Segment information and trail head guide for each segment
The cowgirls plan on traveling 13.5 mile per day. The following segments are planned as followed.
Please contact us for more information on how to reach the trailheads you are planning to sponsor and visit us on www.cowgirlsrideforlife.com
Please leave your pets at home. We will have our dogs with us on the trail. They are trained for this ride and so we will be able to sleep at night. They are trained to protect us from man or beast.
Segment 1 16.8 miles Cost of segment $256.00
We have two days planned for this segment due to time of setting up and taking down camp plus trail miles.
Begins at Waterton Canyon Road in Denver off of C470. The trail travels through Pikes National Forest, South Platte Ranger District.
This area is the busiest segment of the trail. Lots of motorcycles and people on this segment of trail.
Segment 2. 11.5 miles 1 day Cost segment $128.00
Begins at South Platte River Trailhead; trailhead is 20 miles south of Denver in Conifer, 1/4 mile past the end of town. The trail travels through Pikes National Forest, South Platte Ranger District. This area in Low in elevation and shade is scarce due to a wild fire in 1996. The trail is dry in this area you will need to bring your own water.
Segment 3. 12.2 miles 1 day Cost $128.00
Begins at Little Shaggy Trailhead on FS road 550. Note there is a fee to park at the trailhead, parking lot. From Denver travel south on US Highway 285 32 miles. This trail is popular with mountain bikers and hikers. The pine forest and small creeks make these trails very inviting.
Segment 4. 16.6 miles 2 days Cost $256.00
Begins at FS Rd 560 and enters the Lost Creek Wilderness. There is abundant water on this part of the trail, along with the meadows the chances of seeing wildlife (deer and bear) is great.
Take US HWY 285 to Bailey head southeast on County Rd 68.
Pike National Forest, junctions South Park and South Platte Ranger districts.
Segment 5. 15.1 miles 2 days Cost $256.00
Begins at Long Gulch Trail US HWY 285 60 miles to Kenosha Pass continue 3.2 miles left on Lost Park Road.
Last water source is 8 miles into the segment.
The spectacular stands of aspen, a species that share the same root system that produce colonies of trees that live thousands of years. Also, they share the land scape with the five needle pine found at high elevations Bristlecones that can live up to 5000 years. Our elevation gain is 2,109 feet. This segment is breath taking, we don’t want to hurry through this area. We will be picking up a food drop in the Town of Jefferson. Stop in and say Hello, buy us a cup of coffee and we will tell you our tales. Pike National Forest, South Platte and South Park Ranger district.
Segment 6. 32.9 miles 3 days Cost $384.00
Begins Kenosha Pass US HWY 285 58 miles to Kenosha Pass campground.
Segment 6 is the longest segment on the Colorado Trail. During its 32.9 miles, it reaches the Continental Divide, passes through several districts water sheds, runs along a ridge near Keystone Ski Resort and ends in the resort town of Breckenridge. We can’t wait to cross Georgia Pass on top of the Divide. Elevation gain 5196 feet. Pike and White River National Forest, South Park and Dillon Ranger Districts.
Segment 7 12.2 miles 1 day Cost $128.00
Gold Hill to Copper Mountain
Begins at the Gold Hill Trailhead. Drive I-70 75 miles to exit 203 proceed south on HWY 9 about 6 miles.
This segment is like a roller coaster ride. It climbs 3,600 feet in 6 miles across a 1.7-billion-year-old basement rock to gain the crest of Ten Mile Range, then descends 3,000 feet in 6 miles to the narrow valley below. This is the first time the trail is above tree line for a while. Snow and wild flowers will be magnificent. White River National Forest, Dillion Ranger district.
Segment 8 25.4 miles 2 days Cost $256.00
Copper Mountain to Tennessee Pass
The cowgirls will be making a food drop here at the resort Ahhhhhhhhhh. Come see us if you can find us. Hint: shade and cold drinks.
