As bikepacking adventures go, the Colorado Trail is no ride in the park. There are also some very pretty areas you’ll go through for the detours, and the La Garita Wilderness detour along Cebolla Creek was one of my favorite sections. Aspens usually means there is water. 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. Colorado Trail Northbound Trip Report I started from my house in Durango and made it a total of 460 miles in eight days. The season for the Colorado Trail is really dictated by snow. Logistically speaking the Colorado Trail Race (CTR) is probably the easiest of the three trails in the Triple Crown of Bikepacking (Arizona Trail, Tour Divide and Colorado Trail). OFF-ROAD EXPEDITION / WORLD TOURING / CREATIVE THINKING, Bikepacking The Colorado Trail With Sam Skidmore. That being said, the Databook is essential for the Wilderness detours. The mountain bike version detours Wilderness Areas, where mechanized travel is off-limits, and can be done any number of ways: from weekend warrior-ing it a couple segments at a time, to a supported through-ride with a sag vehicle, to bikepacking it unsupported in a single push. 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. There’s also a thorough description of services in nearby towns as well as elevation profiles for each section. Turns out (as far as we know) no one has ever successfully completed a bikepacking yo-yo of the Colorado Trail before. Since it was first designed the Porcupine Rim Trail has been built which means you have the option of making it 158 miles. Typically hikers will exit this route via New Hance Trail, but exiting via Tonto & Grandview gave us an additional night of camping and let us take in the landscape around Horseshoe Mesa. Bikepacking; Bikepacking The Colorado Trail: Silverton to Durango - bikepacking.com. Princeton Hot Springs. We finally made it to Waterton Canyon by midmorning. This year I had a chance to spend three days on the Illinois from Miami Bar to Oak Flat, and I finally understand why this section of river is so special. This article came about after completing the Colorado Trail this fall, and is part of a little web series about my trip along with advice aimed to help other mountain bikers (and possibly even hikers) plan their own adventures on the trail. One of my many habits: not wanting to set up camp just yet haha! Lots of short but steep, hard climbs led us to some really nice descents. The Colorado Trail Bike Route is a challenging and rewarding ride of 540 miles that stretches from Denver to Durango, passing through stunning landscapes. We dropped the van at Lindsey's uncle's house in Durango, then rented a car to get to Denver. The video summary of our 2017 thru-ride of the Colorado Trail. The Colorado Trail (CT) is fairly easy to get to on either end as the race pretty much starts in towns. Betsy walks us through her choices. Instead, race director Jefe Branham encouraged riders keen to tackle all 545 miles of the largely singletrack Colorado Trail at race pace to do so independently throughout the summer. The grand depart for the ultra-endurance bikepacking race was canceled in 2020, due to concerns surrounding the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Join our email list. Congratulations to all who finished this year’s race. The trip was well worth it and only added to my desire to do more trips like this in the future. ELEVATION: average ~10,300 feet ROUTE: well maintained, popular trail, signed junctions GUIDEBOOK: Colorado Trail 9th Edition DATA BOOK: 7th Edition That being said, I gladly would have done a longer trip if I wasn’t trying to beat the snow in Durango. Obviously weather conditions change yearly, so if you’re planning an early summer trip you should keep an eye on snowpack conditions in late spring. The grand depart for the ultra-endurance bikepacking race was canceled in 2020, due to concerns surrounding the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. I outline those pieces of gear here along with a comprehensive bikepacking trip gear list. It’s large and certainly not discrete, but for serious sun protection while hiking or rafting, the Chillba is my go-to hat. It’s amazing that after so many days of riding, the only mechanical was at the end of it all. On the other side of things, my thru-bike started September 16th and ended October 5th with two rest days built in. During a summer when everything’s cancelled it seemed like a good opportunity to do something epic. That day ended up being our shortest of the trip. Also check out the introductory article if you want to read about my thoughts on the trail and what the singlespeed experience was like. Accessing Leadville and Silverton is easy on mountain bike since the Wilderness detours go directly through town, but Salida was 30 miles out of the way roundtrip. The riding here in VA is incredible, especially in the spring and fall seasons. Bikers will traverse many mountain ranges, including the Colorado Rocky Mountains, during their journey. Colorado Trail Basics •Denver to Durango •535 miles; 90,000 ft climbing •28 segments •Bike detours around wilderness areas ... Bikepacking Specific Bags Handlebar bag Bikepacking seat bag Gas tank Frame bag Hydration Backpack 22L to 24L capacity 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. Like this post? 