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CT - Segment 6: Kenosha Pass to Goldhill

Intermediate/Difficult
 4.0 (3)

Take on this popular, challenging portion of the Colorado Trail.


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Map Key

32.6

Miles

52.5

KM

Point to Point

11,848' 3,611 m

High

9,182' 2,799 m

Low

4,710' 1,436 m

Up

5,531' 1,686 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (3°)

33%

Max Grade (18°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Section Of

Description

This section of the Colorado Trail has two distinct personalities. Use the first half to warm up, as the second half is more difficult.

Starting at the parking area at the top of Kenosha Pass, the Colorado Trail, hikers will make their way over approximately 30 miles to Breckenridge. It's about 12 miles to reach Georgia Pass, which is the high point of this route at just over 12,000'.

The trail itself for this portion is smooth with not many rocks or roots, which allows for a great experience. Be ready for the gradual but steady climb on the way to Georgia Pass. You'll be rewarded with panoramic views of South Park and the surrounding peaks so be sure to stop and take in the views!

Once you gain Kenosha Pass, you'll find yourself at 11,900', with about 6.5 miles and 2000 vertical feet of descent. Don't take this section lightly though - although it's a fantastic singletrack descent, it does have some rocky sections.

Once you finish the first big descent, you'll find yourself at an open spot along the Swan River. If you've brought a water filter, this is a great place to use it. Otherwise, it's a nice place to eat a snack and cool off. You'll want to catch your breath here because the next 3.5 miles bring a big uphill grind with over 1000' of ascent. This section gets quite a bit of sun, and it's very steep in spots, making this a real grunt.

However, more descending is in store after the climbing is done. The next descent is less rugged than the first one. Which provides a good contrast from the previous ascent.

The rest of the trail has changed quite a bit due to big clearcut logging operations that have changed the character of the area and reduced the amount of shade available. Although the rest of the trail trends downhill, there are a couple of short and sharp uphills.

Throughout the whole section, you'll alternate between passing through groves of huge aspen trees, through coniferous forests, and through open meadows. No matter the season, the local flora will provide beautiful scenery. Whether it's buds, or fall colors, wildflowers or tawny grasses, your route won't be short of spectacular.

Be sure to bring a lot of water and food as there is no access along the route. You'll be heading into the high alpine, and some of the more exposed sections of the trail can get windy and cold due to the elevation. Be prepared and dress accordingly!

Flora & Fauna

This trail passes through both open meadow and forests where you'll see many different plants and wildlife. The first couple miles of trail from Kenosha Pass wind through large aspen groves which are beautiful during the fall.

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Hiking Project Staff

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 3 votes

#4

in Park County

#9668

Overall
  4.0 from 3 votes
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Trail Rankings

#4

in Park County

#859

in Colorado

#9,668

Overall
69 Views Last Month
8,569 Since Nov 6, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
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57%
29%
14%
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Photos

Beautiful fall day on the Colorado Trail heading southwest from Kenosha Pass.
Oct 23, 2016 near Jefferson, CO
What I dream about while at work...
Oct 30, 2015 near Brecken…, CO
Heading through the meadow.
Oct 1, 2015 near Brecken…, CO
Aspens
Oct 30, 2015 near Brecken…, CO
The Colorado Trail with Mt Guyot in the background
Sep 10, 2019 near Brecken…, CO
Georgia Pass
Mar 18, 2015 near Brecken…, CO

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

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Check-Ins

Sep 23, 2020
Erin Andersen
12.2mi — 4h 51m
Jun 27, 2020
Perry Richardson
Most water sources still running strong. A few spots of snow that you need to walk around as you go up to Georgia Pass, but nothing that's a problem. 32.6mi
Nov 2, 2019
Rusty DeWaters
Snowshoeing — 2h 00m
Oct 5, 2019
Rachel Pierstorff
5.5mi
Jul 8, 2019
Chris Webb
Jul 1, 2019
Matt Kohn
Aug 6, 2018
Mtn Dew
32.6mi
Jun 28, 2018
Jazz G