Colorado Trail Backpacking: Segments 4 and 5

We decided to hike segments 4 and 5 (32 miles total) of the Colorado Trail because of it’s water access, location, and length. We spread out the miles over 3 days/2 nights and it was perfect/easy going. The CT is an east to west hike, which is why the elevation profile reads right to left.


Day 1:

Ready to stike out, at the trailhead

The first 7 miles were up, up, up, (in the rain)(which wasn’t bad at all, just a light drizzle). Laurie and Peter are (hardcore) ultra-marathon runners, and they kept asking us (Weez and myself) when we’d bite the bullet and run our first ultras. Ha. Time will tell, my friends. Time will tell.


The CO Trail is so well marked and maintained, it was smooth sailing. Cabo was lovin’ it. Such a natural on those trails. I love her little fuzzface!

We hiked through aspen groves and open valleys, and took our time enjoying the trails, stopping for breaks, and refilling water bottles.

We hiked about 11 miles on Day 1 before setting up camp for the night.

Cabo was so tuckered out after a solid day of hiking, so she was passed out (taking up 60% of my sleeping bag, mind you) within 10 seconds. We spooned all night. It was adorbs.

Day 2:

The first thing I woke up to on Saturday morning, was a kiss from my husband wishing me a happy birthday. Followed by the musical talents of Laurie and Peter singing me Happy Birthday from outside our tent. It made me smile.

After breakfast and refilling our water bottles (at a very nearby stream; which Weez and I somehow missed the night before causing us to run 2 miles roundtrip out of our way), we were on our way to hike another 12 miles. Ridiculous self-timer photo, FTW:

A lot of Day 2′s hike was in an open valley, with the warm sun on our backs and blue skies up ahead. This was probably my favorite part of the 32 miles.

5 miles later (16 total for the trip), we finished hiking Segment 4 and were on our way into Segment 5.

After 3 hours of hiking, we stopped for a siesta fiesta. We relaxed, ate lunch, and I managed to snag enough cell reception to call my parents. And as soon as my phone caught signal, I noticed so many loving bday wishes from friends and family. I’m pretty anti-technology whenever I’m enjoying the wilderness, but it made me smile to know I’d be able to read lots of notes as soon as we got back to civilization. Made my already-pretty-rad b-day.
Nick (Laurie’s bf) and his beard (and their dog) met up with us and we got back on the trail to continue west for a couple hours. Spirits were high because there was talk of birthday beverages once we settled down for the night.

When we got to camp (24 miles trip total), we all fell into our roles…
- Peter: The fire starter, dog-whisperer, and gigiddy gigiddy giggidier.
- Laurie: The sarcastic make-fun-of-efo’s-”totes phots” joker, pop tart connoisseur, and part time iphone DJer.
- Nick: The water pumper, elk leg mover, and beard grower.
- Weez: The food rope hanger, fix-the-filter technician, and Cabo rangler.
- Efo: The jet boil chef, the totes phots’ographer, and awkward-ant-moment sharer

Ahhhh, just like a happy family.

For my birthday dinner (for as long as I can remember), I’ve always requested/cooked a steamed artichoke (my fave food in the world) and mashed potatoes (my second fave food in the world). A backpacking trip wasn’t going to change that tradition. So in proper fashion, I cooked my artichoke, fire-side, with a side of instant mashed potatoes.

To my very pleasant surprise, Nick hiked all the way in with a fancy bottle of adult beverage. We passed the bottle around the fire and laughed and managed to stay awake until night fall.

Can you tell we love our dogs? No?

The hike out on Day 3 was short and speedy.

8 beautiful miles later, we made it back to the car, with sore legs and feet.

Flip flops have never felt better.

And then just like that, our 32 mile/5400 ft elevation gain/3 day/2 night backpacking adventure came to a close. Good friends, good times. We miss you already, Peter! Thanks for flying out, it was a great trip!

Do you take your dog(s) on camping trips? How do they handle sleeping in the tent?

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11 thoughts on “Colorado Trail Backpacking: Segments 4 and 5

  1. This looks AMAZING. You must be conspiring with my husband, or something, to get me increasingly enthused about camping. I’m all about the hiking, less-so about the camping. But your photos and descriptions are just about winning me over… We might just have to come to CO to share some of this beauty! ;-)

    Ah – and – Happy, Happy Birthday!!

  2. Totes ‘choke phots! I had a great time this weekend finally getting to know you guys! I look forward to doing it again. Maybe a hut trip this winter??

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