The next morning I’m introduced to Starbucks Via (I’d never brought coffee on the trail before). Yeah, it probably wasn’t very good for my health. And to think of all the things I could do back in the “real world,” off of this mountain. You can knock out this big trail on your summer vacation. I could hardly walk on my left foot. I wanted to quit. Now that’s a breakfast of champions! I’ve skied for a month through Yellowstone National Park, solo biked Utah’s White Rim and kayaked the Green River through Labyrinth Canyon alone. But people do it, and there’s even beauty in it. At 485 miles, the CT starts near Denver and ends in Durango. Quit. She has walked over 13,000 miles on the long trails, many of them alone. “Not quitting can at some points be challenging.”. Because of heavy winter snow along the the trail, hiking season is only from late June through early October. One of the ladies approached to chat. I was ready to negotiate the terms of surrender. Yet the majority of the Colorado trail hikers I met last summer were solo. A bold enough plan that I was experiencing some doubt. The plan was to hike the Colorado Trail, a 500-mile path through the Rockies that links Denver with Durango. Physical pain is simple enough to bear, but self-pity is something else entirely. I would do things one step at a time, I decided, one day at a time. After my water was filled, I just sat there. Fortunately, more bridges and markings are added every summer. While there are indeed more destinations to consider, we have narrowed down the best hiking trips in Colorado to what we deem to be the top six that you are going to want to try out, which include: Mount Elbert. I reminded myself of all the hikes I’d completed in the past. Hiking The Colorado Trail alone — the mental game. Research your trail section before you go, paying special attention to the elevation. No one to laugh or joke or share the beauty and joy with. “Nothing bad is going to happen. Being alone has its advantages, and I enjoyed it. More importantly, will I understand my choice? Elizabeth Thomas shared this list of important points for those hiking in a group or solo. I didn’t want to go farther anyway. We also use third-party cookies that help us analyze and understand how you use this website. Longs Peak. Don’t set up camp and go to sleep without eating — you need food to rebuild your body. Break your trip into bite-sized portions. “Hiking solo can be more rewarding,” said Elizabeth Thomas, a Trail Information Specialist with the Continental Divide Trail Coalition in Golden. And there's lots of good reasons to try it. On his hiking adventures, author Tim Voors has ranged numerous countries and continents. At last I made it to the next creek to camp for the night, only to find that a pair of middle-aged ladies got there first. Walking alone on the Colorado Trail can be pure bliss. I hobbled for only a mile that morning. Write down why you want to hike a long trail, then announce that you’re doing it to your friends and family so you can call them up when you’re having a hard time. The most important reason for never hiking solo is that it’s just not safe. Thomas holds the women’s unsupported speed record on the Appalachian Trail — 2,186 miles in 80.5 days. She has walked over 13,000 miles on the long trails, many of them alone. I finished the trail in 37 days, taking three “zero days.”, Day 1 – Waterton Canyon to the South Platte River – Segment 1 Day 2 – South Platte Canyon to the Shinglemill Trail – Segment 2 Day 3 – Shinglemill Trail to Lost Creek Wilderness– Segment 3 – 4 Day 4 – Lost Creek Wilderness to Kenosha Pass – Segment 4 – 5 Day 5 – Kenosha Pass to Horseshoe Gulch – Segment 6 Day 6 – Horseshoe Gulch to Frisco, CO (Goldhill Trailhead) – Segment 6 Day 7 – Zero Mile Day in Frisco, CO Day 8 – Frisco Peaks Trail to the Ten Mile Range – Segment 7 Day 9 – Tenmile Range to Kokomo Pass – Segment 8 Day 10 – Elk Ridge to Leadville – Segment 8 Day 11 – Tennessee Pass to Rock Creek – Segment 9, 10 Day 12 – Mount Massive – Segment 10 