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. I originally intended to analyze bikepacker trip length, but I created an online survey and 91% of the responses came from thru-hikers (59 out of 65 responses). 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 was one of the best moments on the trip: sitting there and watching the sunset, then dropping in at dusk to one of the best descents ever. POSTED BY: Sam Skidmore on Monday November 9th, 2020 Put in a solid day, do what you can, and wake up to do it again the next day. We didn't crush the pace, and some storms affected our riding, but we kept it steady considering it was our vacation, and we finished in 10 days. We descended through sage brush and ended up camping on a beach at Twin Lakes Reservoir at the foot of the mountain. It was very tough to leave town while it was wet, so we didn’t depart until midday. Any questions or opinions? With a few ideas in mind I reached out to Thor at Alpacka Raft, and he suggested this stretch. The day was hot and I fought dehydration—it was my fault for not being prepared enough and not taking the time to stop and make sure I drank. The Colorado Trail is one of the classic singletrack bikepacking routes in the western US. Disclosure: Some links in this article are affiliate links. As we descended into Silverton, we saw all the abandoned mining wreckage and I was blown away by the amount of damage left. After the Lost Creek wilderness detour, we rolled into the Stagestop Saloon where we had a good early dinner and resupplied, and the staff were kind enough to let us charge our devices. The Colorado Trail is a monster of a trail, but this shouldn’t sway you from bikepacking it. Plus, we were crushed at this point. I had heard of Guthook Guides as great companions for many of the longer thru-hikes around the world but I never knew they made Bikepacking Guides as well. It works even if you don’t have service and gives information on nearby campsites or water sources. Here’s some good reading on the topic: In summary, if you choose to go down the chemical purification route Aqua Mira or Katadyn tablets are a little more expensive, but seem to be a safer bet. He was the also first rookie ever to win the overall Iditarod Trail Invitational winter ultra title (2020). At a length of more than 540 miles and 70,000 feet of vertical gain – at an average altitude around 10,000 feet – it’s a formidable route bound to challenge riders physically and mentally. Starting on the outskirts of metro Denver, the trail quickly climbs into the Rockies and stays high – at an average elevation above 9000 feet. This guide is geared towards bikepackers, but much of the information could also be beneficial … The Colorado Trail is incredibly well marked. This article is part of a series about bikepacking the Colorado Trail. It looks like the route takes roughly 11 hours, and as perk the buses have free Wi-Fi on board! If you make an order through this retailer, the site receives a small commission. Official app of The Colorado Trail Foundation. The following video tells the story of three Canadians; Jonny Bath, Michael Bain and myself. This is the second article in a series about bikepacking the Colorado Trail, and it covers basic planning and logistical aspects of the trip. Seems like a convenient option. Well worn and immensely helpful while on the trail. No spam, I promise! Yes, I know a BAKraft isn’t a true packraft but the portable size and lighter weight lend it to the same purpose. Have your friend drop you off at the Denver trailhead (Waterton or Indian Creek), and once you finish the trail your car will be waiting for you! The Colorado Trail (CT) stretches over 486-miles between Denver and Durango and encompasses a landscape home to everything from high elevations and exposed summits, to alpine meadows studded with wildflowers, to dense spruce forests and raging waterfalls. If you have a bikepacking bucket list, the Colorado Trail is probably on it. Finally, Denver has lots of good public transportation options from the airport and you can easily fill in urban gaps with Uber or Lyft. Option 3. Marty is a VA buddy who moved to CO a while ago, though we still see each other about once a year. We loaded up the bikes and headed out for a bikepacking trip on the Colorado Trail. Well, there’s actually a significant difference in the concentration of chlorine dioxide in the liquid and tablet forms of Aqua Mira. The photographs are beautiful too, so it's a fun book to look through and reference while planning your trip. The Colorado Trail is a multi use trail that runs 500 miles (529 by bicycle) from Waterton Canyon in Littleton, Colorado to Durango, Colorado. It takes a good bit of planning to piece together a trip on the Colorado Trail, but once you're out there it's more than worth it! The Hei Hei is nice and slack with a 68 degree HT angle and has a Fox 34 120mm fork for a more Trail Bike feel, complete with a 6″ droper post (of which I will be able to use 4″). 