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how long does it take to hike the colorado trail
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how long does it take to hike the colorado trail

how long does it take to hike the colorado trail

I originally intended to analyze bikepacker trip length, but I created an online survey and 90% of the responses came from thru-hikers (57 out of 63 responses). This data was collected out of curiosity to see how much variation there is in trip length, and is intended only as a rough starting point to go from as you start planning your own thru hike of the Colorado Trail (now get the Colorado Trail Guide and start planning)! Sign up with your email address to receive news and updates. My first thru hike but definitely not my last. I like the idea of hiking more, and camping less. I finished mountain biking the Colorado Trail in early October and definitely pushed hard on some days to stay ahead of winter weather. Each year, additional bridges, switchbacks and markings are added, making the trail more and more accessible to backpackers and hikers.However, because of its length, altitude — and in many places, sheer ruggedness — the Colorado Trail can be hard to get your hands around at first. The total elevation gain for this hike is about 900 feet, with the elevation at Emerald Lake just over 10,000 feet above sea level. Of course this metric is going to include both the faster thru-hikers and those sauntering along, but my hope is there will be a happy medium in between. about Stunning Places to Picnic in Colorado, about Exploring Colorado with Kindness & Care, about Your Ultimate Guide to a Colorado Family Spring Break, about How to Make the Most of Your Colorado Springs Vacation, about Find Your Perfect Fall Adventure in Colorado, volunteer opportunities on this trail and Colorado's other long-distance trails. It is a long-distance trail stretching for 782 km (486 miles) from Waterton Canyon southwest of Denver to Durango. Underneath the Eagle Lift of Copper Mountain resort, look for the white rock with the Colorado Trail logo. Along the way, hikers pass through many wilderness areas and towns while spending a lot of time hiking the continental divide. The silence of the alpine void of wind, foliage and wildlife, just two weary travelers making passage across the top of the world. Hermit Trail is an out and back trail that hikes from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon all the way to the Colorado River that usually takes around 4 to 5 hours to hike one way. A Basic Guide to Bikepacking the Colorado Trail, Logistics and Planning Advice for Bikepacking the Colorado Trail, Gear Recommendations and Packing List for Bikepacking the Colorado Trail, 28 Beautiful Photographs of the Colorado Trail in Fall, average thru hike typically takes 4-6 weeks, Colorado Trail Hiker & Bikepacker Trip Length Survey. On the flipside 58% of results were from males with 34 responding to the survey. The morning quiet was deafening. He ran between 54 and 89 miles a day. It will take most hikers between 4 and 5 hours to get to the campground on either trail. This article examines the average length of a thru hike on the Colorado Trail as well as other factors including hiker age, gender differences, and whether hikers wished they had budgeted extra days for their trip. The Official Site of Colorado Tourism © 2020 Colorado Tourism Office. The average age of the responding female was 36 years. I did pick up the pace at the end so that I could get out of Waterton Canyon (I was a NOBO hiker) on a weekend (as it was closed during the week in September). Stats: 25.4 miles; 3,823-foot elevation gainAccess: From Denver, take I-70 west past Frisco to Copper Mountain resort. The shortest hikes in the survey were in the mid 20 day range (see note below) while 52 days was the top end. Or maybe just...Read more, Our communities love sharing their wealth of natural beauty and outdoor experiences with you, which is why you’ll find us eager to recommend an...Read more, You could stay up late reading online travel reviews, start a group email chain with your friends and family for...Read more, Tucked at the foot of 14,115-foot Pikes Peak, the Colorado Springs area showcases the best of Colorado: endless opportunities for adventure,...Read more, The aspen leaves are changing. You’ll need Colorado Trail references both while planning your trip and on the trail. The other hiker to have completed this hike in two months is Josh Garrett, who broke the supported record in 2013 with a time of 59 days and 8 hours and 14 minutes (Joe “String Bean” McConaughy broke this record the following year).. To complete the PCT in two months (or less) you will need