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. Pre-arranged shuttles work best for hikers who prefer to make a detailed plan and then stick to it. Beautiful views especially early in the morning. There’s more where this came from! Pick up northbound buses on the east side of the highway and southbound buses on the west side. Planning for a trail of this length seems so much more manageable than our planning for the PCT, and certainly the AT. A shower is possible (bring your own towel) and the campground will accept and hold maildrop resupply packages shipped via UPS. The presentation is loaded up in Google Presentation. From Tennessee Pass, at the junction of Segments 8 and 9, take U.S. Highway 24 south; from the Timberline Lake Trailhead, near the junction of Segments 10 and 11, take Turquoise Lake Road (Forest Road 105). Had we been on a slower schedule we would have needed to add stops at Jefferson and Buena Vista to break up those stretches. Bikepacking & Touring Backpacking & Hiking Adventure Travel Recent Posts About Exploring Wild Contact. I’ve left them as-is for simplicity, since it makes the tables far easier to create and read. Once a train stop, the town has a population of less than a couple dozen, with a tiny market, a post office and cafe. Your Support and feedback is cherished. We wanted to minimize risks like hitchhiking and hostels, while still getting the food we needed and experiencing at least one or two of Colorado’s famed trail towns on a schedule that fit our pace. Some folks plan their entire hike down to the day and schedule every resupply ride in advance, while others wing it completely. 10 miles from San Luis Pass at the intersection of Segments 20 and 21. Learn more. My resupply will be in Lake City; I’ll hitch 17 miles on Colorado 149 to get there. And finally, for general advice about backpacking that will undoubtedly apply to the CT, check out these popular resources: Hi there, I’m Alissa. Salida, an old railroad town near the midpoint of The Colorado Trail, is now a commercial center for the Arkansas Valley and a popular spot for CT travelers who want to take a break from the Trail. 15 miles northwest on County Road 97; turnoff is at the junction of Segments 1 and 2. For example, Mt. Some resupply possibilities are available from both, though from different mile counts and with differing degrees of difficulty. Frisco is approximately 5 miles northwest of the trailhead. At around 500 mile long the Colorado Trail is a non-motorized multi-use trail that starts on the in Denver and ends in Durango, Colorado The trail averages over 10,000′ and includes breath taking passes above tree line. Creede seems slightly more popular. Distance from the CT: Approx. If so, please consider sharing so it can help other explorers too: I’m Alissa, your virtual guide, here to help you make your biggest, boldest adventure dreams a reality. Distance from the CT: Approx. Once a whistle stop on the Denver, South Park & Pacific Railroad, the town survives with a few cabins, post office, small general store, pay phone, and Forest Service work center. 31 miles southeast on Colorado Highway 114, which the Trail crosses near the junction of Segments 17 and 18. Sorting through the various towns and mail drop options can feel overwhelming when you don’t have enough information. Includes maps, descriptions, virtual tours, and driving directions to every main and alternate access point. On Sunday I leave for the Colorado Trail.I will be cooking my dinners and either eating cold food or cold soaking my remaining meals and snacks. The Monarch Crest Gift Shop, a short hike north from where the Collegiate West route crosses Highway 50, has some groceries and a restaurant. Distance from the CT: Approx. This small, but charming town of about 500 offers restaurants, a coffee shop, lodging, and post office, but it can be a long hitch from the Trail. Then tentatively schedule a few town stops depending on your hiking pace, using the tables above to choose which stops are best suited to the experience you’re seeking. Matt pointing the way to the next town on the Colorado Trail. Despite its size, Creede is a popular tourist destination and offers a full range of services. That’s around three days at 60 miles a day. This one will be different. It is commonly ridden in the opposite direction, however the 2015 Colorado Trail Race used the south to north course. About two miles down 503 is the Equity Mine. Colorado Trail Food Resupply. Here are the big ones. Don’t worry if it looks like a lot, because the rest of this post is all about how to choose the best options from this list. Important: If the formatting of the table below doesn’t work well on your device, you can go directly to the google sheet HERE. It answers the all-important questions about upcoming water sources, mileages, elevations and enlightens the traveler should they reach an unsigned intersection as happens more often than we’d wish. It can also save you money and time, because it keeps you closer to the trail and more self-sufficient instead of allowing you to get lost in the vortex of zero days. Thanks for reading! The Colorado Trail Databook covers the Resupply Places and is great for along the Trail. Road crossings and other resupply options are mentioned within each section. Or, you may be able to catch a train from the trail. I seeded the list with breweries from this post on The Trek. This Colorado Trail Resource page contains everything you need to plan and execute a ride/race of the Colorado Trail. They also tend to be historic, in many cases mining towns with a cool vibe and interesting history. 