Along the Colorado Trail, confidence markers appear, such as the one shown in this photo. They’re place along the trail at intervals to let hikers know that they’re on the right track. Similarly, Love INC IMPACT participants rely on their mentors to let them know that they’re on track to making the changes necessary to transform their lives. Whether we’re hiking on the Colorado Trail, transforming our lives through the IMPACT program, or navigating the trials and temptations of this life, we look and pray for guidance from our mentors and our creator.
Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance. Proverbs 1:5
My brother, Glenn, and I recently hiked segments 4 & 5 of the Colorado Trail. It was a total of 31 miles that we hiked over 3 days, spending two nights camping. This hike featured the Lost Creek Wilderness Area, where the CT confidence Markers aren’t allowed. Fortunately, the trail is well worn and our guide book helped with navigation. This hike brings our total distance hiked so far to 72 miles, over the first 5 segments of the Colorado Trail. We still have a long way to go (414 miles over the remaining 23 segments). We’ve heard that the scenery gets much better beginning with segment #6. We’ve had some real great views already…can’t wait to start the next hike!! Below are some observations from the 3 day hike:
Segment #4: 16.6 miles – 3,271′ elevation gain, 1,373′ elevation loss
07/06/18 – After our high-carb breakfast at the Egg & I, Glenn and I left for Kenosha Pass, where we left a vehicle that we would pick up at the end of our 3 day adventure hiking Segments 4 and 5 of the Colorado Trail. We then drove to the Rolling Creek trailhead 8 miles south of Bailey, the beginning of Segment 4. This part of the trail features the Lost Creek Wilderness Area. We “saddled up” and began the 7 mile climb from 8,279′ to 10,483′. Several miles of the trail followed an abandoned logging road. It was a bit challenging, due to the number of rocks in the trail. The geology changed again from the granite of segments 2 & 3, back to the metamorphic outcrops. We passed 3 ladies hiking together (cause we were walking so fast????). They were 2 sisters and a daughter. One of the sisters lives in Rawlins, WY, so we talked with them for awhile about WY. The other sister and her daughter are from Pittsburgh. They’re planning to hike as far as they can, until they run out of time in early August. Shortly after passing them, we entered the wilderness area. The trail through this section is forested and we passed through a stand of very old aspen trees. Some of them were well over a foot in diameter. In the pine forest, there was everything from an old fallen tree that had been decaying for so long that it was hard to tell that it was a tree, to large live trees and younger offspring. Seemed like a pretty healthy forest. We hiked another 2 miles or so with a slight decline in elevation and found a nice campsite near the North Fork of Lost Creek (about 9 miles in from where we started). We set up camp and soon heard the voices of the ladies we’d seen earlier in the day. They ended up camping at an adjacent campsite for the night. It was Italian night for Glenn and I at Lost Creek and we had some wonderful lasagna with meat sauce for dinner.
Meeting Day Hikers on the Trail
07/07/18 – After a bit of a chilly night, we got up and had some coffee and oatmeal for breakfast. We packed up camp and headed out for day 2 of our latest adventure. Continuing on Segment 4, we began the day hiking a 6 mile stretch of trail that followed a long meadow adjacent to the creek. We gained about 700′ of elevation over the 6 miles. There were more people on the trail that day, maybe because it was a Saturday. Several were doing day hikes over a portion of the Colorado Trail. There was very little shade on this stretch, so we were glad that we hiked it during a cooler part of the day. We were also blessed with some cloud cover during the latter part of the meadow hike. At the top of the meadow, the trail moved once again into a forested area an descended about 700′ in 2 miles to the end of Segment 4. We filled our water bottles from the creek and had lunch there. Salami and cheese as well as a granola bar was on the menu.
Segment #5: 14.6 miles – 1,858′ elevation gain, 2,055′ elevation loss
07/07/18 (cont’d) – During lunch the weather started to threaten, so we put on our rain jackets and headed out on Segment #5. Except for some very light rain, we didn’t need the rain jackets and shed them as soon as the weather cleared. This segment also features a good amount of hiking through the Lost Creek Wilderness Area. Much of the area is a mixed forest of pines and aspen trees. One tree that’s prominent in the area is the Bristlecone Pine. It’s a hearty high altitude tree that adapts well to wind and weather. I recall seeing photos of a lone Bristlecone leaning hard in the down-wind direction on an exposed rocky mountain top. Most of the Bristlecone pines we saw were standing tall and straight. We hiked through this mixed forest, crossing several small streams and covering a little over 5 miles to our camp for the night, giving us a total of about 13 miles for the day. Our camp was on the bank of a small creek, where we could refill our water bottles and had plenty for dinner and breakfast. We had beef stew for dinner and turned in early after a long day of hiking.
Kenosha Pass and the South Park Panorama
07/08/18 – the overnight temperatures weren’t quite as low as the previous night, so I slept pretty well. After breakfast, we packed up again and began our 3rd day of hiking which would take us to our stopping point at Kenosha Pass. The first 2 miles were downhill and took us to Rock Creek, where we got water and began a climb from 9,500′ to 10,400′ over about 5 miles. From the top, there was an amazing panorama of South Park and the Continental Divide. As we got closer to Kenosha Pass, we saw a lot more people out for a day in the mountains. Some carried a picnic lunch, while others were just out for a brief hike. After a lunch stop, we descended about 400′ to Kenosha Pass over the last 2 miles. Once again, we passed through a large stand of big aspen trees. It’s a cool view, looking through that part of the forest. We got to the car and retrieved the car we’d left at the beginning of the hike and stopped at the Bucksnort Saloon near Pine Junction for a really good burger!!! Looking forward to Segment #6. We’ve heard a lot of good reports about how pretty the next few segments are.