Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
3,674.00 ft (1,119.84 m)
Trail type
Shuttle
Distance
12.80 mi (20.60 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 Juan Mountains, 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 7.

 

Colorado Trail Segment 7

Goldhill Trailhead to Copper Mountain

 

Segment 7 begins at Goldhill Trailhead, just off Highway 9 and located halfway between Breckenridge and Frisco. While parking is available, a free shuttle system runs daily between many of the local towns and is a convenient option for those looking to avoid driving (or looking to get back to their vehicle after a hike). The trail begins by climbing through a clear cut forest. This area has recently been decimated by beetle-kill, sadly a common sight along the Colorado Trail. After a brief descent, the trail continues to climb, often steeply, as it heads through a burn area and towards Miners Creek. Eventually, after one last steep climb, the trail comes to an incredible vista with views of nearby Dillon Reservoir, and of course the ever nearing Ten Mile Range.

From this point onward segment 7 is simply stunning. Before long you’ll crest the ridge of the Ten Mile Range, right in-between Peak 5 and Peak 6. The views from here are spectacular and stretch for miles in every direction. In addition to being able to see the rest of the Ten Mile Range stretching to the south, you can also see the ski resorts of Breckenridge to the east and Copper Mountain to the west. 

The trail follows this ridge for a short distance before beginning the long descent to Copper Mountain. You’ll reach a junction with the Wheeler Trail and follow it down all the way to the highway. As you near the end of this segment, keep an eye out for the remnants of a recent avalanche. Trees lie strewn and mangled throughout a valley, showcasing the incredible power of this natural phenomenon. Shortly thereafter you’ll reach Highway 91 and the end of segment 7.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

None

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Scenic views.

Cons

Steep climb and descent. Busy on weekends.

Trailhead Elevation

9,180.00 ft (2,798.06 m)

Highest point

12,495.00 ft (3,808.48 m)

Features

Backcountry camping
Wildlife
Big vistas
Big Game Watching
Horseback riding
Wildflowers
Bird watching

Typically multi-day

Yes

Suitable for

Biking
Horseback

Permit required

No

Location

Nearby Adventures

Horseshoe Gulch, Hay Trail, Red Trail + Colorado Trail
Gore + Mosquito Range, Colorado

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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