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Backpacker Magazine – May 2010

Colorado Trail: Best Of

Find your hike on the country's highest footpath.

by: Kristy Holland

Twin Lakes. (Charlotte Geary)
Twin Lakes. (Charlotte Geary)
Animas River Valley. (Jeff Chow)
Animas River Valley. (Jeff Chow)
Mile 413 on the CT. (Jeff Chow)
Mile 413 on the CT. (Jeff Chow)
Taylor Lake. (Nathan Hebenstreit)
Taylor Lake. (Nathan Hebenstreit)

Best Fishing Cochetopa Creek
According to thru-hiker Mick Gigone, the beaver ponds along Cochetopa Creek between Eddiesville and San Luis Pass are teeming with trophy cutthroat and rainbow. From Eddiesville trailhead, hike 1.5 miles to the mouth of Cochetopa Creek Basin. Work your way into the basin and wet your line between miles two and four. Try a
Parachute Adams.

Longest Stretch Above Treeline The 35 miles between Spring Creek and the top of the Elk Creek drainage

Highest Point Coney Peak (13,334 feet)

Best Week Molas Pass to Creede
This 72-miler has the trail’s highest point, its longest stretch above treeline, and a shag carpeting of wildflowers in late summer. Start at 10,899-foot Molas Pass and climb east through Elk Creek drainage to the barely there trail. You’ll track around 13,000-foot peaks and traverse tundra for the next six days. Camp at Eldorado Lake (mile 11), Cuba Gulch (mile 22), near Cataract Lake (mile 26.3), Ruby Creek (mile 37), and West Mineral Creek drainage (mile 55.3). Spend your final night at West Willow Creek.



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Kathy Chavez
Jun 24, 2010

I love the Colorado Trail and I love living in Colorado. My son and I backpacked the CT two summers ago. It took us 6 weeks (I'm over 55!). We loved every section...even though there were rough moments. I also had completed the CT in sections about 5 years ago...that took me three summers. The other magic, is the CT work crews. If you are lucky enough to run into a work crew, they are wonderful...provide food and water and great company. Thanks CT Foundation.

L. Quinn
Jun 24, 2010

On behalf of the LandSharks, a group of guys and gals I'm section-hiking the Colorado Trail with, I'd like to add another "best of" - Best place for a beach party on the trail: Twin Lakes. A wide swath of sandy beach, especially when the water level is a bit down, makes for some excellent camping as well as a nice meeting spot if you have friends who want to visit you on the trail.

L. Quinn
Jun 24, 2010

On behalf of the LandSharks, a group of guys and gals I'm section-hiking the Colorado Trail with, I'd like to add another "best of" - Best place for a beach party on the trail: Twin Lakes. A wide swath of sandy beach, especially when the water level is a bit down, makes for some excellent camping as well as a nice meeting spot if you have friends who want to visit you on the trail.

Dan
Jun 17, 2010

Thanks for this article. I've been section hiking with my kids the last couple of years (gotta love living in Colorado!) Had a great snowy lightning storm in Lost Creek area this week.

debbie
Jun 17, 2010

You da man Wild Bill Clower! Thanks for your generosity. Hope to meet up with you on the trail.

Bill Manning
Jun 09, 2010

This is a great article, Backpacker Mag, thanks for compiling and publishing it. Plenty of useful tips for enjoying The Colorado Trail.

Bill Manning, Mg Dir
The Colorado Trail Foundation
www.ColoradoTrail.org

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