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Hiking the Colorado Trail — Silverton to Durango


Hiking the Colorado Trail — Silverton to Durango

Hiking Collection by Lael



36:55 h

84.6 mi

15,125 ft

Rue and I took the historic Durango-Silverton train and got dropped off in the wilderness at Elk Park. We spent the next five days hiking 80 miles of the Colorado Trail back to Durango.

The complete Colorado Trail is 485 miles from Denver to Durango. Rue and I hiked this final section so I could acclimatise to the altitude for my then upcoming Tour Divide time trial. Most of our hike was around 11,000 feet. We struggled at high elevation for the first two days and started feeling much better by day three.

There had been a tremendous amount of rain in the area for the month before our hike, and the wildflowers and mushrooms were really incredible.

The Colorado Trail is world class. I'd highly recommend hiking or biking parts or all of it. I'll definitely be back with my bike. I'd love to go after the women's record: 5 days, 5 hours, set in 2011.

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Hiking the Colorado Trail from Silverton to Durango full Tour

78.3 mi

11,800 ft

13,875 ft

Last updated: June 11, 2022

Tours & Highlights

  • Colorado Trail day 1: Elk Park

    11.8 mi
    1.9 mph
    3,650 ft
    975 ft

    We took the morning train from Durango to Silverton and got dropped off in the wilderness at Elk Park. Beginning at 8,800 feet with heavy packs and five days worth of food, we could definitely feel the elevation.


    We set out to hike straight up to 11,500 feet. Both Rue and I had headaches and high heart

    by Lael

  • 09:10
    17.9 mi
    2.0 mph
    3,400 ft
    3,475 ft

    Still struggling with altitude, we started getting a bit more into the swing of things. Due to high elevation, late July through August is the main season for hiking and biking the Colorado Trail. There's a short window between the snow melting from the previous winter before it starts becoming stormy

    by Lael

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  • 08:00
    21.6 mi
    2.7 mph
    3,500 ft
    4,100 ft

    This section is notorious for its lack of water. We knew we'd have to put in a pretty good day to have water for camp and cooking.


    The walking was pretty easy and fast, and the weather was perfect.


    Long distance hiking is remarkably simple: you walk, eat, sleep and make sure you have what you need. This

    by Lael

  • 07:52
    20.3 mi
    2.6 mph
    3,525 ft
    5,300 ft

    We finished our time in the super high country and started making the long descent to Durango.


    Black Hawk Pass was definitely my highlight of the hike.


    In the morning, we woke to find our trekking poles chewed up by some critter. They really went to town!

    by Lael

  • 05:33
    13.0 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,075 ft
    2,950 ft

    Our final day to Durango. There were families waiting at the trailhead to welcome their grandparents, wives and daughters to the finish with pizza and beer.


    Rue and I called an Uber from the trailhead and got dropped off in downtown Durango to pick up Rue's car. We ate Thai food and starting checking

    by Lael

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    84.6 mi
  • Duration
    36:55 h
  • Elevation
    15,125 ft

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