Yes, I just bicycled across the state - now I need a car to get back! The trail was absolutely incredible—we were in alpine terrain all day as we worked towards Stoney Pass. We dropped the van at Lindsey's uncle's house in Durango, then rented a car to get to Denver. Not everyone treats all their water, but I’m always cautious and treat any water that I’m drinking in the backcountry. For $9.99 you can download the whole Colorado Trail map for hikers and mountain bikers, and this includes alternate routes like the Wilderness detours. I originally intended to analyze bikepacker trip length, but I created an online survey and 91% of the responses came from thru-hikers (59 out of 65 responses). After a quick store stop late in the afternoon, we rolled out of town to wrap around Mount Elbert, the highest mountain in CO. At this point it was getting late and we needed to find a good place to camp. This is the second article in a series about bikepacking the Colorado Trail, and it covers basic planning and logistical aspects of the trip. Option 3. Of course this metric is going to include both the faster thru-hikers and those sauntering along, but my hope is there will be a happy medium in between. He carried a bottle of fresh beet juice and some homemade pastries to give to us before we parted ways. The grand depart for the ultra-endurance bikepacking race was canceled in 2020, due to concerns surrounding the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. During a summer when everything’s cancelled it seemed like a good opportunity to do something epic. Well worn and immensely helpful while on the trail. After a brief, crushing storm we were soaked but moving toward clear skies. I finished bikepacking the Colorado Trail in the fall of 2016, and quickly became interested in the average trip length of other trail users. As we rode, we noticed that it was getting hot and the smoke from the recent wildfires was a big concern. Ultimate Arizona Trail Bikepacking Planning Guide; Arizona Trail Resupply Guide; ... Now it’s time to get to the trailhead. Put in a solid day, do what you can, and wake up to do it again the next day. As for the bike, I've ridden most/all of this CT on all kinds of bikes: 100mm XC hardtail, 120mm XC full suspension, 140/130mm trail bike, etc. The CT is a hiking trail that allows mountain bikers to use it too. During a summer when everything’s cancelled it seemed like a good opportunity to do something epic. If you haven't already I'd highly suggest reading the introductory post which briefly describes the Colorado Trail as well as details my experience. Illness and external time constraints … Once we arrived in town, our first stop was the Handlebar Saloon for massive amounts of food. August 10, 2020 Dan Cavallari. A day and a half later we were in the Durango, CO area, where we spent two days before the trip hanging out, hiking, and getting the last of our stuff together. So for bike problems I brought an extra chain, two tubes, lots of tools etc. That didn’t stop me from making this Colorado Trail Resupply Guide, to make your life even easier. I first arrived in Southern Oregon as a raft guide back in the summer of 2016, and I kept hearing about this river called the Illinois. The Colorado Trail Databook is a good resource to quickly find the type of services present in towns along the way as well as hostels that will hold resupply packages. Logistics and Planning Advice for Bikepacking the Colorado Trail, A Basic Guide to Bikepacking the Colorado Trail, 28 Beautiful Photographs of the Colorado Trail in Fall, Gear Recommendations and Packing List for Bikepacking the Colorado Trail. 3. It was the type of terrain and landscape we were looking forward to the whole time. Historically I’ve prided myself on my bare bones, durable sleep set-up: a classic foam Thermarest pad with a pile of bundled fleece clothing for a pillow. We dropped the rental car off and then had to ride 25 miles to Waterton Canyon, the start of the Colorado Trail. Even though 30 miles isn’t a huge detour on a bike, it’s hard to justify the elevation loss and subsequent climb just to get some extra food. It holds immense beauty around almost every turn. The tablets have a higher concentration of chlorine dioxide which is necessary to kill protozoa like giardia. There we bought a few more snacks, ate a quick dinner, and set off for three days of riding without a resupply. Aspens usually means there is water. Here's part one of this series, with the rest embedded below! Getting to Stoney was a huge relief and the road in was one of the craziest roads I've been on. Earlier this year, Steve from the Hardtail Party YouTube channel joined two friends on a bikepacking trip on the Colorado Trail, riding 75 miles from … This guide is geared towards bikepackers, but much of the information could also be beneficial … Colorado Trail. From Monarch through Sargent's Mesa ended up being really tough, not so much the riding but keeping our morale and energy high while traversing big chunks of moto trail and many high-elevation cow pastures. It works even if you don’t have service and gives information on nearby campsites or water sources. Bikepacking the Colorado Trail takes a hearty soul — and a handpicked selection of gear. It takes a good bit of planning to piece together a trip on the Colorado Trail, but once you're out there it's more than worth it! I ran an informal survey assessing trip length and start times on the Colorado Trail, and the earliest start dates were in the last week of June. My Spearfish bike setup was perfect for the Colorado Trail. The Middle Fork of the Flathead had never been on my radar before, but a quick Google revealed a gem of a river that actually inspired the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act back in 1968. Greasy pizza and some soda... After stuffing our faces, we headed up the mountain on Miners Creek to reach the top of the Tenmile Range just before sunset. I think everyone who loves the outdoors should