Rocky Mountain Trail Idea ConceivedFebruary 6, 1973
Bill Lucas, regional forester for the Rocky Mountain Region of the U.S. Forest Service, and Merrill Hastings, publisher of Colorado magazine, conceive the idea of creating a “Rocky Mountain Trail” between Denver and Durango as a U.S. Bicentennial project, with a proposed completion date of 1976.
Gudy Gaskill Joins Advisory BoardApril 3, 1973
Gudy Gaskill, who later became known as “Mother of The Colorado Trail,” attends the first planning meeting and becomes part of the advisory board.
Gaskill Asked to Help Organize the EffortMarch 9, 1974
When Gudy Gaskill was chairing the Colorado Mountain Club’s Huts and Trails Committee, she was asked to help organize the Colorado Trail.
1974 Becomes the Birth Year of The Colorado TrailJuly 1, 1974
Considered the Trail’s birth year, 1974 Colorado Magazine article describes efforts at the very beginning to establish The Colorado Trail. July/August 1974 Colorado MagazineRead more
Cooperative Agreement SignedMarch 19, 1976
A cooperative agreement between the U.S. Forest Service and the recently formed Colorado Mountain Trails Foundation is signed, creating a “unique partnership” to go forward with construction of “The Colorado Trail.”
Colorado Trail Vision SetMay 19, 1976
USFS Releases Route DirectiveOctober 14, 1980
The U.S. Forest Service releases an Environmental Assessment and Route Directive for the Trail.
Trail to Nowhere Article PublishedDecember 9, 1984
Gaskill Recognized by President ReaganAugust 9, 1987
Gaskill’s work is recognized by President Ronald Reagan with a Take Pride in America Award.
“Golden Spike” Ceremonies HeldSeptember 4, 1987
“Golden Spike” ceremonies are held at Molas Pass, Camp Hale and Mt. Princeton to celebrate the linking of the Trail from Denver to Durango.Read more
Colorado Trail Foundation EstablishedOctober 5, 1987
The nonprofit Colorado Trail Foundation, under the leadership of Gudy Gaskill, is established to steward the Trail, giving new impetus to trail builders.
Master Agreement SignedFebruary 12, 1988
The Colorado Trail Foundation and U.S. Forest Service sign a Master Agreement creating a partnership tasked with maintaining the Trail.
Gaskill Presented with Thousand Points of Light AwardJuly 19, 1988
President George H. Bush presents Gaskill with a One Thousand Points of Light Award for leading efforts to complete The Colorado Trail.
Official DedicationJuly 23, 1988
Gaskill leads a group of dedicated volunteers on a “Trail-A-Bration,” the first supported trek of the Trail starting in Denver and arriving in Durango in time for the official dedication of the Trail at the Junction Creek terminus on July 23. A day later, another dedication ceremony is at the Trail’s northern terminus at Waterton Canyon.
Adopt-a-Trail Program EstablishedOctober 1, 1988
An adopt-a-trail program is established to maintain the Trail.
20th Anniversary Celebration HeldMay 14, 1994
The 20th anniversary of The Colorado Trail is celebrated at the Colorado Governor’s Mansion.
Colorado Magazine Article PublishedJune 25, 1994
1994 Colorado Magazine
Gaskill RetiresApril 19, 1998
Gaskill retires as president of The Colorado Trail Foundation.
Partnership RenewedJuly 12, 1998
The Foundation and U.S. Forest Service renew their partnership agreement with the signing of a Master Plan for The Colorado Trail.
Gudy Gaskill Endowment Fund EstablishedOctober 28, 1998
The Foundation establishes the Gudy Gaskill Endowment Fund to ensure the Trail will be maintained in perpetuity.
Gudy Gaskill Bridge DedicatedJune 12, 1999
A bridge spanning the South Platte River at the junction of Segments 1 and 2 is dedicated to Gudy Gaskill. The new bridge was built using funds from Friends of The Colorado Trail, Great Outdoors Colorado, and the U.S. Forest Service.
CT 25th AnniversaryJuly 6, 1999
The 25th anniversary of The Colorado Trail is celebrated at Mount Vernon Country Club.
Gaskill Inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of FameSeptember 20, 2002
Gudy Gaskill is inducted into the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame.
CT 30th AnniversaryAugust 22, 2004
The 30th anniversary of the Trail is celebrated in Buena Vista and Colorado’s Governor declares statewide “Colorado Trail Day.” 2004 Governor’s Proclamation “Colorado Trail Day”Read more
Memo of Understanding ReaffirmedJune 23, 2005
CTF President, Marilyn Eisele, and U.S. Forest Service Region 2 Forester, Rick Cables, reaffirm the longstanding partnership and continued cooperation in maintaining the Trail.
Bill Manning Begins As First Executive DirectorFebruary 1, 2006
Bill Manning is named the first executive director – and first full-time employee – of The Colorado Trail Foundation.
First Map Book PublishedAugust 5, 2008
The first shaded relief topo maps are released, greatly improving trail navigation as well as volunteer trail maintenance operations.
CT Online Store LaunchedMay 24, 2010
Making the CT Guides and other Trail merchandise far more available, the online CT Store began catering to purchasers throughout the United States and even abroad.
Collegiate West OpenedJune 22, 2012
Eighty additional miles are added to the Trail on the west side of the Collegiate Peaks mountain range, forming a 160-mile loop when combined with the Collegiate East segments. It becomes known as Collegiate West and gives Trail users an alternate route north- and southbound.
Phone App ReleasedMay 21, 2014
Partnering with Atlas Guides and their “Guthooks” trail apps, the CTF contributes trail data and photos. The CT phone app proves a game changer, helping users follow the Trail and replenish water.
Field Operations Manager Joins StaffFebruary 12, 2015
A full-time field operations manager, Brent Adams, is added to the Foundation staff (joining the executive director and office manager) to oversee future projects, including the building of 90-100 miles of new trail over the next 10-15 years.
Field Operations Center Fundraising BeginsMarch 20, 2016
A fund-raising campaign to build a field operations center begins.
Gudy Gaskill PassesJuly 14, 2016
Gudy Gaskill, whose untiring efforts were chiefly responsible for the completion of The Colorado Trail, dies on July 14.
Field Operations Center Construction BeginsMay 25, 2017
Design of the field operations center is completed and construction begins.
Field Ops Center Named for George MillerNovember 12, 2017
The Foundation announces at its annual holiday party in Golden that the new operations center will be named in honor of George Miller, longtime board member and former Foundation president who was volunteer operations manager for 20 years.
George Miller Field Operations Center DedicatedJuly 2, 2018
The George Miller Field Operations Center in Poncha Springs is dedicated. The half-million-dollar project enables the CTF to consolidate all of its equipment in one place for the first time in the Trail’s history, providing a “base camp” for future trail building and maintenance operations.