10th Mountain Division, Colorado Trail, Copper Mountain, Kokomo Pass, Leadville, Searl Pass, Wheeler Flats
Are you as excited as I am for the upcoming 3 day weekend? If not, you need to make some plans. My ‘hood has two parties planned, one on the 3rd and another more elaborate bash on the 4th – complete with BBQ and live music. But the biggie for me is two days of hiking on the Colorado Trail – segments 8 and 9 on Saturday and Sunday.
I’ll meet up with Tumbleweed at the Tennessee Pass on Hwy 24 near Leadville Friday night to drop off one of our cars at the trail head. Google shows an extensive list of eateries in Leadville, but I’ve only eaten at the Pizza Hut in that town, so please send me recommendations for something with a little more Leadville flair. Any reviews on the Golden Burro, the Quincy Steak & Spirits, the Grill Bar & Cafe or the Tennessee Pass Cafe?
We’ll camp out near Copper Mountain, likely in some back country spot off the Wheeler Flats Trail Head. Saturday’s 25 mile hike starts out at 9800 feet and climbs through the ski resort up to Searl Pass just short of 10 miles at over 12,000 feet. The trail stays above treeline for about 3 miles along Elk Ridge until it reaches Kokomo Pass, also over 12,000 feet, then we’ll descend down to Tennessee Pass which sits around 10,000 feet. Near there we will pass the 10th Mountain Division huts where soldiers trained for WWII. Should be gorgeous views the entire route. Wish I had a better camera than my 2.5 mega pixel iPhone, but the pics will be good enough for publishing to the web.
The next day we’ll hike 14 miles on segment 9 from Tennessee Pass to Timberline Lake. This is where the trail turns south for good. The cool thing is recent trail reports from the Colorado Trail Foundation Facebook page state the snow has melted from this segment. Plus, while entirely above 10,000 feet, the trail is relatively flat. Should be a good run. Segment 8 will be mostly snow shoeing, possibly even using the ice axe, so Sunday will be nice. Can’t wait!