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Colorado: Weminuche Wilderness / Continental Divide Trail, CO

With Hot Springs

Jul 14 - Jul 21, 2018 -- $1275 ★★★★

Colorado's Weminuche Wilderness is a vast, beautiful protected wilderness featuring see-forever vistas, aspen forests and abundant wildlife such as elk, black bears, coyote, pika and snow shoe rabbits. The wilderness is dotted with alpine lakes and enjoys perfect summer weather punctuated by violent afternoon electrical storms.


Come backpack many miles in the quieter Eastern portion of the wilderness on the famed Continental Divide Trail, which stretches 3100 miles from Mexico to Canada, which rises and falls dramatically amongst 14,000' mountains and countless alpine lakes.


Our trek will traverse almost 35 miles of the Weminuche Wilderness near Durango and Pagosa Springs, CO. 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.


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.


We begin at Williams Creek Trailhead at over 8000'. 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 the CDT at over 12000' 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 Durango Airport (DRO), 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, Hot Springs admission, 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 Durango should help ... so will staying 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 get to the Continental Divide Trail at over 12,000' 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 Durango–La Plata County Airport (DRO). The best time to arrive is between Noon-3PM. However flights are somewhat limitied so if you can save a substantial amount on your flight by arriving an hour or two later or earlier, then do so.


We will pick you up and take you to The Caboose Motel, 3363 main ave., durango, co 81031, caboosemotel@yahoo.com, (970) 247-1191


Equipment shakedown


Trail mix distribution


"Before" body composition measurements taken


Go to Gardenswartz Outdoors, 780 Main Ave, Durango, CO 81301, (970) 259-6696 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 Williams Creek Trailhead


Begin hiking at the Williams Creek Trailhead, elevation 8360'


Hike 2.0 uphill miles on the Williams Creek Trail #587 to the Indian Creek Trail #588, elevation 9222'


Hike 3.8 uphill miles on the Indian Creek Trail #588 to Palisades Meadow, elevation 10650'


Camp at Palisades Meadow, water available, elevation 10650'.


Miles today: 5.8. Total miles: 5.8


Possible bailout: Williams Creek Trailhead


Monday, July 16, 2018

Hike 2.3 uphill miles on the Palisade Meadows Trail #651 to the Continental Divide Trail #813, elevation 12007'


Hike 3.2 miles on the Continental Divide Trail #813 to Knife Edge, elevation 11938'


Hike 1.2 miles on the Trout Creek Trail #811 to Trout Lake, elevation 11685'


Camp at Trout Lake, elevation 11685'


Miles today: 6.7. Total miles: 12.5


Possible bailout: Williams Creek Trailhead


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Hike 1.2 miles on the Texas Creek Trail #816 to the Continental Divide Trail #813, elevation 12007'


Hike 6.1 miles on the Continental Divide Trail #813 to Squaw Pass, elevation 11213'


Hike 0.6 miles on the Continental Divide Trail #813 to Squaw Creek, elevation 11535'


Dispersed camp near Squaw Creek practicing Leave No Trace Principles, elevation 11535'

Miles today: 7.9. Total miles: 20.4


Possible bailout: No good options


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Hike 0.6 miles on the CDT #813 to Squaw Pass, elevation 11213'


Hike 1.5 miles on the Cimarrona Creek Trail #586 to the Hossick Creek Trail #585


Hike 1.5 miles on the Hossick Creek Trail #585 to the Hossick Lake Trail #602, topping out at elevation 12,536.


Hike 0.5 miles on the Hossick Lake Trail #602 to Hossick Lake, elevation 12,074'.


Dispersed camp near Hossick Lake practicing Leave No Trace Principles

Miles today: 4.1. Total miles: 24.5


Possible bailout: No good options


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Hike 0.5 miles on the Hossick Lake Trail #602 back to the Hossick Creek Trail #585, elevation 11810'


Hike 1.5 miles on the Hossick Creek Trail #585 back to the Cimarrona Creek Trail #586


Hike 4.5 steep downhill miles on the Cimarrona Trail #586 to Cimarrona Creek, elevation ???'


Along the way, we will pass under a strange stone arch


Camp at Cimarrona Creek, elevation 9000'


Miles today: 6.5. Total miles: 31.0


Possible bailout: No good options


Friday, July 20, 2018

Hike 2.0 downhill miles on the Cimarrona Creek Trail to the Cimarrona Trailhead, elevation 8400'


Hike 1.0 road miles to the vehicles at the William Creek Trailhead


End of Hike


Miles today: 3.0. Total miles: 34.0


Possible bailout: Cimarrona Trailheead


Shuttle to Pagosa Springs and go to Pagosa Hot Springs, for a soak in natural mineral hot springs. "Silver" admission to hot springs included in trip cost.


Shuttle back to Durango and check into The Caboose Motel, 3363 main ave., durango, co 81031, caboosemotel@yahoo.com, (970) 247-1191


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.


Saturday, July 21, 2018

Check out of hotel


We will drop you at the airport


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