I'm a Minnesota native currently living in Denver. I've been gradually leveling up my hiking game from short day hikes to backcountry overnighters. I began section hiking the Colorado Trail in 2020 and hope to complete it over a few years. In 2021, I hiked the Tahoe Rim Trail. I love figuring out how to balance my full-time work life with a lot of hiking, camping, and backpacking.
As Labor Day Weekend approached, my plan to hike another CT section loomed on my calendar. I struggled to muster the enthusiasm for yet another weekend backpacking trip. After all, with less than half the trail sections complete and the rest winding ever farther from Denver, section hiking the entire CT has started to feel a bit like a fool’s errand. (Hopefully you sense the ‘but’ coming.) BUT I’m so glad I went through with this trip.
Gear, gear, gear. Much of our Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) planning time was spent on gear. Did we have the right gear? What is a luxury? Should we drop any items? What amount of money are we willing to spend on new gear? What is an acceptable dollar per ounce lost from our baseweight?
After 13 days, 168.6 miles, and (my dad’s favorite stat) 518,404 steps, Alex and I hiked the Tahoe Rim Trail! I still can’t quite believe it happened or that it’s already over. Join me in reliving my time on trail by reading a day-by-day account of our hike.
Remember a long time ago when I described how, until recently, I “let” my friends do basic backpacking chores for me, like filter water, use a Jet Boil, and carry our bear bin? Worry not – I have reduced my mooching ways, both out of necessity for solo section hikes of the Colorado Trail and simply to be a better person.
Last spring and summer, I section hiked 135 miles over some of the first 12 segments of the Colorado Trail. I hope to complete the remaining sections over time, as well as one day thru-hike the trail in one go.
When you’re in the middle of a pandemic, it never hurts to do a little daydreaming. Especially about international destinations that are off the current table. Though you may be stuck at home right now, join me on a mental journey to the jungle of Peru and learn why you may want to add the Inca Trail to your trekking and travel bucket lists.
Drumroll please: I quit my job! Long before the pandemic I’d hoped to quit my job earlier this summer to thru-hike about ¾ of the Colorado Trail. As everyone can relate, that did not exactly go to plan. I was very lucky to find a position I’m more excited about in the long term, with the added benefit of having a little time off between the two jobs. I decided to use a few of those days to complete my first ever solo backpacking trip while knocking out another segment and a half of the Colorado Trail.
Section hiking the Colorado Trail while working full-time requires some creativity. It isn’t always possible to hike an entire segment in a weekend, so I broke Segment 11 into two portions by splitting it at the Interlaken Trailhead. Alex and I added Mt. Elbert to what we called “Part A” as well, since Elbert’s trail directly intersects the CT.
Segment 7 of the Colorado Trail links Breckenridge to Copper Mountain - a twenty minute drive along the highway, but a six hour trek that gains more than 3,600 feet (and loses most of that too). With about three and a half miles above treeline, I treated this hike as I would any Colorado 14er - start early and get back below treeline by noon.
In May, I’d completed Segments 1-5 of the Colorado Trail. In June, I didn’t hike a single mile. In July, I was back! And this time, I added a side