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Colorado Trail / Continental Divide Trail / Collegiate Peaks, CO

Jul 14 - Jul 22, 2018 -- $1275 ★★★★

Colorado’s premier long distance trail. The Colorado Trail, stretches almost 500 miles from Denver to Durango. At an average elevation of 10,300' rises and falls dramatically amongst 14,000' mountains and countless alpine lakes. Although most people see the Rocky Mountains from their car, few experience the wonders of these magnificent mountains close-up. On this trip, you will hike along backcountry trails that will give you breathtaking vistas that car bound tourists just can't access.


Our trek will traverse almost 40 miles of the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness on the Western Corridor of the Colorado Trail, sections CW01 and CW02. As a bonus, the Colorado Trail here is coincident with the famed Continental Divide Trail.


The park is host to a wide variety of plants and animals including black bear, marmots, squirrels, deer, elk, bighorn sheep, a variety of birds and even mountain lions. You will also see Colorado Blue Spruce, Quaking Aspen, Lodgepole Pine, Ponderosa Pine, Douglas Fir, and endless fields of redolent wildflowers.


Our trek begins at Twin Lakes Reservoir at over 9000'. You will want to be super hydrated to stave off the effects of altitude as this is about the lowest elevation of the trip. From there, we'll hike up to Hope Pass at over 12,500' on the 2nd day so if you are able to acclimate ahead of time, please do so.


Summer is prime time in the Colorado Rockies, so why not join us?



Weather

Weather is always an important concern when hiking. Summer is the ideal time to hike in the Rockies. Expect daytime hiking temperatures into the 70s and 80s and nighttime temperatures in the 40s & 50s. However, be prepared for the possibility of day temperatures into the 90s and nights as low as the 30s. There are also ubiquitous afternoon thunderstorms (often with hailstorms) at high elevations that are to be avoided for safety (and comfort) reasons. Here are the historical weather averages Be prepared with lots of sun protection and water containers that add up to 5 liters of capacity.



Trip Leaders

Steve Silberberg
Danielle Piscatelli

Cost

$1275 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a hotel room with another participant during the 2 hotel nights. You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Denver International Airport (DEN), personal equipment, any restaurant meals eaten off the trail and any gratuities for guides


Covered expenses include 2 hotel nights, National Forest fees, 6 days of trail meals, ground transportation to/from the trails, National Forest permits, insurance, satellite phone, and awesome guides.



Important Note

The trails through the Rockies often have good footing but elevation changes can be drastic, which implies more difficulty, but also higher, unimpeded views. Furthermore, those arriving from lower elevations may have difficulty with the altitude. Our first day in Denver should help ... so will staying super hydrated, but it will still take a few days to fully acclimate. Distances will be kept below 10 miles per day, but the longer days will require perseverance, especially when we hike over Hope Pass at 12,548' on the 2nd day of hiking.


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Packing List
Itinerary
Weather
Guides for this trip
Cost
Important Note
Difficulty (Please Read)
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Itinerary


Saturday, July 14, 2018

Fly (or drive) into Denver International Airport (DEN). The best time to arrive is between Noon-3PM. However, if you can save a substantial amount on your flight by arriving an hour or two later or earlier, then do so.


Take free airport shuttle to Baymont Inn & Suites: Denver/Airport, 6805 N. Argonne Street, Denver, CO, 80249, 303-373-5400


Equipment shakedown


Trail mix distribution


"Before" body composition measurements taken


Go to Denver Flagship REI Store, 1416 Platte St, Denver, CO 80202, (303) 756-3100 for forgotten and last minute equipment purchase


Go out for dinner at a local restaurant (not included in trip cost)



Sunday, July 15, 2018

Second set of "before" measurements taken


All the items that you won't bring on the trail will be set aside and put in storage.


Free breakfast at hotel


Shuttle to the Interlaken Trailhead near the Twin Lakes Reservoir south of Leadville, almost 3 hours away


Begin hiking at the Interlaken Trailhead parking lot, elevation 9200'


Hike 1.5 miles on the Colorado Trail to Collegiate West Trailhead, elevation 9222'


This is the beginning of Colorado Trail segment CW01


Hike 0.7 miles to a trail intersection, elevation 9219'


Turn right to visit historic but defunct Interlaken Resort, at one time the most popular tourist destination in Colorado (I know, right?)


