Sleep In The Dirt

Section 6:

Monarch Pass to Junction of CDT & Texas Creek Road

What We Found

The content below contains general information about Big Agnes staff experience while traveling along the CDT through Colorado in the summer of 2018. While we have made an effort to provide you with a valuable trip-planning tool, we cannot offer any assurance that this information is current, complete or even accurate – if you choose to travel this route, do so at your own risk. This section crosses through the southern portion of the Collegiate Peaks, you'll find quite a bit of open ridge riding as well as jaw-dropping views as you make your way along the spine of the continent.

  • distance
    49 miles
  • elevation gain
    9,930 feet
  • elevation loss
    9,122 feet
  • highest point
    12,533 feet
  • wilderness area
    yes
  • percent on trail
    100%

"We started our bikepacking trip at about 11,312 feet elevation and climbed up from there. Immediately after starting, the views were amazing and climbs became steeper and tougher. There were a couple of long, grueling hike-a-bike sections in between great riding, especially on day two when we did a super fun, rolling descent through the woods. Water was available pretty often on the trail – on the first night we camped at Hancock lake, which was a beautiful high altitude lake with amazing rock walls all around us. STEEP descent into Hancock Lake by the way! Fun riding sections o the second night at Mirror Lake including riding loose, rocky road with the jeeps from the top of Tincup Pass. Pretty much all rideable, yet technical trail on day three finishing at Texas Lakes. My advice to you – bring good biking shoes that you can push your bike in. Bring a water filter and a rain/wind jacket, as lots of the terrain is above tree line. Don’t forget the “MEAT BAG” from Rob Peterson!" On Trail: July 8th - 12th, 2018

Rose Alford, Sales, Big Agnes
Learn more about the hike

Our Itinerary

Southern Access Point:

Monarch Pass (CO Hwy 50) Ley Maps CO 27

Northern Access Point:

Texas Creek Road (Co. Rd. 742C or Co. Rd. 755) – At the end of the Mirror Lake Alternate on the Guthook App Purple Route or Point 1 on Ley Maps CO 24

Wilderness Area:
Yes

What We Experienced:

Good amount of vertical ascents, some being steeper and rockier than others. Water is available on-trail fairly often but make sure to check the Guthook app for updates. Trail is well-marked and easy to follow.

Additional Resources: 

Leave No Trace Principles

Guthook Guide – Continental Divide Trail

U.S. Forest Service – Rio Grande National Forest

U.S. Forest Service – Pike and San Isabel National Forest

U.S. Forest Service – Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison National Forests

 

Our Route

Ascent:
9,930 feet

Descent:
9,122 feet

Grade per Mile:
446 feet

Pro tips:

There’s a good amount of on-trail water sources, but check an app like Guthook to check availability in the warmer summer months.

Be prepared for rocky climbs and hiking your bike (if bikepacking) through some sections.

Good rain gear and warm clothes are a must, and bring extra fuel if cooking more than twice a day due to the higher elevation.

Skills We Needed

• Rock Scrambling
• Lightning Safety
• Hike-a-bike (if bikepacking)
• LNT Ethics

* This site and routes described within contain general information about Big Agnes staff adventures in the backcountry, summer 2018. While we have made an effort to provide you with a valuable trip-planning tool, we cannot offer any assurance that this information is current, complete or even accurate – if you choose to travel these routes, do so at your own risk. Prior to setting out check local weather, trail conditions, closures, legal access points, Forest Service, BLM, or National Park rules and regulations, and other risks involved. We hope to inspire responsible backcountry and public land use, but by using our website you agree to use this information at your own risk.