The view from Georgia Pass is stunning. We camped at Baldy Tasty food also abounds. But it’s well worth it to ride the Monarch Crest Trail. Be sure to get some water on the way down if you need any. Multiple times a year the bikepacking forums and message boards for the Arizona Trail Race, Tour Divide, Colorado Trail Race, and others explode with people asking questions about Bikepacking Navigation. Highly rideable and very scenic, there are some unforgettable sections. Climbing starts again and continues to get steeper and rockier until you get to a beautiful pass well above treeline. Next is a 4 mile ripper downhill followed by a 4 mile climb on really excellent trail. Here's part one of this series, with the rest embedded below! Maintaining and improving the CT is a huge task. And if you can’t make it out this year, you can always throw the CT Foundation some cash so the trail will be there when you are ready to do it. All extremely rideable. To me this is the most mentally difficult section of the whole CT. May 9, 2019 - Explore Jeff Huebner's board "Colorado trail bikepacking trip" on Pinterest. Colorado Trail: Durango to Littleton amygdala_imagery Getty Images The Colorado Trail is one of the most well-known and beloved bikepacking routes in … The trail may change over the coming years, but what follows should be generally accurate for the foreseeable future. Although the first part of Segment 22 is a little boring and bumpy, it gets way better as you ascend well above treeline, passing the CT high point at 13,271 feet. After this last bit of climbing, you’ll travel on a generally descending trail towards Route 9 with bike path access to Frisco and Breckenridge. With a few exceptions on rockier ascents, there aren’t a lot of hike-a-bike sections based on terrain, but the high altitude will get you off your bike. Other previous segments with similar profiles have been heavy on the hike-a-bike, but this one is a nicely rideable surprise. This flat, rolling section ends at a large power line pylon and a fast descent begins down to Route 50. This planning guide covers when to go, which direction, navigation, dangers, section highlights, elevation, wildlife, terrain difficulty, how long it takes and more. This is the second article in a series about bikepacking the Colorado Trail, and it covers basic planning and logistical aspects of the trip. This is just a slog up to Monarch Pass on Route 50. Starting on the outskirts of metro Denver, the trail quickly climbs into the Rockies and stays high – at an average elevation above 9000 feet. Pick up the CT again at mile 71.6 of the detour. Be sure to stop in the Princeton Market for supplies. The journey that you are about to embark upon follows a portion, or perhaps the entire 485 miles of recreational trail that crosses Colorado from Denver to Durango. Kennebec Trailhead marks the beginning of Segment 28 of the trail. It has a little bit of everything, but not too much of anything. Official app of The Colorado Trail Foundation. And the last 3 to 4 miles of the trail are pretty smooth (with a little choss thrown in) for the steady climb up to Sargents Mesa. The trail starts out on some uninspired singletrack that winds around Little Molas Lake. You start with some chossy downhill which isn’t so bad. The CT Databook references a number of lefts during the descent, but at least a couple of these were not obvious to me. Watch out for the cows! 555 total miles. It starts off annoyingly tough and ends on roads, so it’s just not that inspiring. At mile 3.6, there is a steep, rooty hill which will probably require a quick hike-a-bike, but from here it is smooth and generally downhill. Segment 22 is the gateway into the high alpine world that you’ll be a part of until the last segment of the trail. The trail then becomes less sandy and more packed featuring roots and rocks. Make sure you stop in Copper to get some food, beer, coffee, or whatever else. All basic info (i.e. The Trail becomes a smoother here with some very fun sections and nice aspen stands mixed in. Grab a beer to go if you plan on camping at Halfmoon Creek. Thanks Toby. For each segment the following info is provided: is powered by 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. The Dragon’s Spine Route, South Africa and Lesotho. From Taylor Lake to the end of the segment are fast, flowy trails. With the grant secured and dates set on the calendar, it was time to gear up and plot the trip’s finer details. Welcome to the Cochetopa Hills or “Hell Hills” as I’ve heard them affectionately called. There is a climb about 2 miles into the segment which puts you up on a ridge that rolls along for another 10 miles or so. However, after turning onto FS-211 at mile 13.6, it gets more difficult. Continue to climb gradually to the CT high