August 22nd-26th, 2021
After a covid delay in 2020 we headed out to finish our final section of the Colorado Trail in August of 2021. The three of us met up in Durango and spent an afternoon doing our final preparations for the trip. In the morning we took a shuttle from Durango to Hwy 114. The drive was pleasant and our driver gave us a 400 level course in the ins and outs of the Colorado cannabis industry.
Day 1 was pleasant hiking with mild terrain, we arrived at our designated site much earlier than we’d planned. The combination of first day excitement and easy road walking made for a speedy pace. We set our tents up in the trees next to a large meadow, and enjoyed the afternoon sun. It felt really good to be back on the Colorado Trail.
We’d started off this section at nearly 10,000′, which for Katie and myself was 5000′ above the elevation that we live, and for Torsten it was 9,950′ higher than he was used to. Needless to say he could feel the altitude from day 1. On the third day we began to climb even higher into the mountains. We climbed up and over the 12,000′ mark, where we’d spend the majority of our time for the rest of the trip.
The evening of our fourth day we found a great campsite near Middle Mineral creek. Just up creek from our site we watched beavers working away at a damn. They would dive beneath the water and come back to the surface with small sticks, which they’d weave into the existing damn. A few times our curiosity brought as a little too close to their worksite, they’d warn us with a loud thwack of their tails against the still water of the pond.
On the fifth day we woke early in order to get to Spring Creek Pass, where the trail crosses Hwy 149. We’d heard rumors that if we made it to the pass by noon, there was a daily shuttle that would take us the 17 road miles into town. That was all the motivation that we needed to hit the trail early. We were hiking up the first hill with just the lights from our headlamps. Our early rise paid off with some of the most beautiful views of the trip. The morning light slowly unveiled the trail ahead. Pinks, purples, and the first kisses of the days sun welcomed us to the top of the pass.
When we arrived at Hwy 149 we were welcomed with an amazing spread of trail magic. A large group of nobo and sobo hikers had gathered to enjoy hotdogs, cold drinks, salty chips, and lots of laughs. It was one of those magical trail moments where you find yourself perfectly content, sitting amongst a group of amazing people sharing stories of adventure. Around noon our shuttle arrived and we piled into the back of the dark green pickup truck. The scenery was spectacular heading down into Lake City. Stuffed in the back of the pickup truck we were a bunch of happy hikers headed town. The cold air along with a few raindrops wasn’t going to dampen our spirits. The truck pulled off the main drag in Lake City and dropped us off at a small community park. Time for food, showers, and relaxation.
Welcome to Lake City!