10 Tips for “Bikepacking” the Colorado Trail

Bikepacking the Colorado Trail has become an exciting sport in the last few years. Bikepacking is all about combining the exciting sports of hiking and biking, so that you can have a multi-day adventure and explore a wider range of landscapes.

The recent innovations in lightweight bicycles and equipment have made this sport even more popular – it’s now easier than ever to carry your bike and everything you need on your journey. Bikepacking allows you to cover more ground than you could on a hike, so that you can see more of the beautiful countryside.

The Colorado Trail is a favorite among bikepackers, as it offers 485 miles of gorgeous scenery with plenty of exciting challenges along the way. It stretches from Durango to Denver, gaining 70,000 vertical feet and reaching up to 13,000 feet in elevation.

If you are planning on tackling this endeavor, here are some tips for bikepacking the Colorado Trail:

  1. Make sure that you give yourself a chance to get acclimated to the high altitude in the mountains of Colorado before you begin. If you aren’t used to it, the altitude can cause headaches, dizziness and altitude sickness. You’ll spend a lot of time on the trail along the timberline, which is around 12,000 feet in Colorado.
  2. bikepacking durango co The importance of packing light cannot be emphasized too much. You’ll feel every extra unnecessary pound when you have been on the trail for a while.
  3. There are no possibilities for food drops on the Colorado Trail, so you will need to stock up on food while you are at grocery stores at towns along the way. Utilize healthy food choices at organic stores like Nature’s Oasis in Durango.
  4. Take the opportunity to restock on gear when you travel through a town. Durango has several stores and bike shops with outdoor gear that will offer everything you need on your travels.
  5. Pack lots of portable, non-perishable food that is high in calories, protein and energy such as granola bars, peanuts, raisins and chocolate bars. Cheese is great because it’s small and calorically dense.
  6. Social media can be a very valuable resource for the bikepacker. Find Facebook groups or online forums related to the activity where you can ask questions of others who have done it before. And be sure to share your journey with @Durangocom. (We’d love to join you on your trip)
  7. Be aware that bikes are not allowed in the National Wilderness Areas of the Colorado Trail, so the biking route you will need to take will have five paved and dirt road detours and these will increase the total mileage to over 535 miles.
  8. When you are making your plans, always give yourself a couple of extra days of wiggle room. Things can go wrong and the trail can take longer than you think. Weather can also be a huge obstacle.
  9. Carry a map and a GPS with you at all times, as well as plenty of spare batteries. You can make sure that you are staying on track and avoid backtracking.
  10. Always make sure that you have a backup lighter flint, so that if you lose your first one you will still be able to make a fire even when you are miles away from the nearest store.

These are just some survival tips to help you when you’re bikepacking the Colorado Trail from Durango to Denver.

Article and images originally posted at Durango.com written by Jessica Bookstaff Doppelt.

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