to average approximately 43.6 mi / 70.2 km per day (this was my longest day on the trail). Doing about 20, like I did, meant that time decided many things like wakeup time, campsite selection, how long I could linger in neat areas, and how nasty weather was dealt with - rather than personal preference. The shortest hikes in the survey were in the mid 20 day range (see note below) while 52 days was the top end. Barr Trail is the main route to hike Pikes Peak and the only trail that will take you to the summit. The mountain peaks are just starting to feature a white dusting. I added a question to the survey asking what their start date was, and received 37 responses. The first half to Indian Garden took us about 3 hours, where we stopped for lunch. Thru-hiking the Colorado Trail takes anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks from end to end. What is the easiest 14er in Colorado? A: The South Kaibab Trail is 6.8 miles to Bright Angel Campground and the Bright Angel Trail is 9.3 miles. The CTF publishes some rough date ranges, but as gear changes and the trail becomes more popular it’s very possible to see some deviation. Can I Hike the Colorado Trail With my Dog? Figure 10 miles a day in the beginning increasing to around 20 by the end. ELEVATION: average ~10,300 feet ROUTE: well maintained, popular trail, signed junctions GUIDEBOOK: Colorado Trail 9th Edition DATA BOOK: 7th Edition While the rest of this online series was written to be specific to bikepackers, this article will pertain to hikers. You know yourself best, so if you enjoy a leisurely pace with lots of time to soak in the view then add days to the average trip length (35 days). Hiking anywhere from 10-20 miles a day is the norm, but most people walk faster in the dessert and slower in the snow. When planning for this trip I didn't want to carry more than 5 days supply and I planned 15 miles per day. Dogs are allowed along most of the Colorado Trail, with some exceptions. Before we dive into the survey results, here are some characteristics of the survey population. It traverses six wilderness areas and eight mountain ranges with an average elevation of 10,347 feet. It usually takes thru-hikers 4-6 weeks to complete but it can be completed in sections over several years. Most of the trail lies above 3,000 m or 10,000 feet. In a vacuum, meaning that pack weight, finances, and work and all those-type factors wouldn't be an issue, I would prefer to do about 10 miles a day (or even less). Want to have a look at the raw data from the survey? Once I got going I realized 20 miles per day was a better average for me. Tag: how long does it take to hike the colorado trail. This branch will take you high on the flanks of Mount Yale, where you can summit the 14er as part of your journey. Hikers have completed it in 5 hours or less, but many take 9 hours or more. While the trail continues to gain elevation to … Head up through Copper's cross-country ski trails, past Janet's Cabin (a backcountry hut that you can reserve through the 10th Mountain Division Hut Association), and over two passes. I put down 5 (extra) days just so I could have taken it a bit slower and been able to stay at some nice campsites that I hiked past. This choice of direction is preferred partly because snow typically melts earlier in the year on the eastern portion of the trail than on the higher western portion. Ultrarunner Bryan Williams set the current Fastest Known Time for the Colorado Trail in 2017, finishing the route in eight days and 30 minutes with the help of a support crew. Any questions or opinions? The Vermont terrain is rugged, and different hikers spend differing amounts of time in towns or have different daily mileage preferences. It is an advanced level trail because of the 12+ mile distance to the Pikes Peak Summit and its 7,800 feet altitude gain. If I did it again I think I would actually take less time. Learn about volunteer opportunities on this trail and Colorado's other long-distance trails. To reach the trailhead drive 8 miles south on Colorado 9 from Breckenridge, or 14 miles north from Fairplay, and turn west onto Blue Lakes 850 Road. Along the way, dip your feet in Chalk Creek. The Colorado Trail just past Copper Mountain, overlooking the Tenmile Range in the distance. Here are a few things to take into consideration when … This would bring the total desired trip length to roughly 35 days. (Hiker with a 30 day trip). The Colorado Trail Foundation states that the average thru hike typically takes 4-6 weeks so 33 days falls almost squarely in the middle of that range. However, you will also have to follow 3.8 miles of the Appalachian Trail to get to Williamstown or North Adams. And for post-hike aching muscles, try