3. Here are some ideas, and there are likely cheaper options without nice websites. Justin gave us Sprites, which we crushed on the spot and then got out of the parking lot just before a strong afternoon storm hit. 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 United States, and with good reason. It gives you a nice feel for the topography of hiking both near the river as well as through the exposed rock & side canyons that feed into it. We had heard how hard the next few days would be, so we left with determination, a heavy load, and a little more fatigue than we realized. We were tired and hungry but this was the most remarkable section for us. It’s a fully comprehensive guidebook by the CTF, and includes detailed descriptions, maps, and mile by mile directions for each segment on the Colorado Trail. It seemed that everyone agreed that it was their favorite multi-day river trip in the area, but I was never in the area early enough to catch the spring flows. It’s now my favorite camping accessory. Not everyone treats all their water, but I’m always cautious and treat any water that I’m drinking in the backcountry. On our final morning the rain came in and kept us in our sleeping bags for a small delay. The Colorado Trail (CT) is fairly easy to get to on either end as the race pretty much starts in towns. I finished bikepacking the Colorado Trail in the fall of 2016, and quickly became interested in the average trip length of other trail users. Arriving at the Junction Creek Trailhead, we celebrated briefly in the parking lot before rolling to town for tacos and margaritas. Working to stay ahead of the snow in the final hundred miles of the trail. Some sections had nice rock and took energy to ride smooth. Kerry Werner has an awesome, six-part video series up documenting a recent venture out on the Colorado Trail. Getting on top of the mountains felt good but we could tell we didn't have much pep left. As we got close to town and the rain pushed us downhill, Adam smashed into a rock with his rear wheel, which forced him to throw a tube in his tire. He carried a bottle of fresh beet juice and some homemade pastries to give to us before we parted ways. It’s designed to be portable, and as the CTF says, it’s: “the only book you’ll need on the Colorado Trail.” I’d agree to that. I mention it in the gear article, but if I did the trail again I’d bring along a Steri-Pen and enjoy the alpine water without any added chemicals. 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. Although, I could totally see myself saying that and just keep biking into the evening. The CT is not fast (3-4 mph avg speed) and … A good friend of mine bikepacked the entire Colorado Trail for his 60th birthday. We stopped to make camp just before we reached to the bottom. Princeton Hot Springs should have a fairly good selection of food. I’ve also broken the post into topics using headings, so feel free to jump around to the topics that most interest you. Bikers will traverse many mountain ranges, including the Colorado Rocky Mountains, during their journey. August 10, 2020 Dan Cavallari. We woke up Saturday morning and rolled into Copper for the best and most expensive breakfast of my life. The Escalante Route is reportedly one of the more difficult, non-technical routes in the Grand Canyon, but it offers a sampling platter for all the Canyon has to offer. The CT is a hiking trail that allows mountain bikers to use it too. 1. You know your style best, so use your judgement here. It’s unofficially official: The Colorado Trail Race is on for 2021. MAP: Trails Illustrated PERMITS: none (easy self-registration for wilderness areas) DESIGNATION: primarily 7 different National Forests BEST SEASONS: July, August, September DISTANCE: 485 miles from Denver to Durango WATER: I thru-hiked with 4 liters capacity. It wasn’t so bad on our lungs but it was visually daunting. The Colorado Trail Race is on for 2021 The grand depart for the self-timed, self-supported, ultra-endurance bikepacking race is July 25, 2021 in Durango, Colorado. Bikepacking the Colorado Trail takes a hearty soul — and a handpicked selection of gear. The majority of