Begins Wheeler Flats Trailhead. I-70 exit 195 Copper Mountain / Leadville. Somewhere on the Copper Mountain slopes the Colorado Trail crosses the Gore Fault, a major fault active during the uplift of the Ancestral Rockies. In the middle of the trail it takes you back into the tundra after a climb from the resort. The descent to Eagle Park and Camp Hale provide a different feel from Copper Mountain. The abandoned 10th Mountain Division is deteriorating under the extreme weather conditions but retains its rich military legacy. White River National forest, junction of Dillion and Holly Cross Ranger district.
Segment 9. 13.6 miles Cost $128.00
Begins Tennessee Pass go north Leadville on HWY 24 for 7.5 miles.
Much of this trail follows the path of the old Main Ridge Trail, which was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s for both recreational and fire protection. Towards the end of the segment there are some great views of Mount Massive the second highest mountain in Colorado 14,421 feet to the south. San Isabel National Forest, Leadville Ranger District. Elevation gain 2,627 and elevation loss 3,004 feet.
Segment 10. 13.6 miles 1 day Cost $128.00
Begins at Timberline Lake Trailhead. Access from Leadville around Turquoise Lake County road 9. This can be confusing -contact us.
Segment 10 takes us through Mount Massive Wilderness Area features several long climb and descents. Will come to the Leadville fish hatchery, and if you’re up to a side trip head up to the top of Mount Massive we will be all but there.
2/3rds of the 54 peaks in Colorado that rise above 14,000 feet are within 20 miles of the Colorado Trail.
San Isabel National Forest, Leadville Ranger district.
Segment 11. 21.5 miles 2 days Cost $256.00
Begins Mount Massive Trailhead. South from Leadville on US HWY 24 3.5 miles turn right on CO HWY 300
Starts with a steep climb, heading up to Mount Elbert the highest mountain in Colorado. The Colorado Trail skirts around the eastern flank of the peak. Then were off to Twin Lakes. In the fall of 2003 the trail was diverted around the dam due to security concerns. In 2009 the Colorado Trail Foundation deemed it the dam trail safe to cross. This benefits all trail users because the new trail was troublesome and you will miss the spectacular views. San Isabel National Forest, Leadville Ranger District.
Segment 12. 18.5 miles Cost $128.00
Begins at Clear Creek Road north of Buena Vista 17 miles turn left on Chaffee County Road 390.
After you cross a 80 foot bridge that the Colorado Trail Foundation built when the trail was diverted around the Clear Creek Ranch you enter the Collegiate Peaks where we will find plenty of water and camping sites, beautiful views of three Fourteeners ( Mount Oxford, Harvard, and the Columbia). They say with planning you can visit all three in a relative short period of time. Hummmmm think we will enjoy it from the back of our horses. San Isabel National Forest, Leadville Ranger District.
Segment 13. 2 days Cost $256.00
Begins at Silver Creek from US HWY 24 turn west on Crossman Street, again contact us.
We cross the North Cottonwood Creek and commence the long climb to the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness area before topping out on the saddle on the east ridge of Mount Yale. Then the long decent to the Avalanche Trailhead where we plan to invite everyone to join us for a halfway point fund raiser for the Lighthouse Resource Center. We plan to be at the trailhead on the 29th of July at High Noon. The trail crosses right through the center of the trailhead parking lot which is large enough for horse trailer parking. Join us for lunch for a $10.00 donation going to the Lighthouse Pregnancy Resource Center. Plan a day to remember- come to hike or bring your horse and take a nice trail ride down the Colorado Trail. The Cowgirls plan on sitting this day out for a much needed rest and look forward to spending time with all of you. No worries we have cowgirls to lead the way for the day riders. The Lighthouse Resource Pregnancy Center staff and volunteers will be there also supporting Cowgirls Ride for Life. Please come and thank them for all they do for this worthy cause.
After a much needed overnight stay in a nice bed with shower, we will again hit the trail. Admiring the views of Chalk Creek and all its splendor along with Mount Princeton. San Isabel National Forest, Salida Ranger district.
