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  1. #1

    Default Favorite CT towns and hostels?

    I'm making plans to hike the CT in July 2016. I've read Cooker Hiker's book, PMags's info, and several online trail journals. There are a number of options for resupply towns, and I'm wondering what towns people consider their favorites. Also wondering about favorite hostels or hotels along the way. The plan is to hike the Collegiate West route. Thanks in advance for your thoughts and suggestions!


    www.trailjournals.com/LadyGrey

  2. #2
    Colorado Trail '07 / JMT '12
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    Resupply towns: Lake City & Breckenridge are my favorites. Silverton, Copper Mtn, Mt. Princeton Hot Springs and Salida are good (depending on your resupply needs), and are my next-favorites...

  3. #3
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hole-In-The-Hat View Post
    Resupply towns: Lake City & Breckenridge are my favorites. Silverton, Copper Mtn, Mt. Princeton Hot Springs and Salida are good (depending on your resupply needs), and are my next-favorites...
    All good towns, pretty much what I would say. Twin Lakes is a convenient stop too.
    ..
    For your 1st resupply, I would try to make it from the start to Breckenridge myself, and avoid a stop in Jefferson (4 mile hitch), assuming you're going SWBO. As I've said on other threads, I'd also avoid sections 1-3 on a weekend if possible, meaning start on a Monday-Wednesday, because of heavy Mountain bike traffic. It's not that the bikers are that annoying, they are generally courteous, but there are a bunch of nearly blind turns, especially in sections 2 and 3 where bikers can take these blind curves kinda quickly; my wife had some scares last year in these parts, she hit 3-2 on a Saturday (she was hiking NEBO).
    ..
    Keep me posted on your schedule if you'd like, I might be able to help out with a ride to the trailhead if you need one (I live 15 minutes from Waterton t/h). I gave about ten or so WB folks rides last summer. Plus I plan on doing the CW west side sometime in July myself (I'll be going NOBO), and if the timing worked out just so, I could drop you a resupply box or something.

    And on the flip side, this Coloradan is heading to your neck of the woods this summer for a LT trek, can't wait!

  4. #4
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    I enjoyed Lake City and the lazy day or two I had there this past year. The Raven's Roost Hostel was especially fun, with a number of entertaining hikers staying at the time. (The hostel was inexpensive and they ran a free shuttle from the trail and may still be doing so this summer.) Breckenridge was equally as enjoyable, but a bit too crowded for my liking. I loved Durango as well and fully recommend a day there at trip's end (or at trip's start, if that might be the case). Smart decision doing the CW!

  5. #5

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    i stopped at frisco, twin lakes, salida, lake city, silverton.
    salida is a sweet town, twin lakes is nestled in a beautiful spot.

  6. #6
    Registered User HeartFire's Avatar
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    Ravens Rest Hostel in Lake City! Great little town. We took a zero there.
    I'm hoping to hike the CT again this year.

  7. #7
    Registered User StubbleJumper's Avatar
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    I'll add on my vote for Breckenridge. It's a full-service trail town with easy bus service right from the trailhead.

    Twin Lakes was a better stop than I had expected; in 2011 the Inn was closed for repairs and the corner store was not well-suited to hikers, but when I went through in 2014, the store had a nice selection of products for long distance hikers and the Inn proved to be a great place to spend the night (something like $70 or $75/night) and drink a few beers.

    Finally, while Lake City receives a great many accolades (perhaps correctly), I would be remiss if I failed to report that Gunnison is a nice little town for a zero. It's a full service town with a couple of grocery stores and a WalMart, a decent main drag with a nice selection of restaurants and pubs, and modestly priced accommodations. I was the fortunate beneficiary of a ride from Bill Apple to and from Gunny (thanks again, Apple!), so logistics were quite simple for me.

    Silverton is a bit too touristy for my liking, but it does the job. Accommodations are modestly priced, re-supply selection is limited and prices high, and the bars/restaurants cater mainly to the throngs of tourists that descend upon the town rather than serving mainly locals. It's an okay place to re-supply, but I liked the other towns better.


    SJ

  8. #8

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    I am also planning to do the CT next year in July. Maybe I'll see you out there.

  9. #9
    Registered User ddanko2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StubbleJumper View Post
    I'll add on my vote for Breckenridge. It's a full-service trail town with easy bus service right from the trailhead.

    Twin Lakes was a better stop than I had expected; in 2011 the Inn was closed for repairs and the corner store was not well-suited to hikers, but when I went through in 2014, the store had a nice selection of products for long distance hikers and the Inn proved to be a great place to spend the night (something like $70 or $75/night) and drink a few beers.

    Finally, while Lake City receives a great many accolades (perhaps correctly), I would be remiss if I failed to report that Gunnison is a nice little town for a zero. It's a full service town with a couple of grocery stores and a WalMart, a decent main drag with a nice selection of restaurants and pubs, and modestly priced accommodations. I was the fortunate beneficiary of a ride from Bill Apple to and from Gunny (thanks again, Apple!), so logistics were quite simple for me.

