Colorado Trail thru hike – Logistics & Costs

If you’ve been following our blog recently, you’ll know we had a great Summer (2018) cycling from AZ to CO (almost 1,000 miles) and then hiking the (485 mile) Colorado Trail.

In this post, we’ll share with you some of the costs, logistics & gear which we used for the Colorado Trail.

  • Start date – Waterton Canyon, Denver, CO: Thursday June 21st, 2018
  • End date – Durango, CO: Thursday August 2nd, 2018
  • Total time spent on this adventure: 6 weeks
  • Zero days: 3
  • Nights spent in town (Airbnb, hostel, hotel, motel): 6

 

Mileage Data:

  • June 21 11.2 miles (from Waterton Canyon)
  • June 22 16 miles
  • June 23 12 miles
  • June 24 7 miles
  • June 25 16.1 miles
  • June 26 9 miles
  • June 27 11 miles
  • June 28 15 miles
  • June 29 3 miles
  • June 30 0 miles
  • July 1st 0 miles
  • July 2nd 13 miles
  • July 3rd 15 miles
  • July 4th 7 miles
  • July 5th 6.5 miles
  • July 6th 13.5 miles
  • July 7th 15 miles
  • July 8th 16.5 miles
  • July 9th 15 miles
  • July 10th 9 miles
  • July 11th 13.5 miles
  • July 12th 15 miles
  • July 13th 6.5 miles
  • July 14th 17.5 miles
  • July 15th 11 miles
  • July 16th 15.4 miles
  • July 17th 5 miles
  • July 18th 0 miles
  • July 19th 9 miles
  • July 20th 19.5 miles
  • July 21st 8 miles
  • July 22nd 9 miles
  • July 23rd 11 miles
  • July 24th 8.7 miles
  • July 25th 10 miles
  • July 26th 12 miles
  • July 27th 17 miles
  • July 28th 6 miles
  • July 29th 14.8 miles
  • July 30th 16 miles
  • July 31st 20.3 miles
  • August 1st 18 miles
  • August 2nd 4.5 miles (to Durango trail terminus)

 

Resupply towns & costs:

We didn’t plan on doing the Colorado Trail and so, we didn’t have any mail drops or food boxes along the way. We got all our necessary supplies in the towns which we stopped in en-route. Here’s some detail on those towns & the associated costs (these are the costs for 2 people):

  • 1st resupply: MM 71.7 / Fairplay – $80 groceries (no overnight)
  • 2nd resupply: MM 104.4 / Dillon – $90 groceries & $105 eating out with friends & $210 for 3 x Airbnb nights
  • 3rd resupply: MM 143 / Leadville – $139 groceries & $423 spent at Melanzana & $18 lunch (no overnight)
  • 4th resupply: MM 216.3 / Buena Vista – $79 groceries (no overnight)
  • 5th resupply: MM 252.9 / Salida (although we did stop at MM 230 / Mt Princeton Hot Springs for a soak, which costs $40, no overnight) – $62 groceries & $21 lunch (no overnight)
  • 6th resupply: MM 302.8 / Gunnison – $193 groceries & $83 eating out & $121 for 2 x hostel nights
  • 7th resupply: MM 357.8 / Lake City – $75 groceries & $34 eating out & $152 x 1 night motel
  • 8th & final resupply: MM 411.1 / Silverton – $167 groceries & $45 eating out & $72 for 1 x hostel night & laundry

 

  • Total spent on groceries during thru hike (incl. $125 worth of groceries, which we started with in Waterton Canyon): $1,010 ($168/wk. or $24/day ($12/day/per person).
  • Total spent on eating out during thru hike: $306
  • Total spent on accommodation during thru hike: $549
  • Total spent on misc.: $40 soak at Mt Princeton Hot Springs & $423 on clothing at Melanzana in Leadville & $12 Laundry costs & $19 mailing costs (shipping some items home from Leadville)
  • TOTAL COSTS FOR HIKE (not incl. gear): $2,359 ($28/day/per person)

 

As you can see from the data above, the groceries were quite expensive in a lot of these small Colorado towns…we weren’t eating anything fancy…town stops always included a bunch of salad and fruit-eating at the grocery store, plus the usual hiker supplies of snickers, pop tarts, ramen, nutella etc. but, the prices vary wildly (eg. we paid $1.50 per box of Couscous in some places & $3.99 per box in others). The only ‘fresh food’ we usually left town with, was cheese, summer sausage, apples & bread.

If we had planned our hike of the Colorado Trail ahead of time, we would have sent food boxes ahead to the smaller towns like Lake City perhaps, especially as Dominic prefers to eat vegan where possible and the towns on the trail really don’t have many speciality items or if they do, the prices are pretty high.

We didn’t spend many nights off the trail (6 in total) and that was partly due to the fact that none of these towns had much going in the way of affordable accommodation. We did spend 3 nights at an Airbnb in Dillon at the end of our first week and that was mostly due to Sandra’s painful blisters and the need to get her feet rested. The most expensive night was $152 in Lake City and Dominic needed that comfortable night as he was experiencing a lot of foot pain that week (and the hostel didn’t appeal).

** We would highly recommend the Wanderlust hostel in Gunnison and definitely not recommend the Blair Street hostel in Silverton **

 

Gear used:

 

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  • Florida Adventures blog
  • RV Road Trip blog
  • The Colorado Trail blog
  • Cycling Adventure blog

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