Day 13 – Mount Elbert – Segment 11 Day 14 – Twin Lakes and Hope Pass – Segment 11 and CDT Day 15 – Missouri Mountain – Off the CT Day 16 – Elkhead Pass to Three Elk Creek – Off CT and Segment 12 Day 17 – Three Elk Creek to Buena Vista – Segment 12, 13 Day 18 – Buena Vista to Princeton Hot Springs – Segment 13 Day 19 – Princeton Hot Springs to Squaw Creek – Segment 14 Day 20 – Squaw Creek to Salida – Segment 14 Day 21 – Rest Day in Salida Day 22 – Rest Day in Salida Day 23 – Monarch Pass to Marshall Pass – Segment 15 Day 24 – Marshall Pass to Tank Seven Creek – Segment 16 Day 25 – Tank Seven Creek to Lujan Creek – Segment 17 Day 26 – Lujan Creek to Cochetopa Creek – Segment 18 – 19 Day 27 – Cochetopa Creek to San Luis Pass – Segment 20 Day 28 – San Luis Pass to Creede Day 29 – Creede to Jarosa Mesa – Segment 21 Day 30 – Jarosa Mesa to Lost Trail Creek – Segment 22 Day 31 – Lost Trail Creek to the Pole Creek Trail – Segment 23 Day 32 – Pole Creek Trail to Molas Pass – Segment 24 Day 33 – Silverton to Rolling Mountain – Segment 25 Day 34 – Rolling Mountain to Blackhawk Pass – Segment 25-26 Day 35 – Blackhawk Pass to the Indian Trail Ridge – Segment 27 Day 36 – Indian Trail Ridge to Junction Creek – Segment 28 Day 37 – The Road Home – Epilogue, Copyright © 2020 Down The Trail - All Rights Reserved - legal statements - contact. Try to be OK with it. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. For me the hardest thing about walking The Colorado Trail was going solo. We can always come back, we say. Nobody knows exactly why thru-hikers do these trails… ourselves least of all. It is a long-distance trail stretching for 782 km (486 miles) from Waterton Canyon southwest of Denver to Durango. That word came up again. Read on for some key tips from each hiker. 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. 7. Maybe the Colorado Trail is just a “little one” to tide you over. GET BREAKING NEWS IN YOUR BROWSER. Maybe the phrase “There’s a race of men that won’t fit in…” makes you all misty-eyed. There was no choice but to leave the trail. A lot of schoolteachers and students are out there. Eat what you want. Their gratitude was contagious. Finishing it tends to be marginally easier… if you came out for the right reasons (And good luck figuring out what those are). I’m more alert. Sunshine and rainbows and green rolling mountaintops as far as the eye can see. The 500-mile Colorado Trail is one of the nation's premier long-distance hiking trail and runs from Denver to Durango. The Trail – The Colorado Trail a continuous, narrow path from Denver to Durango for hiking, horseback, and bicycling. This is the latest in a biweekly series on his preparation for the big hike. After that? I needed water, but the creek was an additional quarter mile down a steep, rocky trail. She has walked over 13,000 miles on the long trails, many of them alone. Nobody cares, this is just self-inflicted melodrama. Along the way, responsibility for minimizing impact, caring for the trail, staying safe, and being self-sufficient is also his alone. 5. . Four Pass Loop. I begrudgingly replied. This is my trail journal. Section (segment) hiking is a great way to see the trail and being able to do the trail a weekend, week or more at a time. “When I first start out, that’s always in the back of my mind for awhile and then night after night it slowly fades away,” Thomas said. More cautious. 2. My foot hurts. Fail. Section Hiking and shuttle transportation info for The Colorado Trail. “That’s what’s going to get you through the hard moments.”. Through their comments and narrator Richard Riley, the film muses on the qualities of the trail that draw hikers, seemingly inexorably, to traverse the mountains each hiking season. I’d taken three weeks off of work to do this. Solo Hiking Safety Tips. From past experience I know that at the beginning of any adventure, there will be a moment before committing when the “I don’t think this is such a hot idea” voice chimes in. 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