Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
4,268.00 ft (1,300.89 m)
Trail type
Shuttle
Distance
22.60 mi (36.37 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Colorado Trail: Segment 13 is a 22.6-mile point-to-point segment of the Colorado Trail that runs from the Silver Creek Trailhead to the Chalk Creek Trailhead. This segment begins with a steep climb up to the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness and then onto a scenic saddle along Mount Yale's east ridge. After leaving the wilderness, it contours around the base of Mount Princeton. There are scenic vistas, opportunities for peak bagging, and Princeton Hot Springs, where you can take a relaxing dip. 

The Colorado Trail is a long distance trail that spans 485 miles from Denver to Durango traversing through the Colorado Rocky Mountains. A majority of the trail is located at a high altitude, with an average elevation of 10,000 feet. It is a multi-use trail that is open to hikers, backpackers, equestrians, and mountain bikers in certain areas (bicycles are prohibited in designated wilderness areas.

PEAK BAGGING

During this segment of the Colorado Trail, you can access the following 14ers:

  • Mount Yale (14,200’)

  • Mount Princeton (14,204’)

MOUNT PRINCETON HOT SPRINGS RESORT

The Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort is a great place to take a relaxing dip and rest your hard working muscles! They offer overnight accommodations and day passes for the pools. For more information please visit https://mtprinceton.com/project/colorado-trail-north-south/

MILES AND WAYPOINTS

00.00 - Start 

02.70 - Wilderness boundary

06.30 - Wilderness boundary / Avalanche Trailhead

16.50 - Mount Princeton Trail junction.

19.50 - Mount Princeton Hot Springs.

22.60 - End

COLLEGIATE LOOP

This segment is part of the 160-mile Collegiate Loop. Completing the entire loop is an adventure in and of itself, and many thru-hikers add it on to their overall trip. For more information about the Collegiate Loop visit ​​https://coloradotrail.org/traveling-the-ct/collegiate-east-west/.  

WATER

There is plenty of water along this segment, though you should still treat it before drinking.

BICYCLES

Bicycles can rejoin the Colorado Trail once it returns from within the wilderness boundary.  

SHUTTLE ACCESS

This segment is accessible by car from the following access points:

  • Silver Creek Trailhead

  • Avalanche Trailhead - Located off Cottonwood Pass Road.

  • Cottonwood Lake Road Access

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Colorado Trail Foundation

USFS - Collegiate Peaks Wilderness

Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort

Logistics + Planning

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Peak bagging. Scenic vistas. Hot Springs.

Cons

Some road walking.

Trailhead Elevation

9,411.00 ft (2,868.47 m)

Highest point

11,858.00 ft (3,614.32 m)

Features

Wildlife
Backcountry camping
Big vistas
Wildflowers

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Nearby Adventures

Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area
Sawatch Range + Elk Mountains, Colorado
Sawatch Range + Elk Mountains, Colorado

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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