Colorado Trail: Segment 27

Durango

A sky-scraping stretch of trail, with incredible views from Indian Trail Ridge.

Mountain Biking Difficult

Distance
33 km
Ascent
1.3 km
Descent
897 m
Duration
3-4 hrs
Low Point
3.2 km
High Point
3.7 km
Gradient
11˚
Colorado Trail: Segment 27 Map

The Colorado Trail (COT) is widely regarded as one of the very best long-distance mountain bike trails in the world. Running for 535 miles between Denver and Durango, the trail crosses high alpine mountain passes and drops into beautiful valleys as it traverses the most beautiful portions of the state of Colorado. The COT forms one-third of the Triple Crown of Bikepacking, along with the Arizona Trail and the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route.

Description

Out of the entire Colorado Trail, arguably the most highly-acclaimed portion is the long stretch running from the town of Silverton to the southern terminus of the trail in Durango. While not technically the highest-elevation portion of the trail, nevertheless this section stays very high in the San Juan Mountain Range.

All along this stretch, the views of the surrounding jagged mountains are incredible, the singletrack is narrow and sinuous, and there’s nary a sign of civilization. Indeed, between departing the town of Silverton and entering the town of Durango, the only sign of human life is the occasional dirt road crossing. Plan accordingly and pack all the gear you’ll need.

Segment 27 of the Colorado Trail runs for 20.6 miles from Hotel Draw Road to the Kennebec Trailhead, climbing a whopping 4,186 feet along the way. The miles will feel like they’re ticking along quickly, as the views from Indian Trail Ridge are to die for! Granted, some through hikers and bikers report going numb to the incredible views that the Colorado Trail affords by the time they reach this section. How many epic mountain top views can you revel in? How many jagged peaks can you photograph? How many wildflowers do you need to take a picture of?

You may just have to bikepack the Colorado Trail and find out!

Sources: http://www.coloradotrail.org/segments.html#24

Difficulty

Difficult

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.

Extreme Exposure

4 out of 4

Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.

Remoteness

4 out of 4

In the high mountains or remote conditions, all individuals must be completely autonomous in every situation.

Best time to visit

July, August, September

Features

  • Flow
  • Technical
  • Hike a bike
  • Roots
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area