Shuttlers, Angels and Trail Magic
The Colorado Trail Foundation maintains a current contact list of shuttle drivers – both individuals and businesses – in Denver and towns along the Trail who have offered to help travelers get to and from trailheads. It is available by email request only.
While the CTF maintains the database and emails the shuttlers list to folks who’ve requested it, that is the extent of Foundation involvement. CT travelers needing shuttle services must contact shuttlers directly to make arrangements. Many shuttlers have indicated that making advanced arrangements is usually necessary.
To obtain the CT Shuttlers List, e-mail us at email@example.com and request it. As time allows during our Monday-Friday work days, we’ll reply to you and attach the list.
Trail Angels and Trail Magic
No matter how self-reliant and self-sufficient a long-distance Trail traveler might be, there are few who can resist the often serendipitous assistance of a “trail angel” or the enticement of “trail magic” encountered along the way. For those unfamiliar with the terms, trail angels describe people who provide goods and services, typically at no charge, to travelers. Trail magic is, generally, what angels provide, such as a cooler full of cold soda set out alongside the Trail with an invitation to enjoy the contents.
Trail Angels come in many guises. It could be a day hiker who offers a candy bar or bottle of water, or a campground guest who offers a snack to those passing through. Some, like our shuttlers, provide transportation services. Others welcome out-of-state hikers into their homes for an overnight stay.
Our trail crew volunteers and trekking guides are often trail angels, too, inviting travelers to share a meal or spend the night.
For several years, one well-known angel set up camp at the end of Segment 17 near the beginning of the Cochetopa Hills. “Apple,” as he was known, not only provided snacks, water and soft drinks, but shelter, cooking facilities, and companionship to trail-weary travelers.
Those who experience trail magic often say it’s one of the most memorable parts of their journey.
The Colorado Trail Foundation neither encourages nor discourages trail angels, but we do offer some suggestions to those considering becoming one:
- Keep it small. If you are contemplating setting up an angel camp along The Colorado Trail, consider keeping it small and for just a limited time. This enhances the serendipity that maximizes appreciation.
- Keep it unexpected. Don’t advertise your plans. Keep it unexpected and magical.
- Preserve the backcountry. Avoid degrading the backcountry atmosphere that’s so highly cherished. Set up near a trailhead or where the Trail crosses a major road. Encourage those taking advantage of your trail magic to properly dispose of wrappers and other containers.
- A little trail magic goes a long way. Too many on-trail handouts and freebies depreciate the self-reliance that is fundamental to a quality backcountry experience.
- Secure your goodies. Animals breaking into unsecured containers can quickly become habituated to human food, becoming problem animals.
- Don’t leave food unattended. Food left unattended along the Trail often becomes unsightly trash. Containers and wrappers get left behind. Wind blows it around.
- Consider volunteering instead. Maybe the best way of all to give back is to volunteer for a CTF trail crew or adopt a section of the Trail to maintain.
For more information on trail angels and trail magic, click on these links: