Best time to visit Colorado

Hiking the Colorado Trail

The longest and challenging Colorado hiking adventure

Hiking the Colorado Trail in Colorado 2019 - Best Time
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© John Strother

Colorado is a hiker's paradise, and the Colorado Trail will let you enjoy all its beauty to the fullest. It is a long-distance trail stretching for 782 km (486 miles) from Waterton Canyon southwest of Denver to Durango. Most of the trail lies above 3,000 m or 10,000 feet. Hence the season for the Colorado Trail starts only in July (some parts of it are covered with snow till late June) and runs through September. Late September is likely to bring snowstorms. So the very best time to hike Colorado Trail is early July to mid-September.

Seen on dayhike to top of Mount Sneffels (14,158 ft) in the Uncompahgre National Forest, Colorado. 2019
Seen on dayhike to top of Mount Sneffels (14,158 ft) in the Uncompahgre National Forest, Colorado.
Waterton Canyon 2019
Waterton Canyon

The Colorado Trail goes through eight mountain ranges, six forests, and six wilderness areas. Its highest point is 4,045 m (13,271 ft) at Coney, San Juan Mountains. While on the trail you'll see plenty of wildlife and wildflowers, and of course the views are breathtaking. The western half of The Colorado Trail, between Monarch Pass and Durango, has probably the greatest vistas and wildflowers.

A path just off the Trail Ridge Road 2019
A path just off the Trail Ridge Road
Seen from trail to Redcloud Peak (14,035 ft) in Colorado. 2019
Seen from trail to Redcloud Peak (14,035 ft) in Colorado.

Most thru-hikers start the trail in July and complete it in 4-6 weeks moving from east to west since the eastern part warms up earlier. Mountain biking is permitted along most of the trail, except for six wilderness areas where it is banned.

Waterton Canyon 2019
Waterton Canyon
Colorado
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