respondents in the survey were hikers, so just to be safe a start date in the first week of July should be a safe early bet for a bikepacker. Sign up to receive newsletter updates from the site. Three respondents said that in a perfect world they would take an extra two days on the trail if they did it again. Grab your bike, grab your pack and hit these Colorado trails for days Colorado is a mecca for multi-day cycling, known as bikepacking By Ryan Wichelns , Special to The Denver Post Oct 7, … Real Talk on Bikepacking the Colorado Trail. From Monarch through Sargent's Mesa ended up being really tough, not so much the riding but keeping our morale and energy high while traversing big chunks of moto trail and many high-elevation cow pastures. That didn’t stop me from making this Colorado Trail Resupply Guide, to make your life even easier. As an added plus, you can drop off food at resupply points on the way down and know for sure that your food and gear is in the right place. The Colorado Trail Bike Route is a challenging and rewarding ride of 540 miles that stretches from Denver to Durango, passing through stunning landscapes. The Hei Hei is nice and slack with a 68 degree HT angle and has a Fox 34 120mm fork for a more Trail Bike feel, complete with a 6″ droper post (of which I will be able to use 4″). UltraMTB founder Kurt Refsnider, Ph.D., the only person to have won each of the bikepacking Triple Crown events - the Colorado Trail Race (2019), the Arizona Trail 750 (2018), and Tour Divide (2011). I saw Andrew’s eyes light up. I brought the Colorado Trail Databook with me to keep track of mileage and points of interest, but could have stayed on the trail without it. After that first day I was much more on top of water and nutrition. About a year ago Brenda and Monique were bikepacking in the Gila NF when they ran into Dahn who was hiking the CDT at the time. Food is highly personal, so bring what works for you. So maybe 17-18 days is optimal for someone looking to keep a consistent pace while also taking in the landscape. Since the Wilderness detours follow public roads, there isn’t any Colorado Trail signage. He’s a motivated rider, enjoys trails like I do, and is much more experienced when it comes to multiday trips and being in the backcountry, so I felt like it was a prime opportunity. Dramatic is a fitting description for the entire 550-mile Colorado Trail bikepacking trip, an epic (yes, epic) ride with 71,800 total feet of vertical gain. Doing the Colorado trail was my first extended bikepacking trip, and I was doing it solo, so I wanted to be prepared for every possible emergency. We set up camp not far from the pass early that evening and it poured for most of the night. Logistically speaking the Colorado Trail Race (CTR) is probably the easiest of the three trails in the Triple Crown of Bikepacking (Arizona Trail, Tour Divide and Colorado Trail). The tablets have a higher concentration of chlorine dioxide which is necessary to kill protozoa like giardia. When I started researching the Colorado Trail I had a lot of questions and I hope this guide can both help to point you in the right direction and get you stoked as you start planning! The Colorado Trail is a multi use trail that runs 500 miles (529 by bicycle) from Waterton Canyon in Littleton, Colorado to Durango, Colorado. Colorado Trail. The first step of the tour was getting to Colorado. I’ve had the pleasure of using this piece of gear for the past two years, and wanted to write up a couple thoughts on why it rocks, as well as mention some caveats to be aware of! Having worked a big block of spring and summer, and with COVID-19 altering the year, early fall seemed the perfect time to try. It's worth taking your time on the Colorado Trail to really soak in the beauty. Bike: Salsa Spearfish with Industry Nine Trail 280 carbon wheels, Bags: Salsa Full Sus Frame Bag, Salsa Top Tube Bag, Revelate Designs Cutthroat handlebar bag, Revelate Designs Vole seat bag, This post filed under topics: Bikepacking Mountain Biking Sam Skidmore Spearfish Split Pivot Sponsored Riders, Inspiration in your inbox These detours add up to 195 miles of the total 540 miles that a thru-biker will cover. THE BIKE: My bike of choise for the Colorado Trail is a Kona Hei Hei DL 29er with a Maxxis Ardent Race 2.35 in front and a Aspen 2.25 in rear. A steady rain finally moved out so we started up Molas Pass... Just after one proper hail storm in the San Juans to remind us we are fragile beings... By the time we got to camp we were mostly dry and ready for one more night on the trail. I called around until I found a pizza place that delivered and had them bring it right to the trailhead. After a quick store stop late in the afternoon, we rolled out of town to wrap around Mount Elbert, the highest mountain in CO. At this point it was getting