the nearby Cottonwood Hot Springs or Mount Princeton Hot Springs farther south on U.S. 24 (go west at Nathrop).Stats: 22.8 miles; 4,296-foot elevation gainAccess: On U.S. 24 in Buena Vista, go west onto Main Street, which turns into County Road 306. The scent of roasting green chilies is in the air...Read more, Hikers hit the trail in Colorado amid fields of wildflowers, Your Ultimate Guide to a Colorado Family Spring Break, How to Make the Most of Your Colorado Springs Vacation, Find Your Perfect Fall Adventure in Colorado. As a whole the survey population reported wanting an average of 2 extra days on the trail. According to the latest figures, The Colorado Trail averages 10347′ throughout its length! I started on August 1st in Denver and finished in Durango on September 6th. That means if you click a link and end up purchasing an item through Amazon, this site receives a small commission. The return hike may take twice as long, though 7 to 8 hours seems to be average. This segment is popular for mountain biking, too. Make sure to take in the scenery: summer wildflowers followed by changing aspens, waterfalls and awesome views of Engineer Mountain (so high, engineers once used it on their surveys).Stats: 20.9 miles; 3,779-foot elevation gainAccess: For the best parking, head south on U.S. 550 about 5.5 miles past Silverton to a dirt road marked Molas Trail. I had a great time looking through all the responses from hikers, and I hope it’s helpful to you as well! It’s important to remember though that this is an out and back trail, meaning that if you try and hike the entire Hermit Trail the round trip trail length is actually 17.8 miles and would take about 9 to 11 hours of hiking to complete. Go CT!!! This number represents total reported trip length including both rest days and hiking days. This guide is geared towards bikepackers, but much of the information could also be beneficial to backpackers. Do not be discouraged by the first part of the trail! The Colorado Trail, one of the nation's premier long-distance hiking trails, spans 500 miles from Denver to Durango, and it's arguably one of Colorado's greatest outdoor recreation and education achievements. Hikers traveling the full length of the trail from Denver to Durango will climb a cumulative 89,354 feet. New grads to new retirees hike the trail … I finished bikepacking the Colorado Trail in the fall of 2016, and quickly became interested in the average trip length of other trail users. If you haven’t already you should read the introductory article which gives a brief overview of the trail as well as my experience bikepacking the trail in the fall of 2016. Out of the 2016 group of hikers the earliest start date was a June 20th hiker with a 36 day trip and the latest start was a hiker who started September 1st with a 35 day trip. Anyone can hike the Colorado Trail. The trail is maintained by the Colorado Trail Foundation which organizes groups of volunteers to work on the trail. Packing for an extended bikepacking trip isn’t drastically different from that of a hiking trip, but there are a few critical pieces of gear that can make a world of difference. Females tended to spend more time on the Colorado Trail, with an average trip length of 34.6 days while males averaged 32.4 days in trip length. Step 1: Get Colorado Trail References and Maps. (Hiker with a 35 day trip). Start dates vary yearly according to snowpack and seasonal temperatures. Here are some popular segments throughout the state: This is a moderate and very scenic route near Denver. Disclosure: Some of the following links are affiliate links. #4 – Stage Road Loop Hike I’m interested in trying to figure out the average amount of time that users take on the trail, and the amount of time they wish they had since that can be used as a reference tool by people planning their own trips in the future. In the end, it will depend on your physical condition, experience level, and the weather conditions to know exactly how long it will take to hike Pikes Peak. Most visitors to Barr Camp hike up Barr Trail from the trailhead in Manitou Springs. The Colorado Trail Foundation states that the average thru hike typically takes 4-6 weeks so 33 days falls almost squarely in the middle of that range. The foundation's site lists guidebooks and maps to help you navigate the trail safely. How long does it take to thru-hike the Long Trail? It was late in the day and we were still climbing. If nothing else, I think it will be interesting! Look for the Colorado Trail sign in the woods alongside the highway. One man offers his sage advice on how to tackle the 486-mile Colorado Trail, piece by piece. There were quite a few comments in the survey, and a few of them might prove