Colorado Trail Days 7 through 9: “Slackpacking” and Split Double Days

Daily Neet Beat
Days 7 through 9 we stayed in Breckenridge. here is a summary of those days.

Day 7

Yay! We made it to Breckenridge 2 days earlier than planned on day 6 of our hike. 104 miles complete out of 492, or about 20% of our hike. Day 7 is a zero day (no miles toward the hike). It feels good to do laundry, grab a shower and motel and EAT. We grabbed a hotel last night and tonight and tomorrow night are in the Fireside Inn Bed and Breakfast which is right downtown.        

The Fireside Inn is an awesome place to stay in Breckenridge

Tomorrow we are going to day hike Segment 7 of the Colorado Trail. Segment 7 is between Breckenridge and Copper Mountain and goes over the Ten Mile Range just south of I-70. Rose, a 20-something year old woman on the trail from Chicago suggested the idea to us. 

Taking the bus from Frisco to Copper Mountain so we can hike Segment 7 back to Breckenridge

The plan is to take a bus from Breckenridge to Frisco, transfer to a bus that goes to Copper Mountain, and hike down from the end of Segment 7 of the Colorado trail on highway 91 near Copper Mountain Resort back to highway 9 near Breckenridge. Then after another zero day on Monday we will take the bus up to Copper Mountain and continue our hike on Segment 8 and on.  As we are a day early and are meeting my Mom and friends Sandi and Matt on Monday, this seems like the thing to do.

Day 8

I felt like I needed to defend myself when Alex, a young 20-something year old from Los Angeles with a long dark braid said “oh, you guys are slackpacking”. “But we backpacked with packs for 6 days from Denver,”  I said. “We are only doing Segment 7 as a day hike because we can take a bus between Breckenridge and Copper Mountain and do Segment 7 while we are here in Breckenridge.”
Still some snow as this Segment goes up above 12,000 feet and it is early July

“Slackpackers” we may be today but it is sure nice to hike a day without a pack.We climb up over 3,000 feet and crest out on the Tenmile Range at 12,495 feet. The views are gorgeous up here but we don’t linger long. Clouds are building and we have been told that on the side going down towards Breckenridge you have to hike through a snowfield for about a mile. Down we go.

Looking back down at Copper Mountain

We wind our way down through rock fields and snow. A pika is busy eating grasses and does not see to mind us watching it. It is cute but not a cute as the pikas we saw in California.

A pika!

We eventually work our way down over Gold Hill and back towards Breckenridge.  We talk to 3 guys and a woman who are hiking the Continental Divide Trail. “Mudslide” is a guy in his mid-20s who has long blonde hair, and a beard. They slackpacked Segment 7 too. “Yeah”, he says, “you can really fly when you are slackpacking.”  I agree. It was quite a day.

Hiking down towards Breckenridge with Dillon Reservoir in the background

Day 9

Today is our official zero day. Sandi, Matt and my Mom drive up from Denver. It is so nice to have my Mom and good friends join us to say hi and cheer us on.  Mom stayed the night in Breckenridge and will take the bus back to Denver and will fly back to Chicago. Sandi and Matt will visit and stay with friends tonight in Silverthorne. Thank you guys for the boost!!
Our greeting party in Breckenridge. Thanks Mom, Matt and Sandi!

Just the Facts (for Day 8)

Total Miles: 13.8
Cumulative Miles: 117.2
Trail Segment: 7
Camp Elevation: no camp, staying in Breckenridge
Elevation Gain: 3,674 feet
Elevation Loss: 3,053 feet
Weather: partly cloudy, threatening to rain in the afternoon

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