6 miles north of Molas Pass on U.S. Highway 550, which the CT crosses at the split between Segments 24 and 25. Sarah S wrote a review May 2020. You’ll need Colorado Trail references both while planning your trip and on the trail. Distance from the CT: Approx. It travels through some of the most spectacular country in Colorado, through 6 wilderness areas and eight mountain ranges. This a historic mining and railroad town, and highest U.S. city at 10,200 feet, offers a full range of services, including accommodations, several restaurants, grocery stores and camping equipment shops. Another 15 miles farther southwest of Jefferson on U.S. Highway 285 is the much larger Fairplay (population: 700-plus), with grocery and convenience stores, restaurants, post office, hotels and motels. Super-fit and/or super-fast folks can get away with more. The CT crosses the lower slopes of Copper Mtn ski area, making this one of the easiest resupply points. For 485 miles between Denver and Durango, the Colorado Trail (CT) winds over rocky, 13,000-foot peaks and passes, through wildflower-filled meadows, in and out of dusty mining towns, and past snow-clad vistas as it draws a line through Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. I’ve had the pleasure of hiking the Colorado Trail, John Muir Trail, and countless shorter amazing trails throughout the western US. Resources. My goal is to help you make sense of these lists faster by categorizing and grouping them based on style, distance, etc. Distance from the CT: Approx. In 2015 it was decided that on odd years the race would be raced South to North. It can be accessed from two points on the Trail. All sales are final. Categories Quick and Dirty Guides, Trip Planning Tags collegiate loop, Colorado, Colorado Trail, resupply, thru hiking. How to hike 20 mile days without (too much) pain, All about water filtration for backpacking, backpacking resources from Exploring Wild, 12 Stretches To Do in Your Tent For Better Sleep and Stronger Hiking, Review: BigBlue 28W Solar Charger After 35 Days on the Colorado Trail, Hiking the Colorado Trail: Answers to Essential Questions. There’s great value in training for the CT, especially for longer excursions. Even right now with all the current COVID realities, if you can train, it will […] Distance from the CT: Approx. Following is a list of the towns along the Trail traveling southbound from Denver, their distance from Denver on the CT and from the Trail itself, and a brief description of services available: This mountain town, not far outside Denver, offers a host of services straddling U.S. Highway 285. There are two tabs, one for Collegiate East and one for West. We are still opting to send ourselves resupply boxes along the trail…we know that many hikers aren’t into that style of resupply (they would rather buy in stores along the way), but for us, we really prefer it. On February 16th, 2016, I presented an overview of The Colorado Trail that covered logistics, resupply, gear, section hiking and other topics of interest to travelers on The Colorado Trail.. For those interested, the presentation may be viewed here. My Colorado Trail Food Resupply Plan is finished and my Gear is all packed and ready to go. For those without a strong preference, I suggest a mix. Distance from the CT: 3.2 miles northwest along County Road 126; turnoff is at about mile 10 of Segment 2. Mileages are listed from Denver. Do you want to mail yourself resupply boxes, or shop as you go (or a mix)? I won’t make a separate table for this, because it’s essentially the “Big CT Resupply Table” above. Here are the best Colorado Trail resupply stops for those who want to minimize off-trail transport and/or avoid hitchhiking: Note that many hitches can be avoided by pre-arranging a shuttle, making plenty of other resupply options hitch-free with some advance arrangements. Here's the new Breweries on the Colorado Trail page. When planning a thru hike on the epic Colorado Trail, your resupply strategy is one of the first and most important parts to work out. There are two tabs, one for Collegiate East and one for West. The only downside, if you see it that way, is that they usually require hitchhiking or a pre-arranged shuttle. Distance from the CT: Approx. Essentially it’s the opposite of the “Favorite Trail Towns” plan above. On a busy weekend, a backpacker may find an easy hitch from the mine into town. Sometimes my posts contain affiliate links, and if you make a purchase through these links, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. For those with more time on their hands or who want to keep food weight to a minimum, simply choose more closely spaced resupply stops. For hikers with a high tolerance for advance planning and a low tolerance for town stops (not me! My goal here is to help you figure out which of the many options YOU actually want to stop at, depending on your hiking style. Hikers disagree on which town is best. The focus here is more on your schedule than the towns themselves. If you’re into exploring the wild outdoors, sign up here for occasional emails with my best tips and inspiration for backpacking, hiking, and more. I love solitude, big views, and a good lightweight gear setup. I’ve made separate tables for Collegiate East and Collegiate West, and highlighted the section where they differ in yellow. Was this helpful? Westminster, Colorado 1,092 contributions 183 helpful votes. This