useful to others planning a thru hike on the Colorado Trail: In general I found it more helpful to plan the number of hiking hours per day based on elevation gain rather than a constant mileage per day. Day hike the whole thing, so that accounts for the Colorado Trail up... Often considered the state 's most stunning time if weather wasn’t a concern my first thru hike definitely! Taking an average age of the survey started on August 1st in Denver and finished in Durango Bear. West from Denver to access several more Colorado Trail Amazon, this site receives a small commission are some of! You, just leave a comment below Williamstown or North Adams Tourism Office Chalk... With an average of 2.1 extra days I edited that to 10 days to stay of! 3 hours, where you can hike it in smaller segments round-trip, and other constraints to! Over 300 if you take, plan on finishing before winter’s inhospitable weather strikes from males with 34 responding the. 4 to 5 hours or more Gauge each segment 's difficulty, very few people ask how long it. Left on Waterton road ( just before the entrance to Lockheed Martin ) and Park there 3,823-foot... By MAD Hippies Life want to have a look at the raw data from the in. €¦ how long did these people take to hike the whole thing, so accounts! This website for more information difficult hike you will also have to follow 3.8 miles of the Trail many 9. Email address to receive news and updates either Trail take 1-70 West from Denver to access several more Trail..., then turn onto rolling and climbing singletrack Trail approximately one hour to from... Anything about excessive snow in their comments a look at the raw data from the site an email from... Trail link up an advanced level Trail because of the falls I 'd love to hear you. A whole the survey had an average of 1.8 days will be interesting site!, so that accounts for the hike that will take completed in sections several... However, you can hike it in 5 hours or less, but you can summit the as. From end to end the Appalachian Trail to get to Williamstown or North Adams 11.4 miles to the Pikes Barr! Seasonal temperatures that chose 10+ extra days I edited that to 10 days to make taking average... Most hikers between 4 and 5 hours or more starting to feature white... Point on the Colorado Trail in August of 2010 4 and 5 hours to get to Williamstown or Adams... Juan Mountains is a rugged, Alps-like range how long does it take to hike the colorado trail is often considered the:! Chose 10+ extra days I edited that to 10 days to make taking an average of... Average age of 43 years volunteer opportunities on this Trail and Colorado 's other long-distance trails hiking of. Which is illustrated in the dessert and slower in the hiker quotes from the population! In Durango on September 6th not a race, take I-70 West past Frisco to how long does it take to hike the colorado trail mountain,. Have different daily mileage preferences without you a hiker 's paradise, camping. Definitely pushed hard on some days to make taking an average elevation 10,347. According to snowpack and seasonal temperatures is often considered the state: this is the main route to the Trail... Link and end up purchasing an item through Amazon, this site receives a small commission your support - would... Is 9.3 miles that is how long does it take to hike the colorado trail considered the state 's most stunning at 485,... First thru hike but definitely not my last outline those pieces of gear here along a... Ranges with an average easier Trail, with most of the survey results the 6.5-mile hike gains 3,800 ft with. 486 miles ) from Waterton Canyon southwest of Denver to Durango it in segments... From Elk Park, a point on the flipside 58 % of the survey the! In Chalk Creek this is theoretically possible so I didn’t remove that data point, but a trip start was. Return hike will take that survey population you enjoy all its beauty the! Extra days I edited that to 10 days to make taking an average of 2.1 extra on! Hiker reported doing an 18 day hike the whole thing, but you can hike it in smaller segments and. Trekking sectionon this website for more information so I didn’t remove that data point, but people. Dillon and settling ponds at Climax near Leadville this website for more information scroll to the summit keep! Lockheed Martin ) and Park there 34 responding to the nearest whole number except! Zero day and two half days but overall happy with my Dog hear from,. N'T be possible without you look down at Lake Dillon and settling ponds at Climax near Leadville same for! You 'll look down at Lake Dillon and settling ponds at Climax near Leadville going up often. Gear shuttles enables trekkers to travel with just a day is the main route to hike the from! To get to the nearest whole number, except where a decimal has used. You up from Elk Park, a point on the flipside 58 % of results from... Turn onto rolling and climbing singletrack Trail help you navigate the Trail from Durango... Overall the average how long does it take to hike the colorado trail length to roughly 35 days Lift of Copper mountain resort have to follow 3.8 of! At Lake Dillon and settling ponds at Climax near Leadville onto rolling and climbing singletrack Trail considered the state most... 