Segment 14. 20.4 miles 2 days Cost $256.00
Begins at Chalk Creek Trailhead. South of Buena Vista on US HWY 285 to Nathrop turn right (west) Chaffee County Road 270 contact us for more information.
This segment travels through the southeastern end of the Sawatch Range passing Mount Antero and Shavano, the Brown Creek area which is spectacular. Then our decent to HWY 50 where we cross the highway towards our goal Durango. San Isabel National Forest, Salida Ranger District.
Segment 15. 14.3 miles 1 day Cost $128.00
Begins at HWY 50 and Fooses Creek Road Chaffee County Road 225. There is a wide space in road (South Shoulder) for limited parking.
There is no resupply stops from this point for 100 miles. Creed is our next resupply stop. We will connect with the Continental Divide Trail. Just pass Marshall Pass the trail folds out of basement rock and into gray volcanic rock, part of the San Juan volcanic field that covers over 10,000 square miles and includes 10,000 cubic miles of volcanic rocks. This is very popular with mountain bikers. San Isabel and Gunnison National Forest, junction San Isabel, Gunnison Salida Ranger districts
Segments 16. 15.2 miles 1 day Cost $128.00
Begins at Marshall Pass drive south Poncha Springs on US HWY 285 turn right (west) on Marshall Pass and O'Haver Lake Campground, Chaffe County Road.
Water is scarce on this trail.
In 1873 ,troubled by a toothache and in a big hurry to get to a dentist in Denver Lieutenant William Marshall discovered this short cut. Ute Indians had been using the several gaps in this relatively low section of the Continental Divide to travel between intermountain parks on the east side of the divide. Otto Mears constructed the first wagon train road over the pass. He sold it to Denver in 1881. San Isabel, Gunnison and the Rio Grande National Forest, Salida, Gunnison, Sawatch Ranger districts and San Isabel, Gunnison and the Rio Grande National Forests.
Segment 17. 20.4 miles 2 days Cost $256.00
Begins at Sargents Mesa Trailhead from the small town of Saguache on HWY 285 contact us please. Water is scarce but can be located off trail
This segment follows the crest of the Continental Divide. Baldy Lake is heaven and worth the half mile trek off the trail. This is a dry section of trail. Rio Grande and Gunnison National Forest, Saquache and Gunnison Ranger districts.
Segment 18. 13.8 miles 1 day Cost $128.00
Begins on Co HWY 114 from Saquache US HWY 285 drive west 30 miles to North Pass road continue 1.1 miles down Lujan Creek Road.
This segment hasn't had the best reviews on the trail. Going off trail 2 miles we will find Luders Creek were first water is to be found- water must be filtered. Following the old ranching roads that tell the story of long ago. Gunnison National Forest, Gunnison Ranger District.
Segment 19. 13.7 miles 1 day Cost $128.00
Begins at Saquache Park Road to Eddiesville Trailhead. From Saquache go West CO Hwy 114 35 miles then turn left FS Rd 804 (BLM road 3089, Saquache County Road GG-17) about 5 miles stops at NN-14 .This segment is dry until reaching Cochetopa Creek where we will cross a log bridge the foundation built and then crossing the La Garita Wilderness. The most remote part of the CT before reaching the end of the segment at Eddiesville Trailhead. Gunnison National Forest, Gunnison Ranger district.
Segment 20. 12.7 1 day Cost $128.00
Begins at Eddiesville Trailhead to San Luis pass, please contact us for direction. Another dry area- not many trees but signs of volcanic ash of days past. We are excited to see the Hoodoos carved from layers of volcanic ash remnants of volcanic activity from 27 million years ago.
Gunnison National Forest, Gunnison Ranger District.
Segment 21. 14.8 miles Cost $128.00
Begins at San Luis Pass, North end of Creed FS RD 503 9.5 miles up the canyon. Spectacular views from the ridges and saddles to down to the water sheds.
