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Can the Colorado Trail be done in 21 days
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Scott Sprenger
(ssprenger) - F
Can the Colorado Trail be done in 21 days on 04/22/2010 12:35:47 MDT Print View

I am thinking of hiking the entire CT this summer. I only have 3 weeks to do it in. I would like to summit some 14'ers at the same time. I am in great shape and can hike 20 miles per day. Can it be done and enjoyed at the same time?

Joe Geib
(joegeib) - F

Locale: Delaware & Lehigh Valleys
Skurka on 04/22/2010 13:48:32 MDT Print View

Andy Skurka did it in 15 days. You'd need 23-miles days to get it done in 21 days.

David T
(DaveT) - F
CT in 21 days. on 04/22/2010 14:24:33 MDT Print View

I tried to do it in 19 days with a friend, which is about 27 miles per day. We did 14 days and 350+ miles, and then bailed. I feel safe to say that 27 mpd is TOO many miles per day on the CT, at least for me (at least without a zero or near-o day or two scattered in among them). There are a fair number of ups and downs - it seems like just when you get up above timberline and get a good view, it's time to go back down, as if the trail is afraid to stay up in the thunderstorm danger zone or something!

A related note is that I was pretty darn disappointed with the CT. I think some 40% of it is on old roads, and thus it doesn't necessarily go where a trail will go (e.g. along the side of the slope, with great views) but instead often where a road will go (e.g. in the middle of the ridgeline, in the forest, with no views). In general, lots of road walking is not something I'm too into.

To me, it felt a lot like what it is... a cobbled together assemblage of old logging roads, trails, 14er access, and whatnot. Of course, we did quit before the best part, the San Juans. However, I would never recommend doing a thru-hike of this trail to someone, when I think many better trails and routes exist out there.

There are some 14ers very close to the trail, so doing a side hike up a few of them would definitely be possible. And definitely plan for a long soak at the hot springs.

Edited by DaveT on 04/22/2010 14:37:07 MDT.

Klas Eklof
(klaseklof) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Southern CT on 04/23/2010 13:32:57 MDT Print View

Dave, you missed the San Juans!
Run Hardrock:

David T
(DaveT) - F
san juans on 04/23/2010 18:33:39 MDT Print View

Yeah, I know I missed the best part. We had a couple days of rain, and some nagging pains here and there, from doing so many miles day after day I think.

The last day was crossing Snow Mesa (or whatever it's called) in a seriously gnarly thunderstorm; nothing being the tallest thing around on a flat mesa for about two hours of hiking in a hailstorm.

After that, we figured a couple days kicking it in Crested Butte sounded better than continuing! But I'd like to do the San Juans sometime.

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: CT in 21 days. on 04/23/2010 18:37:57 MDT Print View

I agree with ya Dave. I was disappointed with the route that the CT takes, especially in the north. The south was pretty excellent though.

On topic, yes, It's doable in 21 days. I took 40 though.

Aaron Armstrong
(traderaaron) - F

Locale: Colorado
CDT over the CT on 04/23/2010 19:08:04 MDT Print View

I'd take the CDT over the CT any time. The areas where they share the trail are nice though such as the La Garitas and parts of the San Juans.

In 21 days you could cover a major portion of the CDT through the most scenic sections all the way down to the Colorado border.