Six Reasons I’m Thru-Hiking the Colorado Trail This Summer

After dreaming about and planning for my upcoming Colorado Trail thru-hike for the last six months, the countdown is on. I’m a mere two weeks away from my start date, and I am so ready! I’ve spent the last few weeks training, researching town stops, putting together resupply boxes, and replacing worn out gear, and now all that stands between me and adventure is a couple of weeks at my desk. Because July is 100 percent the fastest moving month of the year (it goes by in the blink of an eye every year, I swear!), I’m sure that time will fly by and I’ll be standing at the Waterton Canyon trailhead before I know it.

Before I get started though, let me share six reasons I’m thru-hiking the Colorado Trail this year.


  1. To get to know Colorado better. I only moved to Colorado 3.5 years ago, and while I’ve been doing my darnedest to get to know my state as best as I can, there are so many places I haven’t had the chance to explore yet! I hike pretty much every weekend in the spring, summer, and fall, and I ski most weekends in the winter, yet there is never quite enough time (and energy) to check out all of the cool places that Colorado has to offer! I’m sure that by walking across the state, I’ll get to experience some spectacular spots that I haven’t been to yet, and get to know Colorado even more intimately.


  1. Gas prices. Need I say more? Walking is definitely the best (and cheapest) way to get around these days!


  1. To experience a thru-hike in without leaving my job. I had initially been considering a Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike this year, but I’m in a really good place with life and work, and I’m not quite ready to throw caution to the wind and peace out on a six-month adventure again just yet. I absolutely loved my Appalachian Trail (AT) thru-hike, but the aftermath (post-trail depression, having to find a new job, and moving across the country solo) was extremely tough on me. My employer is willing to let me take a month off straight to hike (thank you, thank you, thank you) so I’m choosing this shorter trek and stability over a big adventure for the time being. Basically, comfort is winning over uncertainty for the moment.


  1. To spend time with tramily. Two of my trail family members from the Appalachian Trail, Ibex and Dori!, are in a place this summer where they can take a month off to hike the trail as well. Tramily reunion! I absolutely love these two and always have so much fun with them, so this is even more reason to go, and go now.


  1. To challenge myself. After going hard as a weekend warrior since I moved to Colorado and progressively challenging myself to tougher and tougher hiking trails and backpacking trips, I’d like to see how I do on something longer. I have always been big into hiking, but I was definitely a much more casual hiker before thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail and moving to Colorado. I’ll be excited to see how I fare on another thru-hike compared to last time, even if it’s a much shorter trail than the AT.


  1. To bask in the beauty of Colorado. Colorado is insanely gorgeous and I can’t get enough of the nature here. Seriously, I can’t believe I get to live here.


If you’d like to follow along on my Colorado Trail thru-hike, you can find me on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, and I will of course post updates here on The Trek as well. The countdown is on!

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Comments 2

  • Ben “Paladin” Cox : Jul 20th

    Really looking forward to seeing and reading more about your next adventure on the CT, Glowstick!

    • Audrey Payne : Jul 20th

      Thanks so much, Paladin! I am so excited!


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