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. Youâll 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 âString Beanâ 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 itâs 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 â¦ 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 â¦ 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 10347â² 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 itâs helpful to you as well! Itâs 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 â¦ 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 havenât 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 isnât 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 â Stage Road Loop Hike Iâm 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... 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