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Curious when you can start your Colorado Trail Thru hike or bike? Once spring arrives, this is the most common question we receive. Here at the Foundation, we have studied this carefully. Below you’ll see the Average Melt-Off Dates when each segment might become passable. This ‘snowpack passable,’ to us, means not overly arduous or hazardous due to remaining snowpack.

2023 SNOWPACK – How will 2023 compare to the averages below? Please remember this is just an average and this year does not seem to be average in any way, but weather forecasting information is calling for warmer but also wetter than normal conditions during April and May, the CTF is guessing that 2023 melt-off dates might be 1-2 weeks later than the averages below, so add a week or two from the dates below.

Average Melt-Off Dates

  • Segs 1, 2, 3 early May
  • Seg 4 mid June
  • Seg 5 late May
  • Segs 6, 7, 8 early July
  • Seg 9 late June
  • Seg 10 mid June
  • Seg 11 late May
  • Segs 12, 13 mid June
  • Seg 14 early June
  • Seg 15 early July
  • Segs 16, 17 late June
  • Seg 18 late May
  • Seg 19 late May (creek ford possibly fast & deep until, say, mid June)
  • Segs 20, 21 late June
  • Segs 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28 early July
  • Seg CW01 early July
  • Seg CW02 mid July
  • Segs CW03, CW04, CW05 early July

Exceptions worth noting include the low elevation portions of Segments 13 and 28 that melt ‘passable’ well before the entire segment. Other exceptions pertain to accessible south-facing big hillsides in Segments 12, 13, and CW01 that melt ‘passable’ before the balance of each segment.

Find all these CTF TRAIL BLOGS here.

Here is a CTF web page with a bit MORE SNOWPACK INFO.