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Colorado Trail Segment 1

Some brave souls manage to hike or ride the Colorado Trail all in one epic journey. The rest of us are satisfied to bang it out one segment at a time over several years. If you fall into the latter group, and you want to make the trips as manageable as possible, you may want to consider looking carefully at which direction you’re going to ride/hike each segment. For example, on this segment 1 trail description, we chose to ride it from west to east. This direction involves a tough climb at the very beginning, but much less total elevation gain throughout the ride. It makes less difference when hiking, but for mountain biking, the west to east direction makes a big difference on this particular segment.

Another interesting note for segment one of the Colorado Trail: When riding through the rugged, densely forested, remote western portion of the trail, we barely saw any wildlife. However, once we got into Waterton Canyon with much less vegetation and many more people, we saw scads of mountain goats and a family of brown bears foraging across the river.

Trail Map


Suggested Lodging

Camping areas are scarce near either end of this trail. Hotels are nearly non-existent on the western side and fairly far away on the eastern side.

Suggested Dining

OMG, the Saturday night ribs at Brooks Place Tavern in Conifer, CO are some of the best post-ride eats on the planet.

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