The Colorado Trail is one of my favorite “shorter” long trails. The trail travels from Denver, CO, to Durango, CO, up over 12,000 feet and through some of the most spectacular alpine scenery in this country.
Traversing ranges like the Rockies and the San Juan mountains, this is a very remote and rugged wilderness that frequently brings you close to resupply towns where you can pause to regroup and resupply where needed. The towns make this hike a spectacular adventure with their western cultures and old mining history.
I hiked a 200-mile section with my brother in 2019 and came back in 2020 to thru-hike the trail, but I was chased off the last section from Silverton to Durango by an early-season snowstorm. I’m actually ok with this since I would love to go back and hike this trail again. It is definitely a favorite of mine.
I love the long trails in the United States, but the shorter trails provide a condensed version of the best features. Good examples are the Arizona Trail, Colorado Trail, and Superior Trail. These are all beautiful trails with the best those regions have to offer condensed into fewer miles.
The Colorado Trail is a perfect choice if you like high-altitude alpine hiking. Coupled with small, rural mining towns you will find a distinctive colorado flavor along this path through the Rockies.