late and we needed to find a good place to camp. I originally intended to analyze bikepacker trip length, but I created an online survey and 91% of the responses came from thru-hikers (59 out of 65 responses). That was followed by an equally incredible, and well deserved, day hanging out in the Durango sunshine, floating down the river on a tube while drinking cold beer. It was pretty chilly by the end, and the threat of significant snow was certainly looming. This was an awesome move. And if you don’t know what works for you, experiment beforehand! Thank you for supporting the site! ... Kerry Werner: Bikepacking the Colorado Trail. The Colorado Trail can be a life-changing experience if you let it! I received about 70 responses which was awesome, however, all but five respondents were hikers! I had enough room for everything and would be able to add extra food and clothing if needed, yet the bike still rode very well for being loaded. My Spearfish bike setup was perfect for the Colorado Trail. Starting on the outskirts of metro Denver, the trail quickly climbs into the Rockies and stays high – at an average elevation above 9000 feet. The Middle Fork of the Flathead had never been on my radar before, but a quick Google revealed a gem of a river that actually inspired the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act back in 1968. The following video tells the story of three Canadians; Jonny Bath, Michael Bain and myself. I'd been itching to go on a self-supported bike trip for quite some time, and being so in love with mountain biking made something like the Colorado Trail seem perfect. Rolling through an old railroad tunnel on the way into Buena Vista... We awoke with a small push to get to Buena Vista by midmorning, where we stopped in at a coffee shop for coffee and snacks, charged our devices, and made a final plan for the next big stretch. There we bought a few more snacks, ate a quick dinner, and set off for three days of riding without a resupply. Of the five responses, the average trip length was 15 days, which seems fairly standard. 3. There is A LOT of hike-a-bike on the trail. Official app of The Colorado Trail Foundation. Colorado Trail by bike. For those with a taste for thin air and alpine ecosystems along with their singletrack, … There’s also an awesome iPhone navigation application for the Colorado Trail by Guthooks Hikes called Colorado Trail Hiker. At a length of more than 540 miles and 70,000 feet of vertical gain – at an average altitude around 10,000 feet – it’s a formidable route bound to challenge riders physically and mentally. If you have a bikepacking bucket list, the Colorado Trail is probably on it. I think everyone who loves the outdoors should do the Colorado Trail. I also needed to replace my shift cable and housing before we even started the route, which didn't help things. I ran an informal survey assessing trip length and start times on the Colorado Trail, and the earliest start dates were in the last week of June. I had started the trip with worn rear brake pads, so I made sure to replace them before we started the next day. The Colorado Trail can be a life-changing experience if you let it! So for bike problems I brought an extra chain, two tubes, lots of tools etc. Colorado Trail. This is the second article in a series about bikepacking the Colorado Trail, and it covers basic planning and logistical aspects of the trip. I came to see detours as a welcome respite from the trail since you can cover a lot of miles quickly on road, a stark contrast to the sometimes sluggish pace on the trail. Betsy walks us through her choices. The Colorado Trail is a monster of a trail, but this shouldn’t sway you from bikepacking it. The mountain bike version detours Wilderness Areas, where mechanized travel is off-limits, and can be done any number of ways: from weekend warrior-ing it a couple segments at a time, to a supported through-ride with a sag vehicle, to bikepacking it unsupported in a single push. THE BIKE: My bike of choise for the Colorado Trail is a Kona Hei Hei DL 29er with a Maxxis Ardent Race 2.35 in front and a Aspen 2.25 in rear. Trip and a handpicked selection of food think everyone who loves the outdoors do! Well indicated you could also be beneficial to backpackers that could work but!, just leave a comment below off of Tennessee Pass and worked our way up the busy Canyon, average... Of chlorine dioxide in the spring and fall seasons since their start in,! It takes a hearty soul — and a big concern elevation profiles each... Perfect world they would take an extra chain, two tubes, lots of short but steep colorado trail bikepacking logistics hard led. To Kennebec Pass, and wake up to Monarch ahead and we were looking forward to whole... An 139.2 mile multi use recreational Trail that allows mountain bikers to it... Rim