will have an outsized effect on your backcountry safety. This list outlines everything you’ll need for a successful CT hike, including recommendations for every budget and CT-specific considerations.

Logistics of a CT Thru-Hike

The inner workings of CT: total length, elevation gain, best time of year and direction to hike, to and from trail, etc. Everything you need to know to make concrete, specific plans for your hike without getting lost in the weeds.

Supply and trail towns

Salida, CO.

For most modern hikers, the adventures you have in town are just as much a part of the hiking experience as the trail itself. This article will tell you everything you need to know about the towns of the Colorado Trail: mile markers for each town in CT, how to get there and what services you can expect to find, restaurant and activity recommendations, as well as just a few handy tips for CT replenishment to help you maximize your time and money.

Essential safety tips for navigating the CT

The Colorado Rockies are no joke. You’ll face high altitudes, exposure, freezing temperatures, lightning and more on your 486-mile trip from Denver to Durango. You can manage all of these risks quite easily if you know what to expect, and that’s where this guide comes in.

The Colorado Trail section by section

In case you want a shot-by-shot, this CT narrative walks you through each section of the trail from Waterton Canyon to Junction Creek, highlighting more difficult or scenic sections, areas where you may need to pack more. water than usual, etc. so that you at least have a rough idea of ​​what to expect when you go out.

Bonus Content: More Info on the Colorado Trail

Collegiate East vs West: 8 Key Differences for CT Hikers

CT hikers can choose their own adventure on the 75-mile stretch from Twin Lakes to Salida. Will you stick to the traditional Collegiate East route or follow the Continental Divide Trail on the Collegiate West alternative? This article outlines all the differences so you can make an informed decision.

How to Hike Every 14 Inches on the Colorado Trail (with FarOut Miles)

Colorado is home to 53 peaks above 14,000 feet in elevation. Many hikers challenge themselves to reach the top of every “14er” in the state, but it usually takes years to complete the challenge. A slew of 14ers are accessible from CT, and many hikers feel they will never be in a better position to catch a few of these scenic peaks.

The Beer Drinker’s Guide to the Colorado Trail

In case you want your continuing trek to be the hardest and most memorable pub crawl in the world. This directory of breweries along the CT will give beer lovers something to look forward to in every town along the way.

86 Absolutely Incredible Photos of the Colorado Trail (Part 1 | Part 2)

What were we saying earlier about motivation? Browse through these gorgeous images when you want simple visual inspiration. You will not be disappointed.

Featured Image: Graphic Design by chris helm (@chris.helm).

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Calvin W. Soper