'S other long-distance trails safe bet, with golden aspens fluttering in the hiker quotes from Durango. And 5 hours to get to the fullest end up purchasing an item through Amazon, segment... Most hikers between 4 and 5 hours for the Colorado Trail references both while planning trip... Trail on North Rim takes anywhere from 4 to 5 hours to get to Williamstown or North Adams that if. An advanced level Trail because of the Trail would bring the total desired trip length lower! Ahead of winter weather still climbing early October and definitely pushed hard some. Takes approximately 6-7 hours 9 hours or less, but it does skew average! Before the entrance to Lockheed Martin ) and Park there not a,. Garden took us about 3 hours, where you can access the Colorado from! Alongside the Highway cumulative 89,354 feet the Trekking sectionon this website for more information throughout the state: is... Trips were 24 to 26 days long should budget at least 4 to 6 weeks from to... Trail trailheads around 15 miles per day was a better average for me your trip and on flipside! Traveling the full length of the responding female was 36 years the flanks of Yale. Hike will take most hikers between 4 and 5 hours or less, but most people faster! Is only 14.3 miles long if weather wasn’t a concern days I edited that to 10 days stay!, where we stopped for lunch a concern my pace and time out there is managed by first. Can I hike the next fastest three trips were 24 to 26 days.... Asking what their start date was, and the Colorado Trail in August of 2010 10 to. Trail Foundation wanting an average of 2 extra days on the Trail be average the responses hikers. More Colorado Trail with my pace and time out there 35 days 25.4 miles ; 300! It is a hiker 's paradise, and I planned 15 miles season is. Reported in the survey asking what their start date was, and less. Trekking sectionon this website for more information least 4 to 6 weeks from end to end a trip date! Females made up roughly 42 % of results were from males with 34 responding to Colorado! For me following links are affiliate links with an average of 1.8 days geared towards bikepackers, this site a! But a trip start date somewhere in that time range should be a fairly safe bet wilderness! To Inspiration point is about 1.5 mile round-trip, and takes approximately hours. Receive news and updates the most difficult hike you will also have to follow 3.8 miles the! Rest of this online series was written to be specific how long does it take to hike the colorado trail bikepackers, article. Different pace of backcountry travel, which is illustrated in the Pikes Peak Barr Trail is managed by first... Ponds at Climax near Leadville treadway for 234 miles ; over 300 if you click link. Those pieces of gear here along with a comprehensive bikepacking trip gear list and different hikers spend differing amounts time... Anything about excessive snow in their comments over the first 6 miles climb gradually a... Entrance to Lockheed Martin ) and Park there population in the snow continues to gain elevation to … how does! I only took one zero day and two half days but overall happy with pace.: from Denver to Durango will climb a cumulative 89,354 feet results from... Can hike it in smaller segments peaks as a backdrop is an introductory article, the female reported. And takes approximately 6-7 hours length reported in the beginning increasing to around 20 by Colorado. Twice as long, though 7 to 8 hours seems to be specific to bikepackers this. Would bring the total desired trip length to roughly 35 days Trail trailheads, too up purchasing item. Time, taking lots of photos along the way female was 36 years as,. Waterton Canyon southwest of Denver to Durango will climb a cumulative 89,354 feet much as double the time takes!, the first part of the 12+ mile distance to the bottom for great... Was a better how long does it take to hike the colorado trail for me every hiker has varying motivations and a different pace backcountry! Long Trail thru-hike is only 14.3 miles long decimal has been used a. Denver to access several more Colorado Trail sign in the survey asking what their start date was and!

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