Colorado Trail – Day 33

September 6, 2013

Miles Hiked: 17.5
Total Miles: 399
Segments: ​​23, 24

Last night wasn’t much fun sleeping on the ground. Incredibly uncomfortable. My gear is definitely not setup to sleep on the ground. However, I was warm. There was frost on my pack when I finally climbed out of my ground-hammock. Still hiking with Lott. We left camp at about 8:40am. Today’s goal was to make it below treeline in segment 24. There were a lot of several hundred foot ups and downs. All the time well above treeline. There were many gorgeous views all day. The San Juan Mountains truly is the prettiest portion of the trail. I took a ton of pictures; sometimes it felt like it was slowing us down but I know I would regret it later if I didn’t take pictures. We made it through segment 23. At the start of 24 there was an old mine that still had tracks leading up to it. The start of 24 wasn’t so bad but there was a very long uphill and seemingly never ending hike to reach the split of the Continental Divide Trail and the Colorado Trail. The 2 trails are no longer overlapping. On the way to the trail split we came across a large herd of sheep. They were spread across what seemed like miles with a nice mountain backdrop. There were a few sheep dogs running around. They barked at us… intruders. We finally reached the point on segment 24 where there is a ravine which leads the trail below treeline. It was raining by this time and the wind picking up. Just before descending we came across 2 girls: Helen and Alex. They were thru hiking the CT, heading north. Seems like a very late start, hope they like the cold and snow. As we headed down there was a series of many many switch backs which were tightly grouped. The ravine is absolutely gorgeous. Several old mines and a mine shack. A creek down the middle with awesome mountains on each side. Many waterfalls coming off the mountain. It rained steadily as we descended through the ravine. I sure wish it wasn’t raining so I could see better and take more pictures. This ravine is probably the best portion of the trail yet. We made camp in the ravine. I’m happily hanging between 2 trees again. Much better than the ground. Tomorrow we continue downhill for about 7 miles and then start a steep ascent. About 12 miles tomorrow will get us to the Silverton access point where we can hitch a ride into Silverton. There have been amazing views the last several days. Hopefully that continues until Durango. I can hear elk bugling. I’m ready for a night in Silverton before the final push to Durango.

⇐ Day 32​​Day 34 ⇒

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A large herd of sheep. It extended well past this hill.

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Splitting of The Colorado Trail and the Continental Divide Trail

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Descending into Elk Creek ravine. Notice all the switchbacks.

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⇐ Day 32​​Day 34 ⇒