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A Guide to Hiking the Colorado Trail

Colorado Trail Hiking: Main Routes and Access Points

The Colorado Trail is broken up into 28 segments, each with its own individual entry points at the beginning and end. Each one is a moderate to exceptional hike in its own right, from 11.4 miles (18.3 kilometers) to 32 miles (51.5 kilometers) in length.

The trail's first segment and most popular entry point is the Waterton Canyon to South Platte River path. It's a good way to get ready for harder sections, with a 6-mile (9.7-kilometer) incline up a dirt road into a single-track trail. In total, it's 16.8 miles (27 kilometers) with a 2,338-foot (712.6-kilometer) elevation gain. Kenosha Pass to Goldhill Trailhead, the sixth segment, has the steepest elevation gain of any of the segments, with a total rise of 4,495 feet (1,370 meters). However, it's not so steep, because it's spread out over 32.9 miles (52.9 kilometers), also making it the longest segment of the Colorado Trail.

You'll want to protect yourself from altitude sickness -- read about that on the next page.