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Colorado trail, scenic alt routes
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Michael Demchak
(mikey) - F

Locale: new england
Colorado trail, scenic alt routes on 06/09/2011 06:32:49 MDT Print View

This summer I'm planning to get out west and hike the Colorado trail, and from doing some misc research over the past year I've heard of people recomending scenic routes off the CT (usually on the CDT and the occasional 14'er) does anyone have any suggestions? I like a little physical difficulty, but not really looking for navagational challenges, so try to keep recommendations to some kind of existing trails.

Aaron Armstrong
(traderaaron) - F

Locale: Colorado
CDT on 06/09/2011 09:24:14 MDT Print View

Definitely take the CDT through the Collegiate Peaks with options to climb Mt. Huron among others. I would also avoid the CT down to Rio Grande Reservoir Road and use the CDT to stay up on the divide with an option to make a short side trip over to Highland Mary and Verde Lakes. From here you can drop down to Silverton or head right back to the CDT and meetup with the CT down to Molas Pass.

EDIT: Looks like the official CT now follows the CDT in the San Juans where my suggested detour was but I'd still look at a side trip to camp at Highland Mary Lakes since it is so close.

Edited by traderaaron on 06/09/2011 09:28:17 MDT.

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
Alt routes on 06/09/2011 17:52:28 MDT Print View

Taking the CDT in the Collegiates is a good one.

Two other options
from my little doc

Hope Pass: The old Colorado Trail route (and current CDT route) is harder but much more scenic than official CT. At 12540’ the views are breathtaking. Hope Pass is also the literal highpoint of the Leadville 100 ultramarathon that takes place in mid-August. After coming down Hope Pass, you go right and eventually connect back up to the CT on a dirt road. Or you can do the alternate below…

Missouri Gulch: Not too long after Hope Pass, you will go by the historic town of Vicksburg. This town is actually a historic site that has been re-built. Shortly after this town , you will come to a trailhead for Missouri Gulch. This alternate is far prettier than dirt road of the official CT. Much harder, though. This alternate has you surrounded by
three 14ers (Missouri, Belford, Oxford) and is an incredible view. If you are into peak bagging, this route is esp. good as the 14ers are easily accessible. The views from up to and at Elkhorn Pass are stunning. You follow the trail and connect back to the CT in a valley.

Edited by PaulMags on 06/09/2011 17:53:10 MDT.