Colorado Trail: CR 306 to CR 322

HARD 6 reviews
#26 of 95 trails in

Colorado Trail: CR 306 to CR 322 is a 19.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Buena Vista, Colorado that features hot springs and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, trail running, camping, and backpacking and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
19.8 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2910 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

trail running

forest

hot springs

views

hiking
1 month ago

This is a 10 mile chunk of the beautiful Colorado Trail with amazing views of the Aspens during the fall (like right now). It starts off of CR 306 and ends at CR 322. While this is a beautiful hike, PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING:

-THERE ARE NOT HOT SPRINGS ALONG THE WAY!! The image and description for this trail are extremely deceptive!!! The image is not even for this hike, I believe it is a picture of Conundrum Hot Springs outside of Aspen. Also, as stated, the trail doesn't even "feature hot springs". Which was the whole reason we decided to do this it in the first place, so that was pretty disappointing. We hiked over 17 miles trying to find them, only to come to the realization that the only hot springs are located in town, if you continue on the Colorado Trail for 3 more miles on CR 322. These are obviously NOT remote like we were made to believe by the picture, but instead commercialized and ones that you have to pay for. The hike into town is also on a paved road, which is not friendly on the feet. Especially after already hiking 10 miles with packs on, and then having to hike back up on the same road to get back onto the trail to find a place to camp. So, if you are looking for a trail with remote hot springs, you will not find them here.
-There are no campgrounds. There are spots that are ideal to camp within the first 5 miles, but the last chunk of the trail there are not many spots to set up camp, especially the last .5 mile which runs through private property. Yep... not very remote when you are walking though peoples properties and can see their homes.
-This trail stays on the outskirts of the mountains, and doesn't go deep into the range. So, you are walking next to the street and next to the town the entire way.
-If you start on CR 306, you will have to cross three roads within the first 3 miles, before starting your incline up the mountain. I would have preferred to already have been working my way into the mountains after that distance, and not still on a main street, and been a little more rugged. That being said, if you feel the same way, I would recommend trying to park on CR 343 or CR 344 where the trail intersects.

With all that being said, it is a beautiful trail with a challenging ascent to two clear openings with exceptionally breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and aspens. I am rating it 3 stars for the inaccuracy of the picture and description, and hope that this information will help other hikers/backpackers/campers know what to expect!

backpacking
5 months ago

Pretty challenging trail right from the beginning. There was snow from about 2 miles up the trail which caused me to lose the path. Trail markers are sparse which makes navigating in the dense woods all the more difficult. Didn't end up making it to the hot springs but did spend a night on the mountain without any other people around.

10 months ago

Thursday, May 26, 2016

hiking
Wednesday, March 23, 2016

hiking
Saturday, May 25, 2013