Summer Colorado yo-yo
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Richard DeLong
(Legkohod) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Europe / Caucasus
Summer Colorado yo-yo on 04/10/2008 11:55:45 MDT Print View

I'm going to be doing a solo yo-yo of sorts on the Colorado Trail this summer. I'll be starting out on the Denver end early morning on July 11th hiking 25-30 miles a day. When I reach Durango I'll turn around and head back north, this time following the Continental Divide Trail until I reach Rocky Mountain National Park on August 21, where I'll be picked up.

I'd be interested to know if anyone else will be doing either trail around this time.

EDIT: I will now be starting on July 14th.

Edited by Legkohod on 06/26/2008 03:57:36 MDT.

Scott Carpenter
(Sjeepboy) - F
Colorado Trail on 05/13/2008 19:50:56 MDT Print View

I am also considering doing the Colorado Trail this summer but at a much slower pace of about 10miles a day. I have backpacked around Colorado for the last 15 years. I do not know the level of your physical fitness but with a full pack 25 miles a day will be really difficult. Even with a light daypack of 20 pounds you will really have to push yourself to do that kind of mileage especially at 12-13000 feet. Best of luck and if I can offer you any assistance feel free to E-Mail me at Sjeepboy@aol.com

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
Colorado Trail. on 05/14/2008 10:04:45 MDT Print View

hi there.

sounds like a nice long summer hike. in terms of mileage, i'd say that for a normal lightweight/UL backpacker, 25-30 mpd on the Colorado Trail is tough. i did the first 360-370 miles of it last summer in 14 days, and it was HARD. about 27 miles a day, a couple fewer in the beginning and up to 33 one day. i have fair experience hiking distances, and my partner on the trail was a triple-crowner, and we both felt it was a serious project to do 27+ a day. we only had 19 days for the whole thing, so it was definitely testing my limits for day after day long distance. i think the lack of rest days, even with just reduced mileage (e.g. 15 mpd) - let alone a day off - was hard on the body after a week or more. (my training for the hike could've been better, but that's always the case.)

in the interest of full disclosure, i, like some other people i know, was fairly to pretty disappointed by the CT when viewed solely as a "thru-hiking" trail. TONS of road walking and LOTS of going up 4,000 feet just to go down 3000 feet on the other side of the ridge. though thunderstorms up high can be dangerous, i would've liked a trail that got up higher and stayed up a bit more. (we got chased off snow mesa, of course, by a crazy thunderstorm.) in terms of a thru-hiking trail, it really feels like what it essentially is - a cobbled together stretch of existing trails, 14ers access routes, old logging roads, old other roads, and current roads. i forget the actual value, but i think it's something like 40% roadwalking (old and new roads). i guess i am partly spoiled by the pct and hikes in the high sierra and other higher elevation areas in the west. spending an entire day walking in the forest on a logging/atv road just isn't my cup o' tea - especially since you know that 500' off the ridge to either side is amazing scenery, and you are following the road up the middle of the ridge in the forest. where an engineer would put a road and where a trail maker would site a (purpose-built) trail can be close, but a world apart, sometimes.

that said, there were some crazy beautiful stretches, and amazing scenery. and we actually bailed before the "best part" - the san juans, so i can't speak to that amazing section. and don't miss the on-trail hot springs resort... pure heaven. if you have time (we didn't), try to bag a couple 14ers.

if you are interested, i could share our itinerary with you. let me know. not sure about your resupply plan - we actually had three ON-TRAIL resupplies (we bailed at the third one), so hitching into town will also take additional time in the schedule. the leadville hostel rocks.

Edited by DaveT on 05/14/2008 10:32:48 MDT.

Richard DeLong
(Legkohod) - MLife

Locale: Eastern Europe / Caucasus
Colorado Trail on 05/21/2008 16:06:11 MDT Print View

Finally some replies! And I just found the "watch this thread" feature. Thanks for the responses. I've downgraded my mileage expectations to about 24 miles a day, which is realistic based on my pre-hike training (I've been building up to this summer for a few months already). One thing that I can't seem to find is a guidebook to the Colorado section of the Continental Divide Trail... Anyone have any info on that?

For resupply, I'm planning to do just 2 or 3 at the closest mail pick-ups along the way and stay in the backcountry as much as possible. I've found some good info on resupply points, but I don't know if they apply to the CDT as well.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
cdt. on 05/21/2008 16:28:34 MDT Print View

you've probably seen this already, but a bunch of resources are compiled at:
http://www.trailquest.net/CDTplanning.html