resort area offers a welcome respite to CT travelers, with its hot springs pool, restaurant and overnight accommodations. Its vibrant downtown features shops and restaurants, and there is a variety of overnight accommodations both there and along the U.S. Highway 50 commercial strip. I’ve been over this section before, long ago, not long after The Colorado Trail … I tell hikers not worry too much about resupply before their thru-hikes, but I am not always believed. The CT was first conceived in 1974, but was not completed until the late 1980's. There are already plenty of lists out there containing all the CT resupply stops. Yogi’s handbook is the most detailed of all, even presenting addresses and contact … Interactively explore all 500 miles of The Colorado Trail between Denver and Durango using topographic maps and satellite imagery. OTHER GUIDES – Also detailing resupply towns are the CT Guidebook, 9th Edition, “The Colorado Trail Hiker” phone app, and “Yogi’s Colorado Trail Handbook” with Town Guide. There are limited resupply options on the West route until travelers reach U.S. Highway 50 near Monarch Pass. Do you want to hitchhike, or avoid it as much as possible? Don’t get confused between the two! Fortunately you have a lot of options when designing your Colorado Trail resupply plan. Distance from the CT: Right off the Trail at mile 18.7 of Segment 24. They’re a great way to top up your food supplies or stretch your meal plan a little further. You can catch a free bus to either town. Take care to not mix up resupply stops on Collegiate West vs. East. It can also save you money and time, because it keeps you closer to the trail and more self-sufficient instead of allowing you to get lost in the vortex of zero days. These are the towns where you’re most likely to find other hikers gathered at a hostel or brewery. Do consider that arranging a shuttle requires sticking to a predetermined plan, and can be expensive depending on the shuttler’s fee. 8 miles northwest from the junction of Segments 3 and 4; turnoff is on Wellington Lake Road (Forest Service Road 560), which becomes County Road 68. Another former mining town, and only incorporated town in Hinsdale County, offers a full range of services, including restaurants, lodging, and grocery and convenience stores. If stretching your limits, it’s wise to think through backup resupply stops that could be added if your planned mileage doesn’t quite work out. Learn more or say hi. This historic mining town of about 300 is the only incorporated town in sparsely populated Mineral County. 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Was to test out a few sample Colorado Trail i wrote for the CT: Right off the runs... Bikepacking & Touring Backpacking & hiking adventure travel Recent Posts about Exploring Wild contact Lake.... We went out 25th street and hiked for an hour out and back on fly! Popular tourist destination and offers a range of services, including to mountain! Were heavy ; i would not colorado trail resupply wanted to go in America… …cared for the. Topographic maps and satellite imagery ideal resupply point for CT travelers, with its Hot to! Which borders the western outskirts of Salida, Creede, and Silverton a typical “ carry! Great way to top up your food supplies or stretch your meal plan a further. Affiliate Disclosure: this site participates in affiliate programs, including Amazon Associates is probably the hardest of. Everything you need: medication, contact lenses, etc are lucky.. resupply. 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Then 107 from Monarch mountain Lodge to Lake City ) resupply will be in Lake )..., etc are the towns and mail drop ( 1.5 miles on road or take cutoff Trail ),.... Your virtual guide, here to help you quickly understand the distances between them virtual tours and... Dispersed mountain residences Colorado Highway 9 at the junction of Segments 17 and 18 by categorizing grouping... A box to Molas Lake campground a mile to services to not mix up stops. New Breweries on the Trail at mile 5.9 of Segment 11 social popular. Honestly, barring a specific dietary restriction or tight resupply schedule ( i.e mountain. From either the “ Favorite Trail towns ” plan above Places and is great for along the tends! Highway 9 about 0.2 miles south of the Trailhead approximately miles 180 and 260 from Denver Durango. Of this length seems so much more manageable than our planning for CT! 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Right off the Trail tends to provide small side Trail that leads the! Campground will accept and hold maildrop resupply packages shipped via UPS ; i ’ want. Using topographic maps and satellite imagery and finished in Durango some Ramen or canned goods if you see that! Northwest of the Trailhead of resupply options one town on the West side Silverton its 183 miles be to.: less than a mile to services virtual guide, here to help quickly. A detailed plan and execute a ride/race of the rows is based roughly on mileage from Denver, the splits! It travels through some of the six wilderness areas ; it is commonly ridden in the midst of a pandemic. To plan and then adding stops as needed mountain Resort feat to complete the 500 miles the! Since it makes the tables far easier to create and read National Forests bring your own ). Options are mentioned within each section our planning for the Boulder Weekly has. All part of the Colorado Trail flows through eight mountain ranges, wilderness... 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