CT - Segment 1

 5 votes

16.3 Miles 26.2 Kilometers


Singletrack

2,512' 766 m

Ascent

-1,902' -580 m

Descent

7,506' 2,288 m

High

5,506' 1,678 m

Low

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

35%

Max Grade (19°)

All Clear

90 days agoUpdate

A great trail beginning with South Platte views and finishing in a more alpine region.

David B

Overview

Features: River/Creek — Wildlife

Section Of

Description

For the first portion of this section of the Colorado Trail, you'll follow Waterton Canyon, which is the gateway to the CT. While other portions of the trail end up being remote, this section offers easy access and beautiful views of the South Platte. The route starts at the parking lot off of Waterton Road where you'll find plenty of parking even on a busy weekend and restrooms. Cross Waterton Road at the pedestrian crossing to access Waterton Canyon.

The first mile of the road is through open space with grasslands and cottonwoods along the Platte River. After this, you'll enter the canyon where the road winds alongside the river. Wildlife abounds here and you may see elk, big horn sheep, or other critters scattered through the mountains. You'll have great views of the Platte River as the road meanders along its banks for about six miles.

Around the three mile mark, there is a small pull-out with restrooms and a picnic spot. You'll see numerous mountain bikers along the way, and you may encounter a few Denver Water vehicles, but this is rare as the road is closed to motor vehicles.

Around 4.5 miles, the slope gets a bit steeper as you make your way up to a small man-made dam and reservoir. The road narrows here, and the rock outcroppings are a bit more pronounced than along the earlier miles of the road. Past this point, the road gets a little bit steeper (compared to the barely noticeable incline you were on previously) as you wind your way up past the Strontia Springs Dam.

You'll continue on past a sign marking the continuation of the Colorado Trail. Take in the scenery as you continue on the more narrow trail. Soon, you'll be climbing through singletrack trails, and will make use of various switchbacks. Be prepared for changing weather conditions, as you'll end your journey nearly 2,000 ft. higher than the starting point. The temperatures might drop quickly, and weather changes quickly.

Flora & Fauna

Deer, elk, big horned sheep, rabbits, coyotes, foxes, and a variety of birds and snakes (including rattlesnakes) all make this area home. You'll also see signs posted for bears and mountain lions although you hopefully won't encounter them on your outing.

Contacts

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   Clear

4.6 from 5 votes


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Check-Ins

Jul 18, 2017
Nichole Daranouvong
16.9mi
Apr 14, 2017
Ashley Cruz

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 5 votes

#2869

Overall
  4.6 from 5 votes
5 Star
60%
4 Star
40%
3 Star
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2 Star
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1 Star
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Rankings

#254

in Colorado

#2,869

Overall
67 Views Last Month
652 Since Nov 6, 2015
Intermediate Intermediate

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Conditions


All Clear 90 days ago

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