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Hiking & Walking: Colorado > Pike and San Isabel National Forests > Leadville Ranger District

Quick Facts

Colorado Trail

Beginning Elevation: 10,480 Feet (3266.8 Meters) Tennessee Pass
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 1,020 Feet (318.0 Meters)
Ending Elevation: 9,869 Feet (3076.4 Meters) Turquoise Lake
Length, One-way: 15 Miles (25.0 Kilometers)
Usage: Light

Satellite and Topo Map

General Description

This segment (#9) of the Colorado Trail begins at Tennessee Pass and continues for 15 miles with an elevation change of approximately 1,600' to Hagerman Pass Road (FDR 105), near Turquoise Lake. The trailhead is located in the parking area on the west side of Highway 25 at Tennessee Pass. The Colorado Trail is marked by a trailhead bulletin board. The trail can also be accessed from the Wurtz Ditch Road (FDR 100) and Lily Lake Road (FDR 131) from Highway 24.

This segment is mainly moderate hiking. It passes through a corner of the Holy Cross Wilderness; thus, mountain bikers will have to bypass this area. It is also a great area for backpacking. Follow the trail southwest 5.5 miles to the Holy Cross Wilderness. This segment of the Colorado Trail leads users through lodgepole, spruce-fir and aspen forests.

Directions from Leadville: Northern Access: Follow Highway 24 northwest from Leadville approximately 11 miles. You will see the 10th Mountain Division Memorial and the Colorado Trailhead will be across the highway.

Directions from Leadville: Southern Access: From Leadville turn on to West 6th Street and drive 1/2 mile. Make a right on to County Road 300 and drive 5 miles to the dam. Continue on this road for 5 more miles to Lake Fork near the May Queen Campground.

Seasonal Information:
Normally Accessible: May through October (NOTE: Snow may obstruct the trail at high elevations.) .

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Recreation Opportunities
Activity Remarks On Site
ICON Backpacking Colorado Trail
ICON Hiking & Walking ColoradoTrail (Tennessee Pass to Turquoise Lake)
ICON Horseback Riding Colorado Trail
ICON Mountain Biking Colorado Trail - Tennessee Pass to Turquoise Lake, start at Tennessee Pass on Highway 24 at the Colorado Trail and follow it southwest 5.5 miles to the Holy Cross Wilderness. Remember: mechanized and motorized vehicles are not permitted in wilderness areas.

Related Activities
Bear Lake Trailhead - The trail that uses the Bear Lake Trailhead is the Colorado Trail in segment 9, Tennessee Pass to Turquoise Lake. From this landmark the Colorado Trail leads southwest toward the Timberline Lake Trailhead.

Timberline Trail - This trail accesses Timberline Lake in the Holy Cross Wilderness. This is open to foot traffic only.

More Information

Visitor Information:

Leadville Ranger District, U.S. Forest Service, 2015 North Poplar , Leadville, CO, 80461, Phone: 719-486-0749, Fax: 719-486-0928


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