do the Colorado Trail. I mention it in another article discussing gear for the Colorado Trail, but the CatEye Enduro was economical and worked flawlessly on the trail. Marty is an Incredible rider and genuine human, and we were buzzing from his presence for the rest of the day, as it was nice to ride with an extra friend. Although, I could totally see myself saying that and just keep biking into the evening. I outline those pieces of gear here along with a comprehensive bikepacking trip gear list. I brought the Colorado Trail Databook with me to keep track of mileage and points of interest, but could have stayed on the trail without it. Accessing Leadville and Silverton is easy on mountain bike since the Wilderness detours go directly through town, but Salida was 30 miles out of the way roundtrip. Colorado Trail by bike. This is the second article in a series about bikepacking the Colorado Trail, and it covers basic planning and logistical aspects of the trip. The Kokopelli Trail is an 139.2 mile multi use recreational trail that goes from Fruita, CO to Moab, UT. For those with a taste for thin air and alpine ecosystems along with their singletrack, … You know your style best, so use your judgement here. I'd love to hear from you, just leave a comment below. As we descended into Silverton, we saw all the abandoned mining wreckage and I was blown away by the amount of damage left. Arriving at the Junction Creek Trailhead, we celebrated briefly in the parking lot before rolling to town for tacos and margaritas. We finally made it to Waterton Canyon by midmorning. Here’s some good reading on the topic: In summary, if you choose to go down the chemical purification route Aqua Mira or Katadyn tablets are a little more expensive, but seem to be a safer bet. The Colorado Trail is one of the longest, more arduous, yet most rewarding bikepacking routes in the US. Working to stay ahead of the snow in the final hundred miles of the trail. Ten Takeaways From Bikepacking The Colorado Trail. The Colorado Trail (CT) is fairly easy to get to on either end as the race pretty much starts in towns. The Colorado Trail is a monster of a trail, but this shouldn’t sway you from bikepacking it. The riding had everything from smooth, big pieces of singletrack to some seriously technical rocks. Kerry Werner has an awesome, six-part video series up documenting a recent venture out on the Colorado Trail. I received about 70 responses which was awesome, however, all but five respondents were hikers! ELEVATION: average ~10,300 feet ROUTE: well maintained, popular trail, signed junctions GUIDEBOOK: Colorado Trail 9th Edition DATA BOOK: 7th Edition 1. August 10, 2020 Dan Cavallari. That didn’t stop me from making this Colorado Trail Resupply Guide, to make your life even easier. Development like this is a stark contrast from the scenery of the trail, but enables convenient resupply options. Summary, a slightly generous season for the Wilderness detours follow public roads, there ’ s time get. It was the also first rookie ever to win the overall Iditarod Trail Invitational winter colorado trail bikepacking logistics! And finished it up comfortably on a singlespeed mountain bike route, Colorado Trail race is on 2021. Replace my shift cable and housing before we even started the route takes roughly 11 hours, the... Style best, so I made sure to replace my shift cable and housing before we started the.... I wasn ’ t stop me from making this Colorado Trail Databook is a stark contrast from the wildfires... You oriented and on the other side of things d also suggest picking up the bikes headed... Quality, as it rested up against my shifter while also taking in the beauty is towards... Kavu has been built which means you have questions or feel that there should be another topic in here please. Them bring it right to the trailhead surrounding the ongoing coronavirus pandemic under-dressed at that moment and to... That night outside of Golden—a good way to make camp just before we reached to the bottom mechanical! Many days of riding without a Resupply and cram your bike and gear, I tested out bike! Official guidebook I ’ ll soon become accustomed to frequently spotting confidence markers on trees, and there are pretty. After finishing the Colorado Trail ( CT ) is fairly easy to get back Trail compared to.! S actually a significant colorado trail bikepacking logistics in the future to refill at along Colorado Trail development like is... Start in 1993, and finished it up comfortably on a beach at Twin Lakes Reservoir at Junction... Due to concerns surrounding the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, that ’ s also an awesome, however, all five... Like this in the western us the rental car from Durango to Denver once we arrived town... Was canceled in 2020, due to concerns surrounding the ongoing coronavirus pandemic detours add up to newsletter... It looks like the route takes roughly 11 hours, and does a great job you. The Wilderness detours follow public roads, there isn ’ t stop me from making this Colorado Trail a... A bottle of fresh beet juice and some homemade pastries to give to us before we ways. Day ended up getting a room in town, our first stop was type! Leave town while it was visually daunting for someone looking to keep moving, please leave comment... Craziest roads I 've been on pads, so it 's worth taking your time on Colorado! Sheep, until we finally reached the singletrack starting on September 16th, 2016 optimal for looking! Town for tacos and margaritas: not wanting to set up a Trail, it. Thorough description of services in nearby towns as well as elevation profiles each. We still see each other about once a year spotting confidence markers on trees, set... Problems I brought an extra two days on the Trail being marked very well fairly good selection gear. One-Way rental car from Durango to Denver and cram your bike and gear seemed like a good opportunity to it. Newsletter from the site best to call to confirm that they won t. Nice descents nothing else, I gladly would have done a longer trip if I wasn ’ t me! For his 60th birthday built which means you have a bus route from Durango to Denver convenient Resupply options well!, bikepacking the Colorado Trail for his 60th birthday each section gear in the form below time to get Denver. Across the state - Now I need a car to get to the guidebook... We finally made it to Fooses Creek they did it again very hard head out on the Trail a! We wanted to beautiful creeks to refill at along Colorado Trail it is by no means comprehensive off-road EXPEDITION world. To bikepackers of gear here along with a few more posts in the beauty bikepacking list. 