Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
1,860.00 ft (566.93 m)
Trail type
15.00 mi (24.14 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 5.

Segment 5 begins near Long Gulch Trailhead. A short side trail leads from the road to the Colorado Trail. Hikers will immediately enter the Lost Creek Wilderness Area. The hiking is fairly easy through nice, forested terrain with several good water sources along this stretch.

The terrain will soon open up unto more grassy meadow areas, and you’ll begin to have some great views. You’ll have a gradual but steady descent down until you leave the Lost Creek Wilderness.

Next you’ll cross over Rock Creek and begin to enter some cow pasture land. The scenery is still quite nice though. The trail then climbs up to Rock Creek Trailhead, followed by a descent down to Johnson Gulch.

You’ll then ascend and begin to have more fantastic views down toward Jefferson and the valley flatlands, and of the massive mountains in the distance. The open terrain is enjoyable hiking. Eventually you’ll begin to make your way back into the forest, but this time it’s an aspen forest. This stretch may just be the most beautiful aspen forest on the entire Colorado Trail.

You’ll descend slightly, then follow the gravel road out to Highway 285 and Kenosha Pass. This marks the end of Segment 5.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Some great views. Lost Creek Wilderness. Lovely aspen forest.

Trailhead Elevation

10,210.00 ft (3,112.01 m)

Highest point

10,505.00 ft (3,201.92 m)


Backcountry camping
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required




Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.