This segment is very steep and remote plenty of rock slides until you reach the trees.
Creede- a much needed food resupply maybe a day of rest. Gunnison and Rio Grande National Forest.
Gunnison and Divide Ranger District.
Segment 22. 17.2 miles 2 days Cost $256.00
Begins at Spring Creek Pass CO HWY 149 top of the continental Divide at Spring Creek Pass.
This is the highest point in the trail at mile 15.6. after Crossing Spring Creek, The CT climbs again and crosses Jarosa Mesa. The trail to the mesa is almost nonexistent, but there are posts with the Colorado markers on them, then through the forest again on our way to Coney Summit the highest point on the trail. We will be going around Coney Summit on advice from Rich Johnson who has traveled the CT many times.
The trail then descends toward Carson saddle -spectacular views and Lake San Cristobal from 760 years ago formed by a landslide. Parts of the slide are still moving. Gunnison and Rio Grande National Forest, Gunnison and Divide Ranger District.
Segment 23. 15.9 miles 1 day Cost $128.00
Difficult section. GPS does not work in this area.
Begins at Carson Saddle to Stony Pass contact us for information.
When leaving Carson Saddle and headed to Lost Trail Creek watershed wild flowers will brighten our day as we descend to Cataract Lake. Watch for Cairns that the foundation has built to mark the trail.
Carson Saddle can be very difficult and challenging. When closer to Stony Pass Road likely to encounter four wheelers and motorcycles. Keep a look out for Big Horn Sheep. Gunnison and Rio Grande National Forest, Gunnison and Divide Ranger District.
Segment 24. 20.2 miles 2 days Cost $256.00
Begins at Stony Pass to Molas Pass- Stony Pass Road FS RDs 589 and 737 east end of Silverton.
This segment has 30 switchbacks and 35 switch ups and is very narrow. We are on our way down which means we're coming home. Come out and meet us- the view up here is awesome!
Segment 25. 20.9 miles 2 days Cost $256.00
Begins Molas Pass to Bolam Pass Road - contact us for directions.
Don’t miss the campground at Molas Pass by the lake.
Traveling through sandstone and limestone of the Hermosa Formation 312 - 305 million years ago. There is abundant fossils to be found. As the trail descends down to Cascade Creek it encounters an irregular body of light colored granite and makes up Grizzly Peaks. A ledge from this rock forms a must see waterfall. San Juan National Forest, Columbine and Mancos/Dolores Ranger District.
Segment 26. 10.9 miles Cost $128.00
Begins at Bolam Pass Road to Hotel Draw Road. Drive US HWY 550 through Durango Mountain resort CO HWY 145.
The North side of Blackhawk Pass is a valley with vast herds of elk. Spectacular meadows and valleys.
This segment is very remote descending and ascending Forest ridges. Beautiful campgrounds and watersheds. San Juan National forest, Mancos/Dolores Ranger District.
Segment 27. 20.6 miles 2 days Cost $256.00
Begins at Hotel Draw Road to Kennebec Trailhead. US HWY 550 28 miles north of Durango to the main entrance of Durango Mountain resort.
Indian Trail Ridge is steep and narrow, drop off on both sides of trail.
The Indian Trail Crest of cascading wildflowers and views of Hermosa Valley are extraordinary. San Juan National Forest, Columbine Ranger District.
Segment 28. 21.5 miles 2 days Cost $256.00
Begins at Kennebec Trailhead to Junction Creek Trailhead. Drive west US HWY 160 about 13 miles 0.5 miles beyond the village Hesperus, turn right on La Plata county road 124 it becomes FS RD 498 and then FS RD 571 last two miles are rough.This segment has a lot of slide rock and steep narrows decent to Junction Creek Trailhead that leads to Durango.
If we don’t stop and shower in one of the falls in Junction Canyon shame on us!
Trail ends on Main in Durango. Need to take picture at the sign board!
Which segment is for you????