Hike 2.8 relatively flat miles an intersection with an old jeep road, elevation 9287'


Turn left and begin a long climb up towards Hope Pass (which we'll reach tomorrow)


Climb 2.1 miles to Avalanche Meadow, elevation 10970'


Camp at Avalanche Meadow, water available, elevation 10970'.


Miles today: 7.1. Total miles: 7.1


Possible bailout: Interlaken Trailhead


Monday, July 16, 2018

Hike 1.7 uphill miles to Hope Pass, elevation 12548'


"Even though it can be a strenuous climb and descent, Hope Pass is a delight with wildflowers, elevation variety, spectacular views and the sense of accomplishment" -- Gudy Gaskill (Mother of the Colorado Trail)


Hike 2.5 downhill miles to Sheep Gulch Trailhead, elevation 10207'


This is the beginning of Colorado Trail segment CW02


Hike 3.2 miles to North Fork Clear Creek, elevation 10370'


Camp between the bridge at North Fork Clear Creek and Forest Service Rd 390-A, elevation 10370'.


Miles today: 7.4. Total miles: 14.5


Possible bailout: Sheep Gulch Trail (4WD access)


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Hike 1.8 miles to the entrance of the Collegiate Peak Wilderness, elevation 10630'


Hike 3.9 miles to a trail intersection, elevation 11776'


Hike 2.6 miles to a bridge over South Fork Clear Creek, elevation 10590'


Dispersed camp near South Fork Clear Creek practicing Leave No Trace Principles

Miles today: 8.3. Total miles: 22.8


Possible bailout: No good options


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Today we will summit 14003' Huron Peak


Leave camp set-up and carry day-hiking equipment only


Hike 0.1 miles to an old road bed, elevation 10614'


Hike 0.3 miles to a parking area


Hike 2.3 long uphill miles to the Summit of Huron Peak, elevation 14003'


Hike 2.7 miles back to South Fork Clear Creek, elevation 10590'


Dispersed camp near South Fork Clear Creek practicing Leave No Trace Principles

Miles today: 5.4. Total miles: 28.2


Possible bailout: Parking area for Huron Peak


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Hike 3.0 miles to the intersection that goes to Lake Ann, elevation 11776'


Hike 0.9 steep switchbacked uphill miles to Lake Ann Pass, elevation 12588'


Lake Ann Pass is the highest elevation on the trip atop the Continental Divide with sweeping views of the Collegiate Peaks.


Hike 4.0 miles to Gunnison Spur, elevation 11031'


Camp near Illinois Creek, elevation 11031'


Miles today: 7.9. Total miles: 36.1


Possible bailout: 414.1A


Friday, July 20, 2018

Hike 4.7 miles to Texas Creek Rd. (FSR 755), elevation 10007'


Turn left and hike 2.8 miles on the Texas Creek Trail (#416) to the South Texas Creek Trail (#417), elevation 10345'


Turn right on the Texas Creek Trail (#417) and immediately (almost) ford Texas Creek, elevation 10345'


Camp at the Texas Creek Ford, elevation 10345'


Miles today: 7.5. Total miles: 43.6


Possible bailout: Texas Creek Road


Saturday, July 21, 2018

Hike 4.5 uphill miles to Cottonwood Pass, elevation 12142'


End of Hike


Miles today: 4.5. Total miles: 48.1


Possible bailout: Cottonwood Pass Road


Shuttle back to Denver and check into Best Western Plus, Denver Int’l Airport Inn & Suites, 7020 Tower Rd, Denver, CO, 80249, 303-373-1600


After measurements taken


Dinner and awards Ceremony (Dinner cost not included in trip cost)


This is the official end of the trip. You are welcome to spend the night at the hotel, however if you drove and would like to get on the road or if you flew and would like to schedule a late flight (or a red-eye if this is a West Coast trip) you can definitely do so.


Sunday, July 22, 2018

Free Hotel Breakfast


Free airport shuttle


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