Frequently Asked Questions
What is supported hiking on the Colorado Trail?
All of your camping and personal gear as well as food provisions are carried for you on this progressive five-day hike. This leaves you with a light load (day pack with water, lunch and rain gear) to hike with each day. Yes, we take care of the heavy loads!! The staff driven support trucks go to locations close to the Colorado Trail via jeep road where a community camp is set up.
Your only concern is to have a great time hiking each day. You will need to set up your own personal tent, but after that is done, you can come to the community tent, relax, clean up and eat your evening meal that has already been planned and prepared for you.
In the morning, while you are taking down your tent and packing your gear, we are preparing a wholesome warm breakfast for you.
A variety of fresh lunch items and snacks are put out everyday prior to hiking so you can self-design whatever you want to take with you to eat while hiking.
What is the deposit and do you have a refund policy?
Do you recommend travel Insurance?
CME recommends that you purchase travel insurance to protect yourself against unforeseen incidents such as injury or family emergencies. It is relatively inexpensive. We are unable to offer refunds for any reason, sorry. Here is a list of insurers, there are many other reputable companies who offer travel insurance as well.
What are the accommodations?
Community Base Camp Tent
sleeping bag and pad. If you do not have these items, rentals are available.
Our 18 x 30 ‘ community tent is used as our combination kitchen, dining room and living room. Delicious and health-conscious breakfasts and dinners are served inside. Camp chairs are provided for each hiker, as well as plates, utensils and mugs. Hikers will make their trail lunches from large selection of sandwich fixings, fruits, veggies and other trail food.”
A community latrine (toilet) is also set up for all hikers and staff to use. The latrine is screened with tarps to provide privacy. We practice Leave No Trace Principles. Thus, toilet paper is not buried in the latrine. All toilet paper is put in a separate container that is provided at the latrine. Some of our campsites are in Forest Service Public Campgrounds, whereby, a public toilet is available and providing a latrine is not necessary.
What is recommended for tipping the guides?
Your guides will work hard to make your trip possible and enjoyable. Please show your gratitude with a 12-15% gratuity. You can give your tip to Chris, who will divide it equally among the crew. Jeanne and Chris do not share in the tip pool.
Will we have a campfire?
As much as we enjoy a good campfire, we won’t be able to accommodate campfires during our trips. Fire restrictions, storage concerns, safety and our tight itinerary are some of the reasons.
What are the types of meals that will be served?
The meals we serve on our treks are made with wholesome ingredients and an emphasis on healthy eating. We take pride in each of our meals. Hiking is hard work, and hikers need tasty fuel to tackle each day on the trail.
We can accommodate vegetarian, gluten free, or other specific dietary restrictions by request. Please be specific when completing the personal health information form FOOD section.
We serve hot and cold breakfasts each morning, offering a variety of choices. Lunch is laid out buffet style before each day’s hike, and you can pack a sandwich, salad, fruit, energy bars and of course, chocolate!
How long are the hikes?
Most hiking sections are composed of five consecutive days of hiking (Sections 1 and 6 have 4 hiking four days). We pick you up on Sunday and hike from Monday through Friday. At the end of the trek, we will return you to your vehicle.
Every day you will be progressively hiking a different part of the Colorado Trail, going from point to point. Our average daily mileage is about 12-15 miles. However, most hikes have at least one longer day of 17 to 20 miles. Sections 1 and 3 are an exception to this, since they have shorter hiking days at lower elevations.
Other factors to consider are elevation gain/loss and altitude. For most sections, we gain between 2000 to 4500 feet per day. Consider this fact when constructing your training regimen. Also, the Colorado Trail is often at elevations above 10,000 feet. The air is thin up there, and this adds to the rigor of our hiking days.
How early in the day do you start hiking?
We like to get an early start so we can get back to base camp before the thunderstorms start. Moreover, it is beautiful hiking early in the morning.
Wake up is generally at 5:30 and breakfast is at 6 or 6:30 am. Hiking begins after you have finished breakfast, taken down your tent and packed your gear. We like to start hiking no later than 7:30 am. For longer hikes in exposed terrain, we like to get started by 7am.
Do I have to hike every day?
No. If you are not up for a hike one day, you are most welcome to sit out. Since camp is moved everyday, you can ride in one of the support vehicles to the next campsite.
Do guides come with the hikers on the trail?
Yes. There are two guides that go with the hikers. One is a lead guide and the other is a sweep guide at the very end of the group. The sweep guide carries a satellite phone for emergencies only. It must be noted that satellite phones do not work if there is any cloud cover (bad weather).
Both guides are equipped with communication radios. For safety and logistical purposes, hikers are not allowed to go ahead of the lead guide.
How can I clean up each day after a long hike?
Colorado Mountain Expeditions provides a primitive rustic way to clean up. We provide a mechanism that pumps warm water through a hose and out of a small plastic showerhead. You are provided with 2 ½ gallons of warm water to clean up with. This is enough water to soap up and rinse off. Our past hikers have really liked this system!
A privately located stall away from the main kitchen screened with tarps is set up to clean up in. Everyone takes their turn and patiently waits for the cleaning stall to become available.
What is the scenery like?
Spectacular! We can’t guarantee the weather, but we can guarantee beautiful mountain views. The Colorado Trail has changed many lives. This trail passes through seven forests, six wilderness areas, traverses five major river systems and penetrates eight mountain ranges.
Is it common for individuals to come by themselves on these Treks?
Yes. By the end of the week, you will have made some new friends!! Don’t be afraid to sign up for a hiking week just because you couldn't find someone to sign up with you. One of the primary reasons we started these treks is so people could go hiking with other people.
Do families go on these trips?
Yes. The only criteria for bringing children is that they are strong enough to hike long days with big elevation gains. A rule of thumb is that these treks are better for younger adults starting at the age of 15 or 16.
What is the group size?
There are 12 to 14 hikers and 5 staff members. On the hike itself, two staff members (the guides) will accompany the hikers for the day. The other 3 staff members move camp to the next campsite and set up the community kitchen, latrine and cleaning stall and prepare the evening meal.
What do I bring?
In general, you will need some personal clothes, rain gear, broken in hiking boots, sleeping bag, pad, tent and a daypack. Hikers put up and take down their personal tent each day.
Why is it important to be in good physical condition?
This is some serious hiking! If you become too fatigued to finish a day hike; you put yourself, the other hikers in the group and a guide at risk of having to stay out overnight with you without any shelter or food. This is true reality. If evacuation is necessary, a search and rescue team will need to be notified to carry you out. It is very important to review and understand the elevation gains and distances of each hiking section.
Call us if you need some clarification on what kind of physical condition you need to be in or what section will best suit your ability level.
What about the weather?
The weather can vary each day. There is a saying in Colorado; “ If you do not like the current weather, wait thirty minutes”. You need to be prepared for all kinds of weather. There will be sunny days and then there will be rainy days. In general, the mornings are crystal clear blue skies and the afternoons will cloud up and thunderstorms will occur.It is suggested to dress in layers of poly propylene (no cotton!) and bring some quality waterproof rain gear.
Will I see support vehicles while I am hiking?
No. The support vehicles must drive around the mountains (on State highways and jeep roads) away from the Colorado Trail to get to the next campsite. There are only a few places where the Colorado Trail comes near a road whereby a support vehicle can get in. You will only see the support vehicles while in camp.
Overall, hiking the Colorado Trail is a means of solitude, peace and beauty. Hiking the Colorado Trail allows a person to get away from the rat race and get into the backcountry
If you have any additional questions, please don't hesitate to contact us!