5. High and lonesome 370 cars cruise by the CO 149 junction with the CT daily, one of the lowest counts of state highways that cross the trail. Tip: South Clear Creek Falls Campground is less than a mile south of here.
6. Cochetopa Basin There are big crowds here—of elk and black bear. The least-traveled miles of the CT slash through the La Garita Wilderness, a little-visited hotspot for high-country wildlife. For a weekend of guaranteed solitude, trace Cochetopa Creek south from the Eddiesville trailhead to a basecamp at mile 7.5, just west of the turnoff toward Stewart Creek. Start alpine style on day two to bag 14,014-foot San Luis Peak via the lesser-traveled, 2.3-mile east-side approach.
7. Open road Only 1,700 cars cross the CO 114/US 285 junction per summer day. Empty trailheads await.
8. Lake Baldy Make room in your pack for a bottle of red. You’ll thank us as you peacefully sip it on Baldy Lake’s lonely, talus-lined shore. Hike west 6.2 miles from Sargents Mesa, then drop .4 mile to basecamp near Baldy Lake. On day two, make a 12-mile loop linking the Baldy Lake Trail with Dutchman’s Creek Trail and finishing up on the CT heading east. Baker’s dozen: Add an extra mile by bushwhacking for a sunset toast atop 11,974-foot Long Branch Baldy.