“Hard work with big rewards on a popular section of the Colorado Trail.”
— Mikhaila Redovian
Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Making your way from Breckenridge up to the top of Georgia Pass involves a rigorous climb, but your efforts will not be in vain. The route meanders from the sub-alpine slopes surrounding the town, all the way up through high- alpine terrain. You'll enjoy coniferous forests, open meadows, and sweeping views throughout the journey.
This is a popular portion of the Colorado trail. Although most are not likely to hike this entire section as a point-to-point (unless through hiking the entire Colorado Trail), it is commonly used for link-ups with neighboring trails. Below is a description of the trail as a point-to-point.
In this direction, you'll begin just north of Breckenridge, in a parking lot just off Gateway road. Here, your elevation will be just over 9,000'. The first 8 miles of the trail is somewhat rolling, but you'll definitely be climbing the whole way. Clearcut logging in this bottom portion of the trail means that the view won't be especially spectacular, nor will there be much shade. There will be a few punchy climbs that will give you a taste of what's to come. Be conscious, and bring plenty of water and sun protection for this stretch.
After about 10.5 miles, you'll start on a much appreciated downhill. There are a few steep scrambles, so use caution during this portion. You'll also want to use this bit to recover before coming up on the next climb. In this portion, you'll come across Swan River, which is an excellent place to replenish water if you have a filtration or purification system. You'll have about 3 miles of down, before heading back up.
The last ascent to Georgia Pass will be the final push to 11,900 feet. There will be a few rocky sections, but nothing will be too passable. This final 5 miles ascends into the high alpine zone, so tree cover will be sparse. Enjoy the sweeping vistas, as there won't be much to block the view!