    Silverton is a bit too touristy for my liking, but it does the job. Accommodations are modestly priced, re-supply selection is limited and prices high, and the bars/restaurants cater mainly to the throngs of tourists that descend upon the town rather than serving mainly locals. It's an okay place to re-supply, but I liked the other towns better.


    SJ
    Quick Question to you and/or others: Does the store in Twin Lakes have canister fuel? Trying to figure out the logistics as we will be mailing a box to this location. Thanks!

  10. #10

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    yes the store in twin lakes has canister fuel. canister fuel is readily available along the trail- every resupply stop has it

  11. #11
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    I visited Breckenridge, Leadville, Twin Lakes, Salida, Lake City, Silverton and Durango. Zeros in Salida and Lake City. Nero in Breckenridge and Leadville. Lake City was my favorite although it took a long time to hitch a ride into town. The old fashioned soda fountain was great and Raven's Rest is friendly and centrally located. I don't have anything bad to say about any of the towns although Breck is very touristy. Silverton is touristy as well but on a tiny scale.

    I took the train ride from Durango to Silverton after my thru hike. $100 but a nice way to wind down after the trip.

    I really want to get back to the Colorado Trail at some point over the next couple of years.

  12. #12
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hikeandbike5 View Post
    yes the store in twin lakes has canister fuel. canister fuel is readily available along the trail- every resupply stop has it
    With the increased popularity of the CT (The CTF reports *double* the amount of finishers in 2015 vs 2014), may not be bad to call ahead to smaller resupply places if possible. Not they don't stock it, but they be out in some cases. At the very least, a smaller store could put a canister aside for a few days f someone asks nicely and politely.
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  13. #13
    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    I enjoyed a zero in Creede.
    Lonehiker

  14. #14
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    I liked Salida and Lake City and Durango a lot, Silverton was OK, Breckenridge noisy and crowded on a Sunday but does have free buses. Good hostels in Salida, Lake City and Silverton. Bivvy hostel in Breckenridge was plush and had a good breakfast but it unfortunately didn't let customers use the washer and dryer; the coin laundry is a fair distance and by far the nastiest laundry I've ever seen and most of the machines broken; the other hostel in Breckenridge includes laundry.

  15. #15

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    Thanks to everyone for the helpful info. It looks as though Lake City might be the favorite trail town, but obviously many other great spots as well. Any other names of hostels or hotels beyond Raven's Roost?

    Colorado Rob, thanks for your offer of a ride to the trailhead... I'll keep that in mind. And please let me know if I can help out when you're hiking the LT. I live about 20 minutes from the trailhead to Camel's Hump and would be happy to help out if I'm around. DuneElliott, I'll look for you on the trail.

    I thruhiked the AT in 2013 and hiked the Tour du Mont Blanc with my daughter in 2014. I loved the AT for the whole long distance hiking experience and the trail community, and was simply blown away with the Tour du Mont Blanc for its alpine beauty. I'm looking forward to the CT for my first foray into western US hiking. As always, too much hiking, too little time!

  16. #16
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    In Lake City, Raven's Rest (owner Lucky) and High Country Market (owner Peter) will once again be coordinating rides back up to Spring Creek Pass. My experience has been that getting rides from Spring Creek Pass to Lake City has never been an issue. Peter provides early AM rides and there are also volunteers (I am one of the volunteers) who assist with the shuttling. There are lots of other places to stay in town including Backcountry Basecamp. Ron

  17. #17
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    Does anybody has a pdf or excel sheet marking the distances between landmarks. I wold like to calculate a daily mileage of 10 to 12 miles and the way the Colorado Guide is structured, does not allow me to do that. I am having a hard time figuring out where am I going to stop every day. If someone has a file that can send to me or post here, I would appreciate it. My address is [email protected]
    Thank you.

  18. #18

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    I think you are over planning. Making a strict schedule for a hike is almost impossible. Just go and do it - when you have hiked until you are ready to stop then go until you find a good campsite and camp. Some planning or thought is necessary for the dry parts, but there aren't very many of those.

  19. #19
    Registered User StubbleJumper's Avatar
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    +1

    There's no point in planning everything in great detail as the trail conditions and your body's capability will determine where and when you need to stop each day. As Bearcreek noted, water is probably the only real constraint on where you stop, and that only applies on 3 or 4 days over the hike. However, there will be days when thunderstorms will shut you down as you don't want to be crossing a ridge during an electrical storm. There will be other days when you'll see a rainstorm coming and you'll want to set up your tent to avoid getting dumped on. There will be days when you are tired and you'll just want to stop for a day. And then there will be days that you'll want to press for a few extra miles so that you can make it into town by nightfall.

    I would suggest that you maintain a flexible spirit, and just play the situation as it comes. Carry enough food so that you won't run out, but otherwise don't over plan it.

  20. #20

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    Leadville used to be a great little town with a good hostel. Is it still?

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