2018 Progress Summary: During 2018, hikes of segments 1 through 8 were completed, for a total of 142.6 miles. The total elevation gain was 25,703′ and the total elevation loss was 20,800′. At the end of the 2018 hiking season, 342 miles remained to reach Durango.
A Start to 2019 Hiking: There’s still a lot of snow at higher elevations, and much of the Colorado Trail remains impassable. In fact, as I write this, summer snow is falling in the Colorado mountains! I’ve been anxious to get on the trail since early May, but folks from the Colorado Trail Foundation are saying it might be mid- to late-July before some of the highest elevation sections will be passable.
Segments #13 (partial) and #14: 36.6 miles – 5,844′ elevation gain, 6,380′ elevation loss
My engineering brain is screaming to do the segments in order, but alas, segment 9 (the next segment in the sequence) reaches an elevation of about 11,700′, and may not be passable for several weeks. With snow levels around 1,000′ lower than that, the logical decision was to jump forward and hike some 58 miles on lower elevation segments, giving the snowpack some time to melt off. So, we hiked the 16.2 mile, low elevation portion of segment 13 (leaving 6.6 miles of 13 to do another day), and all of segment 14 (20.4 miles). We then bounced back and tackled segment 11 (21.5 miles). We hope to fill in the blanks on the higher segments during our next outing.
6/17/19 – Brother Glenn and I left the house at 6 am to make the 2.5 hour drive to the Avalanche Trailhead a few miles west of Buena Vista (pronounced Byoona Vista by the locals). There we met up with Mark Ely, who lives in nearby Salida. Leaving both vehicles there, the three of us hit the trail. We quickly saw why the trailhead is named “Avalanche”. Right away, we encountered a large field of Avalanche debris.
Jerry Hertzler Click here for the Pledge form