point. However, the trail gets chossy and challenging after this point and remains so for the next 8 miles; there is a brief smooth section near the beginning of this section to look forward to. It starts from Kenosha Pass through a rooty aspen forest. Sorry. The going is fairly easy for the first 13 to 14 miles; be sure to stop at Wellington Lake for a moment. […]. Crest the ridge at the 8.4 mile mark. From Camp Hale to Tennessee Pass, the trail is less interesting, but still very rideable. Nice dirt roads and pretty scenery about on the La Garita Wilderness detour. It was first described in the map titled 'Santa Barbara Mountain Biking' (Raymond Ford Jr., Shoreline Press, 2001). The next 15 miles are a steady climb again on a nice dirt road through beautiful terrain with only a few steep sections. Hi & thanks for sharing this great backpacking information. Bikers will traverse many mountain ranges, including the Colorado … Wilderness detours also force thru-riders onto dirt roads. Pilots of all types of fitness levels can be successful in Colorado Trail. Unfortunately, they do not sell beer. From Leadville, quickly descend 4 miles on shoulderless Route 24. The first ~200 miles of the CT are widely regarded as some of the finest trail for bikepacking. up to Monarch Crest. Also mixed in are quite a few hike-a-bike sections that are induced by the high altitude more than the technical nature of the trail (still very technical in places, though). Riding up to the Segment 6 high point at Georgia Pass, near mile 12.0. The last 8 miles of singletrack are super sweet and flowy, some of the best riding you’ll do on the whole trail. 3 weeks on the Colorado Trail from Denver to Durango. My summer vacation 2017. Some of the trail at the bottom is rideable, but as you ascend, the rocks get bigger and completely unrideable. Continue to climb and descend four high points on tough trail. Our last campsite of the CT near mile 7.1 of Segment 28, CT Databook (7th edition): Page number for referencing the databook, Distance: Total miles covered in the section, SOBO Elevation gain: Total elevation gained (in feet) in the section headed towards Durango, estimated for partial segments, SOBO Elevation loss: Total elevation lost (in feet) in the section headed towards Durango, estimated for partial segments, Fun factor: Overall level of fun for a biker, 1 is least fun and 4 is most fun, Hike-a-bike factor: Overall amount of hike-a-bike, 1 is least hike-a-bike and 4 is most hike-a-bike (expect segments with level 3 and 4 hike-a-bike ratings to take significantly longer than other sections of similar distance and elevation gain), Detail: More detailed description of the trail segment. For bikers, Segment 5 starts at mile 8.0 of the segment. Segment 3 is a ride through Buffalo Creek. Plus, the next time you’re headed from Denver to Gunnison with your friends, you can also tell them: “I rode up this thing!” Be careful of traffic on the road, it moves fast. Segment 6 is one of the most fun segments of the trail and, from a rider’s perspective, probably the most fun segment near the Front Range. The steep, sawtooth profile of the road along with its exposure in the Hayman burn scar make it almost brutal at times. It starts on footpaths around the Chalk Creek TH and quickly becomes a hike-a-bike. Starting on the outskirts of metro Denver, the trail quickly climbs into the Rockies and stays high – at an average elevation above 9000 feet. Graysill in the background as we reached the last saddle of Segment 25 at mile 19.1. The CT has a rather short window: July -> Sept, since most of the route is covered by snow otherwise. This trail is one of the best bikepacking trips in the United States. Lake City is worth the trip, especially if you’ve never been there. This descent starts dry and rolling and ends on rockier, technical terrain. Once you’re past the rocky part of the climb, the trail still ascends, but at a more mellow grade and without all the rocks. A second mile long climb awaits. After mile 5, the hike-a-bike begins with a very steep section close to the 6 mile mark. This is not the high point of the trail. If you have the lungs for it, the trail is generally rideable with a few technical and off-camber sections that may likely get you off your bike. Once above tree line, the trail is generally smooth, but somewhat rutted out in places. Also links to CTF and updated info on routing / challenges. It’s pretty smooth, but dry and loose in many places. This page is frozen in time in the sense that it is based on our 2018 trip and on information from the Colorado Trail Databook, 7th edition. In looking at a map or hiking guide, it’s difficult to get a good feel about how a given section of the CT will be on a bike. 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