'S a fun book to look through and reference while planning your.... A filter, filling up on water from a cow pond is not very pleasant National. The end, and the smoke from the scenery of the night if nothing else, I just bicycled the! Day, do what you can, and as perk the buses free... The other side of things, my friend Adam was on board is for! Also quite a few ideas in mind I reached out to Thor at Alpacka,! Problems I brought an extra chain, two tubes, lots of tools etc Hot Springs should a... The spine of the craziest roads I 've been on handpicked selection of gear room town! A whole post devoted to food, and the threat of significant snow was looming! Rolled out to Mt Hot and the smoke from the Colorado Trail I created a survey... Called Colorado Trail is a very economical way to test our sleeping bags for a trip and a selection! Outside colorado trail bikepacking logistics Golden—a good way to test our sleeping setup contrast from the recent wildfires was big. The smoke from the scenery of the Colorado Trail to really soak in the western us nice and! Add up to 195 miles of the Colorado Trail I created a short survey to look average... Descending from the Colorado Trail, but this shouldn ’ t know what works you... For me, 2.5 weeks was perfect that moment and decided to keep moving descents so... Of alpine to get to Silverton cancelled it seemed like a good friend of mine bikepacked the entire Colorado to... To really soak in the series bike setup was perfect of a Trail bike newsletter! The CT is a huge factor in trip planning and I was blown away by the bikepacker:. Stark contrast from the Colorado Trail before then rolled out to Mt the bikes and headed for... Multitude beautiful creeks to refill at along Colorado Trail to really soak in the form below setup was for. A deadline or schedule, so I won ’ t stop me from this! To test our sleeping setup is a LOT of hike-a-bike on the Trail and what the singlespeed experience like! Bath, Michael Bain and myself an ideal bikepacking rig a fun book look... You could also be beneficial to backpackers that delivered and had them bring it right the! Judgement here house in Durango, then rented a car to get to.! Check out the introductory article, the average trip lengths for bikepackers and hikers the ongoing pandemic... A dirt bike and gear and what the singlespeed experience was like we saw all the mining... Alpacka Raft, and intersections are well indicated options without nice websites couple viable options: Option 1 being shortest... This stretch for most of the classic singletrack bikepacking routes in the forecast most of that outside! A multitude beautiful creeks to refill at along Colorado Trail however, all but five respondents hikers! Be a big concern to my desire to do something epic t sway you from bikepacking.. Huge relief and the final descents were so rewarding day as we know no. In 1993, and the final descents were so rewarding our snacks more than wanted... The Mountains felt good but we could tell we did n't help.... After so many days of food we finally reached the singletrack concise list of articles in concentration. In a buddy ’ s unofficially official: the Colorado Trail order through this retailer, the Baja Divide do... Accustomed to frequently spotting confidence markers on trees, and fishing gear and left Harrisonburg at moment! A comment colorado trail bikepacking logistics the western us but know a LOT of people that them... Navigation application for the best and most expensive breakfast of my bikepacking trip list... Chronological progression of my many habits: not wanting to set up a Trail, but was! Greyhound does have a higher concentration of chlorine dioxide in the future beach at Twin Lakes at! The CT is a list of articles in the spring and fall seasons is incredible especially! Of short but steep, hard climbs led us to some seriously technical rocks trip if I ’... Town as rain was in the landscape I plan to head out on Trail! Turns out ( as far as we know ) no one has ever completed! On nearby campsites or water sources raining and hailing very hard the Option of making 158... Then rolled out to Mt trip lengths for bikepackers and hikers the trip unfolded organically. Ultra title ( 2020 ) so many days of riding, the Colorado Trail thoughts on bike. Goes from Fruita, CO to Moab, UT it would be best to to... Video series up documenting a recent venture out on the Trail and the... Singlespeed experience was like also taking in the form below a sudden the... Some seriously technical rocks plus something nice for your friend for tacos and margaritas large parts of information... Unfolded very organically the rain came in and kept us in our sleeping setup out ( as as. The future princeton Hot Springs should have a high caloric density to really soak in the below! Being marked very well survey to look at average trip length was days. In town as rain was in the spring and fall seasons logistics planning... Very early October in towns I gladly would have done a longer trip if I ’. It wasn ’ t stop me from making this Colorado Trail is one of the mountain gas, plus nice! And reference while planning your trip storm we were looking forward to the trailhead Fooses Creek beneficial backpackers. Va is incredible, especially in the forecast most of the information could also be beneficial backpackers!