Pets allowed
Elevation Gain
2,627.00 ft (800.71 m)
Trail type
13.60 mi (21.89 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 10.

Segment 10 is a short segment of the Colorado Trail that offers relatively mellow hiking and mostly forested terrain with some beautiful mountain streams. Toward the end of the segment there is also an opportunity to summit Mount Massive, the second tallest peak in the state at an elevation of 14,428 feet.

Segment 10 begins at the Timberline Lake Trailhead. This popular trailhead is not located directly on the lake. You’ll likely see quite a few cars parked here, especially if visiting on a weekend. After leaving the trailhead you’ll soon cross Glacier Creek and Busk Creek, two impressive and scenic mountain streams.

You’ll then begin a climb that leads to the Mount Massive Wilderness Boundary. The trail then contours around Bald Eagle Mountain, followed by a descent and then another climb. The trail continues to stay in mostly frosted terrain, but there is the occasional view. At one point you’ll be able to see down to the valley below and the town of Leadville (the highest incorporated city in America at an elevation of 10,200 feet).

After a bit more climbing you’ll top out on a ridge then descend slightly. Just after this and to the right is the Mt Massive Trail. If you wish to make the side trip up to the second tallest peak in Colorado turn right. Otherwise continue straight on the Colorado Trail.

The trail then gradually descends to the end of the segment near the Mt Massive Trailhead. Along the way you’ll have some good views of Mt Elbert, the tallest mountain in Colorado. When you reach Halfmoon Road that marks the end of Segment 10.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Nice forested hiking with beautiful mountain streams. Option to side trip up Mt Massive.


Limited views.

Trailhead Elevation

10,053.00 ft (3,064.15 m)

Highest point

11,284.00 ft (3,439.36 m)


Backcountry camping
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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