Colorado Trail

My 16 year old son Kyle and I bikepacked the 500 mile Colorado Trail from Denver to Durango over three weeks in July, 2017.  It was an epic endeavor, and such a memorable experience to have with my kid.

CT route - we started in Denver and ended in Durango
CT route – we started in Denver and ended in Durango

Daily trip reports of our adventures are below.

Day 1, July 5 – S. Platte to FR545

Day 2, July 6 – Spruce Grove

Day 3, July 7 – Kenosha Pass

Day 4, July 8 – Breckenridge

Day 5, July 11 – Searle Pass

Day 6, July 12 – Leadville

Day 7, July 13 – Buena Vista

Day 8, July 16 – Mt. Shavano

Day 9, July 17 – Marshall Pass

Day 10, July 18 – Sargents Mesa

Day 11, July 19 – Highway 114, Gunnison

Day 12, July 22 – Carson Saddle

Day 13, July 23 – Silverton

Day 14, July 26 – Hermosa Peak

Day 15, July 27 – Indian Trail Ridge

Day 16, July 28 – Durango

Favorite Vids

Favorite Pix

July 4, 2017

Happy 4th, and thanks to the CU Sports Medicine and Performance Center, specifically Jared Berg and Ryan Kohler for helping me get into shape to do this thing.

June 20, 2017

We did a two day ride on first Denver segment from Waterton Canyon to a rock quarry to test our bikes, and sure enough, we had an issue.  The next day, we returned to the canyon and were rewarded with bighorn sheep walking along the road.

June 14, 2017

Kyle and I are riding every day preparing to do that trail next month. Check back here for status updates in July.  In the meantime, please check out the Colorado Trail Foundation and how you can help.

March 24, 2017

My 16 year old son Kyle and I will attempt to bikepack the Colorado Trail in July. Doing this is a big undertaking with over 500 miles of terrain covered between Denver and Durango.  The cumulative elevation gained is over 70,000 feet with over a third of the trail “hike-a-bike” because of steep slopes.

We are both amateur photographers, and I’m into videography, so we’ll be lugging cameras along the way.  Kyle will carry his Nikon DSLR, I’ll carry a GoPro Hero5 and Karma gimbal for stabilization, and we’ll both carry iPhone 7+s for the cameras as well as navigation.

Aside from an awesome father/son experience, our goals are to capture the epic beauty of the trail during the height of wildflower season, which peaks in late July and early August.  Our plans are to start mid July, and complete the trail in two weeks, which should have us descending into Durango through mountain meadows in the last week of the month.  My wife and extended family will join us at a few points along the trail to resupply and we’ll likely rest up a day or two.

We both started a training regimen in January,

3 hours on a gym bike is heinous, but at least he got some homework done

and I took my fully loaded bike out when the weather permitted.

1st ride on fully loaded bike on balmy 40 degree day in January

A common piece of advice from fellow riders who’ve done the trail is to test our systems (water, cook, sleep) beforehand.  During an unusually warm patch of March weather here in Colorado we did just that, and thankfully we did. That story is in my first blog post.