Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
2,482.00 ft (756.51 m)
Trail type
11.50 mi (18.51 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.

Completed in 1987, the Colorado Trail stretches 485 magnificent miles from Denver to Durango. Along the way it meanders through high alpine mountains and valleys, offering a glimpse at some of the finest terrain Colorado has to offer. It traverses eight mountain ranges, six wilderness areas and stays above 10,000’ for the majority of the trail. Highlights include the Collegiate Range, where multiple 14ers are just off trail and can easily be climbed, and the San Juans, where the trail remains above tree line for days at a time and climbs to elevations of over 13,000’. There is also abundant wildlife along the Colorado Trail, ranging in size from small pika and marmot, to bear and moose.

The trail is divided into 28 different segments, each beginning at a trailhead accessible by vehicle. This accessibility is what makes the Colorado Trail special. Day hikers and section hikers can easily find their way to new segments of trail, while thru hikers can still enjoy a wild and rugged four to six week journey. Below is a description for Colorado Trail Segment 2.

Segment 2 begins at the South Platte River. This segment is the first real challenge for southbound thru hikers. A hot and exposed climb up from the river awaits, and it is 10 miles without water. Underprepared hikers can find themselves struggling through this segment.

After crossing the South Platte via footbridge you’ll begin the ascent. The trail works its way up some nice switchbacks but does climb steeply. As you continue the switchbacks go away and you’ll begin to get into more open and exposed terrain.

Although somewhat barren, this section of trail really does have a beauty to it. Continue onward through the rolling terrain. The trail continues to gain elevation, but will mellow out as you near County Road 126. There are also great views around here and some cool rocky outcroppings in the distance.

When you get to County Road 126 look for the fire station to your right. This is the first water since leaving the South Platte River. Walk to the far side of the fire station where you’ll find a spigot.

The trail then parallels the road for a bit before crossing it. You’ll follow a dirt road (easy hiking) for the remainder of the segment. Segment 2 ends when you reach Little Scraggy Trailhead.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Very open and unique landscape with some good views.


Steep, hot and exposed climb up from South Platte River with no water.

Trailhead Elevation

6,126.00 ft (1,867.20 m)

Highest point

7,771.00 ft (2,368.60 m)


Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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