Guidebook

Mountain Bike the Breathtaking Colorado Trail

The entirety of the Colorado Trail with mountain biking-specific Wilderness detours, running in the Denver to Durango direction.

Description

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.

Colorado Trail: Denver to Buffalo Creek

Colorado Trail: Denver to Buffalo Creek

63.0 km
The beginning of the iconic Colorado Trail runs for miles before being interrupted by a Wilderness area.
Private
Colorado Trail: Lost Creek Wilderness Bypass

Colorado Trail: Lost Creek Wilderness Bypass

Buffalo Creek
112.7 km
A gravel road portion of the route along the edge of the expansive South Park Valley.
Private
Colorado Trail: Kenosha Pass to Lost Creek Wilderness Out-and-Back

Colorado Trail: Kenosha Pass to Lost Creek Wilderness Out-and-Back

Salida
23.1 km
A scenic Colorado Trail segment that's worthy of its own out-and-back ride.
Private
Colorado Trail: Kenosha Pass to Breckenridge

Colorado Trail: Kenosha Pass to Breckenridge

Salida
51.2 km
This beautiful section of the Colorado Trail offers high-quality bike-legal singletrack the entire way, making for an ambitious day ride or an excellent portion of a bikepacking route.
Private
Colorado Trail: Miner's Creek Segment

Colorado Trail: Miner's Creek Segment

Salida
23.0 km
This brutal segment of the Colorado Trail is best enjoyed on a long-travel enduro bike.
Private
Colorado Trail: Ten Mile Range Bypass

Colorado Trail: Ten Mile Range Bypass

19.6 km
Many Colorado Trail bikepackers opt to bypass around the ultra-steep Ten Mile Range using this route.
Private
Colorado Trail: Searle Pass and Kokomo Pass

Colorado Trail: Searle Pass and Kokomo Pass

Salida
28.5 km
One of the best sections of high alpine singletrack in the state of Colorado!
Private
Colorado Trail: Camp Hale to Tennessee Pass

Colorado Trail: Camp Hale to Tennessee Pass

Salida
11.0 km
A delightful stretch of smooth, serpentine singletrack.
Private
Colorado Trail: Tennessee Pass to Holy Cross Wilderness Out-and-Back

Colorado Trail: Tennessee Pass to Holy Cross Wilderness Out-and-Back

Salida
20.7 km
A buff, flowy out-and-back on the Colorado Trail with a rocky finish.
Private
Colorado Trail: Holy Cross and Mount Massive Wilderness Bypass

Colorado Trail: Holy Cross and Mount Massive Wilderness Bypass

Salida
33.9 km
A lengthy road bypass around the Holy Cross and Mount Massive Wilderness areas.
Private
Colorado Trail: Mount Massive Wilderness to Twin Lakes

Colorado Trail: Mount Massive Wilderness to Twin Lakes

Salida
20.1 km
A remote stretch of the Colorado Trail along the flanks of Mount Elbert.
Private
Colorado Trail: Twin Lakes to Clear Creek Reservoir

Colorado Trail: Twin Lakes to Clear Creek Reservoir

Salida
14.2 km
Pedal through a grove of towering aspen trees that turn a beautiful gold in the fall.
Private
Colorado Trail: Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Bypass

Colorado Trail: Collegiate Peaks Wilderness Bypass

Buena Vista
40.0 km
Combination of paved and dirt roads to bypass around the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness.
Private
Colorado Trail: Highway 50 to Cottonwood Pass

Colorado Trail: Highway 50 to Cottonwood Pass

Salida
59.0 km
A long segment of the Colorado Trail running along the west side of the Arkansas Valley that provides flowy singletrack punctuated by steep climbs and descents.
Private
Fooses Creek Descent

Fooses Creek Descent

Salida
13.8 km
The shortest Monarch Crest descent is also one of the rowdiest!
Private
Monarch Crest

Monarch Crest

Salida
57.1 km
This epic trail provides high alpine ridge top riding at treeline with views for hundreds of miles in all directions, finishing with a ripping descent down the mountain.
Private
Colorado Trail: Sargents Mesa

Colorado Trail: Sargents Mesa

Salida
56.1 km
Widely regarded as the worst section of the Colorado Trail.
Private
Colorado Trail: Cochetopa Hills

Colorado Trail: Cochetopa Hills

Gunnison
20.0 km
An obscure section of the Colorado Trail running along a combination of dirt roads and rugged singletrack.
Private
Colorado Trail: La Garita Bypass

Colorado Trail: La Garita Bypass

Gunnison
89.6 km
A road bypass around the La Garita Wilderness.
Private
Colorado Trail Segment 22: Spring Creek Pass Trailhead to Carson Saddle

Colorado Trail Segment 22: Spring Creek Pass Trailhead to Carson Saddle

27.5 km
The highest segment of the Colorado Trail, topping out at 13,271 feet, is breathtakingly beautiful!
Private
Colorado Trail Segment 23: Carson Saddle to Stony Pass Trailhead

Colorado Trail Segment 23: Carson Saddle to Stony Pass Trailhead

25.0 km
One of the most remote, highest-elevation, and drop-dead-gorgeous sections of the Colorado Trail.
Private
Colorado Trail: Weminuche Wilderness Bypass

Colorado Trail: Weminuche Wilderness Bypass

28.5 km
Bike-specific bypass around the Weminuche Wilderness.
Private
Colorado Trail: Molas Pass to Engineer Mountain

Colorado Trail: Molas Pass to Engineer Mountain

Durango
32.5 km
The inaugural segment of the famous Silverton to Durango stretch of the Colorado Trail.
Private
Colorado Trail Segment 26: Blackhawk Pass

Colorado Trail Segment 26: Blackhawk Pass

Durango
17.9 km
A stunningly beautiful section of the Colorado Trail running through the rugged San Juan Mountains.
Private
Colorado Trail: Segment 27

Colorado Trail: Segment 27

Durango
33.2 km
A sky-scraping stretch of trail, with incredible views from Indian Trail Ridge.
Private
Colorado Trail: Kennebec Pass to Durango

Colorado Trail: Kennebec Pass to Durango

Durango
43.5 km
Kennebec Pass to Durango is a ripping enduro-style descent starting high above tree line and dropping down gnarly singletrack all the way to town.
Private