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Colorado Trail advice

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Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:28 pm
Location: Colorado Springs, CO

Colorado Trail advice

Postby swdishfishhoarder » Fri Jan 18, 2013 5:45 pm

I am planning on hiking the Colorado Trail this summer and was looking for advice from anyone who has hiked any or all of it.

What is a realistic mileage per day? I know this depends on weight of the pack, weather conditions, terrain, and other factors but what is a general mileage per day. I hiked Holy Cross in one day with plenty (aprox. 3 hrs) of daylight left. When I was in the Army the standard for EIB was 12 miles in 3 hrs but that was on flat asphalt with a 40 pound pack plus weapon, body armor, and helmet.
Is there any place that the guidebook doesn't talk about that is worth the stop?
What are the best towns to rest/resuppy in? I am planning on stopping in Breck, Buena Vista, and Creede.
What was your favorite section?

If anyone has any other advice, I'm all ears. Also, if anyone wants to hike a few sections with me this summer, you're welcome to. I was thinking of starting on June 21.

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Re: Colorado Trail advice

Postby boudreaux » Sat Jan 19, 2013 12:29 pm

Get a copy of "The Colorado Trail: The Official Guidebook" by the Colorado Trail Foundation. Very good book that should answer all your good questions! I've always liked the 1st section out of Waterton, Kenosha to Georgia is nice too. Never hiked through, but have ridden most of it to Breckenridge. Hope you have a great adventure!
Ragin Cajun

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Re: Colorado Trail advice

Postby dehrlich101 » Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:12 pm

swdishfishhoarder wrote:I am planning on hiking the Colorado Trail this summer and was looking for advice from anyone who has hiked any or all of it.

What is a realistic mileage per day? I know this depends on weight of the pack, weather conditions, terrain, and other factors but what is a general mileage per day. I hiked Holy Cross in one day with plenty (aprox. 3 hrs) of daylight left. When I was in the Army the standard for EIB was 12 miles in 3 hrs but that was on flat asphalt with a 40 pound pack plus weapon, body armor, and helmet.
Is there any place that the guidebook doesn't talk about that is worth the stop?
What are the best towns to rest/resuppy in? I am planning on stopping in Breck, Buena Vista, and Creede.
What was your favorite section?

If anyone has any other advice, I'm all ears. Also, if anyone wants to hike a few sections with me this summer, you're welcome to. I was thinking of starting on June 21.


+1 for the Colorado Trail Guidebook. Lots of great information, and Gudy's tips are a lot of help. If you have the time for a 6 week though trip, plan for around 12 miles a day. That way you can really enjoy the trail and explore some of the areas near to the trail. Some days you'll have to do more than 12 miles due to dry segments.. The longest I've gone with a full pack and gear is 22 miles, it was a long damn day.

Breck, Buena Vista, and Creede are good places to re-supply.. Consider adding Lake City after Segment 21, I am guessing you can easily find someone to bum a ride back to Lake City from Spring Creek Pass. Stay at the Elk Horn Resort they have some cabins for around $50 a night or an area to set up a tent. The restroom facilities are nice, and they have a washer/dryer.

My favorite Segment has been #21 (San Luis Pass to Spring Creek Pass) Start this segment early! You're above tree line for most of it and Snow Mesa has no shelter what so ever, or places to bail. It's a beautiful area, and maybe consider a climb of "Baldy no es Cinco" which isn't too far off the path. Also climb San Luis Peak while you're in the area, its a quick 3 mileish hike from the trail.

Advice...
1) Use trail runners instead of hiking boots, they are a lot more comfortable on long milage days. These shoes have held up great http://www.rei.com/product/806640/the-north-face-ultra-106-gore-tex-xcr-trail-running-shoes-mens
2) Bring along a light pair of sandals, it feels good to air out your feet after a long day and will help with recovery.
3) Buy a few sticks of Body Guide Anti-Chafe Balm from your local running store.. Apply it every day to your feet, hips, groin area (I have a separate stick for that one) Taking care of your body and feet will make a huge difference, blisters suck and chafing on your hips, and groin make hiking for long distances unbearable.
4) Wear running shorts, they are very light weight, dry quickly, and have built in underwear!

Not sure if you've seen my reports on the CT but here are a few.. If you have any questions feel free to PM me.
Daniel

Seg 1 - 3: http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=11753&parmuser=dehrlich101&cpgm=tripuser
Seg 13 - 14: http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=11485&parmuser=dehrlich101&cpgm=tripuser
Seg 15 - 18: http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=12049&parmuser=dehrlich101&cpgm=tripuser
Seg 18 - 21: http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=12732&parmuser=dehrlich101&cpgm=tripuser
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