There is something majestic about the rugged hiking trails of Colorado. With 23 drop-off spots, each offering amazing views and challenges, hiking those trails truly makes a life-changing experience. There is so much to explore and more to discover. With only a few days up your sleeve, finding the best 3 days Colorado trail suggestion and planning can come handy.
Suggested 3-Day Colorado Trail Hikes
It is important to gauge your skills, level of fitness and hiking preferenes when planning a Colorado Trail quick adventure. With just 3 days on your calendar, it is simply impossible to cover a lot of mileage without any rest. You need to be ready for the long haul ahead and in doing so, you will also need to come prepared as things can suddenly go awry while on the trail.
When thinking of doing a 3-day adventure of a lifetime, you can choose various circuits to tickle your adrenaline-filled fancy. There’s the Continental Divide Loop right off the Rocky Mountain National Park. You can start off the Tonahutu-North Inlet Trailhead then, go East on the North Inlet Trail and then, the Flattop Mountain. Continue to the Continental Divide Scenic Trail unto the Tonahutu Creek Trail and vice versa.
Then, there’s the 40-mile Capitol Creek Circuit, Eaglesmere-Surprise Lake Loop, Weminuche Pass-Granite Lakes & Continental Divide Semi-Loop or the Lost Creek Loop. So whether you meant to just see the melting snow caps on the high peaks or simply breathe in the piney mountain air or sit back and relax listening to gurgling rivers and brooks as you traverse those trails right beneath star-studded skies, these tips below can come handy.
1. It’s all about the planning. Hiking the Rockies is no easy feat. While you may have limited your hiking plans to a mere 3 days, it is essential to plan ahead. You need to be abreast with the trail’s inclement weather, its challenging terrain, safe water sources, food sources, high altitude, hiking gear and equipment, defense in the wild, and so on. Map out your trip according to your fitness level and skills. With various apps and online sources to map out your Colorado hike grid, enjoying a memorable trip may be at hand.
2. Brush up on your geography. The Colorado Hiking Trail is not all mountains and snow peaks. There are flat, rolling plains as there are sharp rocky and snowy peaks. Then, there’s an arid scenery of buttes, mesas and canyons. Keep in mind that the Rockies is the very epitome of how magical nature is. Dividing the Pacific and Atlantic watersheds, these awe-inspiring areas make the popular Continental Divide. Learning on where you go and what to expect ultimately leans on knowing about the area you have chosen for the hike.
3. Be wary of altitude sickness. The fun and excitement always happen on top of the Colorado Trail. Known for its high altitude, hiking for days on the Rockies will expose you not only to severe weather conditions, dehydration, and waterborne parasites but most often to altitude sickness. From shortness of breath, nausea and headache, it can go worst with a nosebleed or disorientation leading to accidents. If this is your first time to hike there, it is wise to give your body needed time to adjust. As much as possible, climb high and sleep low. Feel free to scale the mountains during daytime but make sure to camp at a lower altitude during rest time.
Of lightnings and thunderstorms. The Rockies are also notorious for thunderstorms and jaw-dropping lightning. Thunderstorms typically form around early noon time as the airflow across the North American region get infused with strong day heat can. The problem, however, is not just about accompanying lightning or the thunderstorm per se.
At times, such phenomenon can bring in strong winds, torrential downpour, hail or even a tornado. Prevent becoming one of the statistics by carefully choosing your hike time and location. Seek shelter but avoid isolated trees, cave entrance, open pits, and rock outcrops. Spread out if you’re hiking with other people, too. When the inevitable happens, simply crouch down and make yourself less targeted as possible.
4. Ditch the cold. Hypothermia kills. While a 3-day Colorado Trail hike may seem like a short course, getting yourself frosty out there can only take a few minutes. One of the common causes of hypothermia is inadequate clothing as well as ineffective waterproofing. Take note on the list of clothing acceptable when traversing those trails. Be prepared, too, as what may start as a sunny escapade can easily turn into a Winter Wonderland in just a matter of seconds.
6. Treat your water right. Even when on a 3-day hike only, it is pretty impractical to have gallons of water with you. Make good use of streams, rivers, or perhaps, alpine lakes. These are excellent sources of drinking water allowing you to hydrate successfully. Simply bring along a Lifestraw to know the difference– and pack less than intended.
Note: Some lakes and streams in the CT can be infested with miniscule waterborne parasites called Giardia. Take time to boil or purify your water to help prepare for the long haul ahead.
7. Come prepared or don’t go at all. Always have adequate gear when deciding to do any of the hiking trails mentioned above. Most important aspects are– sleeping accommodations, shelter, food, and so on. Sleeping bag must be waterproof and insulated from the cold. A good tent that’s easy to set-up will most definitely fit the bill. Other needs include: a good backpack, sleeping bag/pad, camp stove or gas fire-making materials, shoe wear, and so on. A good topographic map on your destination of choice will ultimately make the hiking activity more fun and entertaining.
Joy and bliss overload will be felt by many who enjoy the 3 days Colorado Trail suggestion and planning. It’s a dream come true to most anyone that have gone through those various trails mentioned getting nothing in return. With the right planning and implementation of the proposed scheme, you can finally rest easy knowing that you got yourself appropriate protection needed. Cheers!