Hiking the Colorado Trail

Hiking the Colorado Trail

If you’ve found yourself browsing our site or reading our blog, chances are you’re a lover of the great outdoors in some capacity. Durango, Colorado is the perfect destination for those who seek adventure, appreciate nature at its best, or just need an escape full of fresh air and stunning scenery. Durango is also located at the southwestern end of the renowned Colorado Trail, one of this country’s most spectacular hiking trails, and one of the reasons people travel here from around the world. Read on to learn more about this bucket list item and book your stay at our #1 rated Durango bed and breakfast today!

Couple Hiking the Colorado Trail

The Facts

The Colorado Trail sprawls from Denver to Durango, covering nearly 500 miles of beautiful diverse terrain. Most of the trail sits 10,000 feet above sea level, going in and above forests, with the tallest point at a staggering 13,271 feet in the San Juan Mountains. The trail was established in 1973 and completed in 1987. Today, it’s managed by the Colorado Trail Foundation, a group of dedicated volunteers who keep the trails in good condition throughout the year.

The Sites

While this is a highly sought after path for adventure travelers and nature lovers, many hikers find peaceful solitude along the Colorado Trail simply due to its expansiveness. Parts of the CT are virtually untouched; you might pass through old mining towns frozen in time and ancient Indian trails appear as they did 500 years ago. The mix of these sites and the modern ski resorts sprinkled throughout the mountains make for a stunning contrast, one that reflects the diverse beauty of our state perfectly. The parts of the trail closest to Durango provide a more untouched feel as it’s been less impacted by human interference. Hikers can expect to encounter greater vistas and displays of wildflowers, especially in the springtime.

Views from Hiking the Colorado Trail


The Segments

Because of its sheer magnitude, it can be difficult to know where to even start when hiking the Colorado Trail. There are 28 designated segments to help plan your trek. We have summarized the three segments closest to the Inn. See map of all 28 segments.

Segment 26

  • From Bolam Pass Road to Hotel Draw Road
  • Distance from the Inn: ~ 2 hours (to Bolam Pass Road) or ~ 1.5 hours (to Hotel Draw Road)
  • Trail distance: ~ 11 miles one way
  • Elevation gain: ~ 1,800 feet
  • Activities permitted: hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, hunting, fishing
  • Difficulty level: moderate to strenuous
  • Best time of year to hike: late May through October
  • Quiet, remote, and one of the shortest segments of the CT
Hiking the Colorado Trail

Segment 27:

  • From Hotel Draw Road to Kennebec Trailhead
  • Distance from the Inn: ~ 1.5 hours (to Hotel Draw Road) or ~ 45 mins (to Kennebec Trailhead)
  • Trail distance: ~ 21 miles one way
  • Elevation gain: ~ 4,200 feet
  • Activities permitted: hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, hunting
  • Difficulty level: easy to strenuous
  • Best time of year to hike: late May through October
  • More diverse terrain offering some of the best views found on the CT

Segment 28:

  • From Kennebec Trailhead to Junction Creek Trailhead
  • Distance from the Inn: ~45 mins (to Kennebec Trailhead) or ~ 25 mins (Junction Creek Trailhead)
  • Trail distance: ~ 22 miles one way
  • Elevation gain: ~ 2,000 feet
  • Activities permitted: hiking, mountain biking, trail running, horseback riding, hunting
  • Difficulty level: easy to moderate
  • Best time of year to hike: mid April through October
  • One of the easier, low altitude trails and most beautiful parts of the CT throughout the year, as well as a great spot to enjoy fall foliage.
Hiking the Colorado Trail in the Fall

Whatever you’re looking for on your hiking adventure, the Colorado Trail is sure to exceed your expectations, and we’re more than happy to help you on your journey. Stay with us and add our Take a Hike! package to your reservation to enjoy a picnic lunch and wine along the way. After you rough it out there, come home to Antlers on the Creek, Durango’s luxury address, for some well-deserved R&R.

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