Traveling the CT

There are many ways to enjoy The Colorado Trail, from a day-hike, bike or ride, to a multi-day trip through some of the state’s best backcountry, to an end-to-end excursion beginning in either Denver or Durango. There are dozens of access points to the CT’s 567 miles of trail. These are accessible by car, 4-wheel-drive, bike, horse, on foot, or even by train. Numerous resources including maps, guidebooks and websites can help you with your planning. And there is no place better to begin your journey than right here.

Scan the menu of this Traveling the CT section to find information on everything from modes of travel to what to carry to weather and trail etiquette.

When To Go

The “season” for The Colorado Trail is primarily 3 months: July, August and September. Before this 3-month season, users encounter troublesome snowpack remaining from winter and spring storms. (See our page about snowpack.) After these months, fall storms begin bringing new snows that can be deep and long lasting. (Here’s a video that shows how a snowstorm can ‘up’ the challenge of distance hiking.)

Trip Planning

Hiker and beautiful arc of light
Trip planning can be a lot of fun, as nearly every past CT traveler has described their lead-up to the journey. Trip planning is your opportunity to learn about the trail and doing so in advance will enhance your trip.

During the lead-up is also when you’ll likely begin coordinating with one or more individuals in your network. Are you likely to travel solo or go with others? Even solo travelers often find that they are involving other people as helpers or resources. Often the support people will need the CT Guidebook with its information about roads access and more.

Maps and guidebooks

hikers studying a map
Most Trail users, especially those planning multi-day trips, will find that they want to delve more deeply by obtaining our official guidebooks and maps, available at our online store and at many outdoor recreation retail outlets and bookstores. These include:

Other resources for planning

Read, plan and enjoy!