How To Prepare For Hiking In Colorado

How To Prepare For Hiking In Colorado – The Colorado Trail (CT) runs across the Rocky Mountains from Denver to Durango. It takes you through the highest climbs in the country, the most beautiful scenery and the worst weather.

From the floral alpine meadows of the Sawatch Mountains to the dramatic Crazy Peaks of the San Juans, a trip to the city is sure to be full of worthwhile challenges and experiences.

How To Prepare For Hiking In Colorado

The Colorado Trail Foundation (CTF), which maintains Colorado’s trails, recommends hiking the city between July 1 and September 30 to avoid slush and snow season.

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We started at the beginning of July. The temperature was comfortable and the wildflowers were beautiful, but if we were to do it again, we would choose a mid-August start date. The monsoon season runs from July to early August and can cause some alarming high-altitude lightning and hail events. Weather in the Colorado Rockies is generally predictable, but hazardous weather events are common during this time window.

The weather can be unpredictable with CTs and afternoon thunderstorms almost every day during the monsoon season

On average, it takes 4-6 weeks for a CT to grow. More experienced hikers may be able to complete the trip in less time, but the terrain, ascent, and evening storms can make long days difficult. Most people set off at a leisurely pace, counting “niros” and “nilas” (rest days) over several days to allow the body to recover.

The site is well maintained, well signposted and easy to follow, so navigation is rarely a problem. The main problems on this trip are the demanding elevation gain, the weather and the length of the route.

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Money – CT has long stretches that are over 10,000 feet, which means you get a lot of panoramic views. Unfortunately, prolonged high altitude means altitude sickness can be a problem. You often feel more tired than usual, feel dizzy, or feel that you need to breathe more deeply at this altitude to fill your lungs. Check out our hiking and backpacking training guide for more tips on successful high altitude hiking.

Weather – Weather changes quickly in the Rockies and urban hikers should expect frequent thunderstorms. Although thunderstorms and bad weather can occur at high altitudes all year round, heavy rain, hail and extremely strong thunderstorms can occur at any time during the monsoon season (July to early August). Watch our lightning safety and high altitude hiking videos for tips on what to do if you get caught in a storm. Even at altitude, temperatures can fluctuate wildly, so be prepared for anything – even if the weather is forecast to be fine.

The weather in the city changes quickly and storms can be dangerous if you are caught at high altitude

Length of journey – walking around the city is a huge physical challenge, but it is also a huge waste of time and money. We typically estimate $2 to $3 per mile for hikes and recommend making your plans as early as possible with family and work. Not everyone has the freedom to walk that far, so many hikers decide to complete the journey in smaller sections.

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Tourists travel quite long distances – time and money are two important factors to consider

The most common direction into the city is from the south (SOBO), but it is also possible to hike from the north (NOBO). Below, we’ll list the main pros and cons of choosing either route to help you decide which one is best for you.

We think SOBO is the way to go as the views are bigger and better as you go further south

About halfway up you can choose your own adventure through Collegiate Peak. It’s one of the most popular parts of town, and both sides are full of challenging climbs, epic views and beautiful alpine lakes. We’ve covered the entire Peaks Collegiate Loop, so you can get an in-depth look at both here. Below, however, we’ll outline some of the key decision-making factors for each side.

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If you go SOBO hiking in a southern city, there are plenty of transportation options to northern destinations. We found the most convenient way to get to the starting point was to fly into Denver and take an Uber/Lyft to the trailhead (airport to Waterton Canyon – about 49 miles cost us about $65). You can also take public transport to Ballybeg and then hop on some cheap transports or buses from there if you don’t fancy taking more time to get to the trailhead. Some hikers choose to spend the night in Denver before heading out to acclimate to the altitude.

Waterton Canyon – City Northern Terminus – just outside of Denver and easily accessible

Answer – If you are a NOBO hiker, the easiest option is to fly into Durango and take a bus or a few rides to the trailhead. However, flights can be expensive, so it might be worth spending a little more time on public transport if you want to save money. We recommend checking out flights to Denver and then checking the Bustang and Durango schedules from there to see if you can save some good change.

Planning a loose daily itinerary isn’t necessary, but we’ve learned from past trips that it’s very helpful. Most people take 4-6 weeks to complete the CT, averaging about 10-14 miles per day. Even so, very well-prepared and experienced hikers can hike more than 20 miles a day. In general, we always recommend that you overestimate how long a track will take to complete. You can always leave early, but if you have to come back, it’s not so easy to exceed the expected end date. Your course should take into account your fitness, hiking style, zero days and some allowance for unexpected hiccups.

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The FarOut app is a great resource for planning a trip, as you can see how many kilometers there are between each water source and a potential campsite, what services nearby towns offer, and you can also read other users’ comments about places I’ve enjoyed. camping

Since you’ll be on the trail for several weeks, you can’t carry all your food at once – you’ll need to stop and change from time to time. Most people cross 4-6 times, but there are road junctions and access to the city along the way. So if you want to reduce the weight of the food in the packaging, it is much easier to replace it. Remember that layovers at home can be expensive and time-consuming. The convenience of carrying a smaller amount of food must be balanced against the time required to stop.

You can exchange mailboxes in advance at the post office or at a place in town that offers visitor mailboxes (such as hostels) that meet you at the intersection with a friend or family member (who are travelers) with new supplies. Dogs often choose this option) or a trip to a nearby town for groceries. If your alternate plan includes shipping packages, you’ll want to ship them in advance so they arrive in time for your pickup.

If you are mailing replacement boxes (make sure your destination’s subscription station accepts normal delivery), address your boxes as follows:

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It’s also a good idea to write your name on each side of the box or put a special marker (such as colored drawings or stickers) on each side of the box to make it easier for postal workers to find it among other treasure boxes.

Staying at: Hand Hotel – This lovely little B&B was booked when we arrived in Fairplay so unfortunately we couldn’t stay here. But we heard from some other hikers that it was very nice and comfortable.

Stay at: In the Clouds – This hostel is conveniently located about half a mile from Main Street in Leadville. Common areas, friendly staff and one of the most comfortable hostel beds we’ve ever slept in!

You will drive through this town by road, so we recommend stopping for lunch and returning to town.

Raspberry Mountain Colorado Hike Guide

We think this place should be shut down! Salida has been one of our all time favorite places to hike. It’s a beautiful, artsy community with a huge park and a river to swim in from the comfort of your own home

Stay at: Simple Lodge – Simply put, this hostel felt like home. The staff was great, the prices were affordable, the location was perfect, the place was clean and comfortable, and sometimes they even cook a delicious family dinner for guests!

Stay at: Avon – This quaint hotel/hostel

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