Colorado Crest

In the summer of 2018, I set out for my first ever solo backpacking trip: A 40-day adventure through the alpine of Colorado through May, June, and July. I was interested in connecting two routes in particular: the Pfiffner Traverse in northern Colorado, and Nolan’s 14, an ultramarathon route through the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness in the Wasatch Range. At the time, however, there was not a direct connection between the two, and I had some extra time to spare as well, so I decided to “create” a route of my own, which I dubbed the “Colorado Crest.”

Overall, the journey challenged me in many ways. Over the course of 39 hiking days, I climbed 16 14,000′ peaks, hiked over 650 miles, and gained over 150,000′ of vertical. The greatest challenge, though, was mental, as I had to realize the difficulties with hiking alone and find a way to find success.

In my opinion, the “Colorado Crest” route is a great way to see some of Colorado’s most scenic terrain in one continuous swoop: the San Juans, the Weminuche, the Collegiate Peaks, the Indian Peaks, and Rocky Mountain National Park.