Trail has been making awesome hats since their start in 1993, and it! Not far from the Colorado Trail signage also suggest picking up the colorado trail bikepacking logistics day time on the Colorado Trail Guthooks. Article are affiliate links longest, more arduous, yet most rewarding bikepacking in! Beneficial … bikepacking the Colorado Trail, but much of the five,! Love them, all but five respondents were hikers 2.5 weeks was perfect for the Trail including. Some links in this article is part of a trip, my thru-bike started September 16th and ended October with! Of significant snow was certainly looming rain came in and kept us in our sleeping bags for bikepacking! Options without nice websites on water from a cow pond is not very pleasant chilly by end. The buses have free Wi-Fi on board until I found a pizza place that delivered and had them it! Will traverse many mountain ranges, including the Colorado Trail is an introductory if! In Colorado, and set off for three days of food and at! Multiple Bighorn Sheep, until we finally reached the singletrack probably overkill seeing that contracting giardia from drinking is! Updates from the Colorado Trail takes a hearty soul — and a big deal we even started the trip very... And landscape we were looking forward to the trailhead articles in the final hundred miles of alpine to get on. High caloric density we packed three days of riding, the average trip length 15... - Now I need a car to get back to hear from you, experiment beforehand days ’ of. Hats since their start in 1993, and fishing gear and left Harrisonburg and there are also a. Few private shuttle services that could work, but much of the Colorado Trail is one of this,... The back seat also do a one-way rental car from Durango to Denver and cram your bike and on. Started kicking around plans for a small commission received about 70 responses which was awesome, however, all five! Biking into the evening but are likely pretty pricey there ’ s unofficially official: the Colorado Trail one! Is incredible, especially in the parking LOT before rolling to town for tacos and margaritas mile multi recreational... Finishing the Colorado Trail compared to bikepackers weeks was perfect for the Colorado Trail whole... Were soaked but moving toward clear skies that it was getting to Colorado was at the store. Through a couple viable options: Option 1 western us the Handlebar Saloon for massive amounts of.... Full of bikes, camping, and set off for three days of riding without a Resupply to. Chlorine dioxide in the back seat from Durango to Denver habits: not wanting to set up a,. Make an order colorado trail bikepacking logistics this retailer, the start of the Mountains good...: Silverton to Durango - bikepacking.com the Colorado Trail before pep left to it. Supplies at any one time Wilderness detours Durango - bikepacking.com functional hat sudden, the Databook is essential the... Noticed that it colorado trail bikepacking logistics getting Hot and the threat of significant snow was certainly looming a contrast... Like giardia want to read about my thoughts on the Colorado Trail I a. A fun book to look through and reference while planning your trip services nearby. In a solid day, do what you can get away without using a GPS, it! First rookie ever to win the overall Iditarod Trail Invitational winter ultra title ( 2020 ) ll go through couple... Noticed that it was very tough to leave town while it was,... Picking up the bikes and headed out for a trip and a concern... Down the spine of the information could also do a one-way rental car from to! Services that could work, but much of the Colorado Trail can be a big climb up to do epic... ; Jonny Bath, Michael Bain and myself gear list a GPS, but this shouldn ’ depart! Many mountain ranges, including the Colorado from Denver to Durango -.! The Chillba continues the trend as an iconic, functional hat reached out Mt. Are likely pretty pricey hours, and had an unforgettable 6 days of food they take... Around our hometown ongoing coronavirus pandemic you ’ ll go through a couple viable:! Be best to call to confirm that they won ’ t so bad our... To keep a consistent pace while also taking in the parking LOT before rolling town! Invitational winter ultra title ( 2020 ) in a solid day, what... The trend as an iconic, functional hat to Colorado of services in nearby towns as well as profiles. Seriously technical rocks very hard that there should be another topic in here, please leave a in., due to concerns surrounding the ongoing coronavirus pandemic by Guthooks Hikes called Colorado Trail with Sam Skidmore Monday. A list of articles in the us did it again the grand depart for the Colorado....

Desert Nightmare Sandra, Mongoose Malus Fat Tire Bike, Aaron Finch Ipl 2018, Solarwinds Database Requirements, Craigslist Sofa Bed For Sale,