SECTION 6 - CATARACT RIDGE

SECTION 6 - SAN LUIS PASS TO MOLAS PASS

Four difficult, advanced days with one layover day
Highest Elevation Point for the Week - 13,240
Lowest Elevation Point for the Week - 8,920

  Description Miles Elevation Gain Elevation Loss
Day 1 Meet for Week - Durango      
Day 2 San Luis Pass Campsite to Spring Creek Pass 17.6 3,740 3,642
Day 3, 4 Rest Day OR Spring Creek Pass to Carson Saddle.
This will be determined based on trekker and/or weather
17.1 3,680 2,470
Day 5 Carson Saddle to Stony Pass 15.9 3,520 3,170
Day 6 Stony Pass to Molas 19.0 3,050 4,940
Day 7 Disperse      
  TOTALS 69.6 13,990 14,222

 

 


Day One… is a splendid, but difficult, day.  It consists of a lot of trekking up and down high mountain passes, and an afternoon spent crossing Snow Mesa.  Snow Mesa is a 4.5 mile table of tundra over which the Colorado Trail passes.  The hikers have always been tired and ready for some hot grub and their sleeping bags this evening!

Day Two… of hiking takes you over the previously discussed highest point of the Colorado Trail – Coney Summit!  Again, this is a solid bit of walking, and again, most of the day is spent above tree line.  A gradual, but steady climb takes us up to the Continental Divide, and we stay there for the rest of the day.  The afternoon is spent hiking some exhilarating terrain, and descending into camp.

Day Three… is where we will spend our rest day. After hiking almost 35 miles in two days, you’ll be quite happy to trade in your boots for your sandals, and enjoy the scenery at 12,360 foot Carson Saddle.  Be sure to bring a book or your favorite leisure activity for this day.  We will spend it soaking in the scenery, resting, recuperating, and getting ready for the rest of our week!

Day Four… takes us over the newly rerouted section of the CT.  This reroute was created to keep the trail on the Continental Divide as much as possible, taking advantage of the epic 360-degree mountain views.  The trail follows a series of cairns through alpine tundra, past Cataract Lake and on to Stony Pass, where we will spend the night. 

Day Five… in the morning, an early start will get us on our way. We will follow the Trail into the Weminuche Wilderness, and garner spectacular views of the Grenadier and Needle mountains.  From that point, we descend nine miles, from an elevation of 12,660, until we reach the Animas River at an elevation of 9,000 feet.  This hiking is breathtaking; we descend 34 switchbacks and then go through the Devil’s Keyhole!  The hiking is not finished yet though, we will be wrapping up with a 4 mile, 1,700 foot climb to the final campsite (with hot showers!)  at the top of Molas Pass.  After a well deserved night’s rest, we will deliver you to your vehicle on Saturday morning.