Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
3,271.00 ft (997.00 m)
Trail type
16.60 mi (26.72 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 4.

Segment 4 begins just off County Road 68. From the trailhead you’ll begin on what is the start of a long ascent. Soon you will enter the Lost Creek Wilderness area as you continue to climb. The trail is primarily double track through this section.

You’ll pass several seasonal streams as you go, and a couple of great camping areas with room for many tents. The trail continues to follow old double track road until you finally veer off onto single track. The trail then climbs very steeply, and the terrain is quite rocky in areas. Finally you’ll top out and come to a fantastic, cold water source.

You’ll then descend through the forest until the trail again follows an old dirt road. You’ll leave the wilderness behind and make your way down to the North Fork Lost Creek. The terrain opens up and changes drastically as you near. There is also a trailhead here near the trail.

The Colorado Trail then follows near the North Fork of Lost Creek for several miles. Continue gradually uphill though the wide open valley. The terrain undulates as you ascend through the seemingly never ending valley. Thankfully the views are enjoyable. There are also a handful of small streams that flow across the trail throughout this section.

Once you finally reach the top of the valley you’ll again enter the forest. There are some decent areas to camp up top. You’ll then descend down a hill, with a few switchbacks. Segment 4 then ends near Long Gulch Trailhead (where the road can be accessed via a short side trail).

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Trail follows a wide, open meadow/valley for second half of segment.


Long, steep climb to start the segment.

Trailhead Elevation

8,298.00 ft (2,529.23 m)

Highest point

10,905.00 ft (3,323.84 m)


Backcountry camping
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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