26 routes · Mountain Biking
Colorado Trail Segment 23: Carson Saddle to Stony Pass Trailhead
One of the most remote, highest-elevation, and drop-dead-gorgeous sections of the Colorado Trail.
Mountain Biking Difficult
- 25 km
- 1 km
- 1 km
- Low Point
- 3.6 km
- High Point
- 4 km
According to ColoradoTrail.org, Segment 23 runs 15.9 miles and gains 3,515 feet of elevation from Carson Saddle to Stony Pass Trailhead. A continuation of the high altitude section begun in Segment 22, according to DownTheTrail.com this zone of the Colorado Trail doesn’t drop "below 12,000 feet for over 30 continuous miles, not even once."
The continued high elevation trail lends itself to epic views, singletrack alternating between flow and rock, and extended hike-a-bike sections. "The trail reaches a high point and rounds a bend with a new view. Again I’m struck by the area’s raw beauty,” writes Jamie Compos. "Around each corner there’s just more of the same – these tundra basins flanked by gently curving ridges, morphing into scree slopes crowned with rocky outcrops.”
This area of the Colorado Trail is exceedingly remote, with Lake City and Silverton being the only spots to refuel or get help. And both of those towns are separated by miles and miles of some of the most rugged terrain you may ever mountain bike. If attempting to thru bikepack this section, make sure you’re prepared.
Mostly stable trail tread with some variability featuring larger and more unavoidable obstacles that may include, but not be limited to: bigger stones, roots, steps, and narrow curves. Compared to lower intermediate, technical difficulty is more advanced and grades of slopes are steeper. Ideal for upper intermediate riders.
Best time to visit
- Hike a bike
- Rock Gardens