CO Trail Segments 25 and 26: Molas Pass to Hotel Draw

Throughout the course of this summer, I had been trying to figure out the logistics of riding the Colorado Trail from Molas Pass to Durango as a big part of my goal of riding every section of the Colorado Trail. Luckily, my dilemma was solved when my buddy Topher sent me and about 20 other guys an invite to join him on a 2 day bachelor party blowout along this very section. I think I can safely speak for everyone when I say that it ended up being one of the best riding weekends any of us have ever had.

The route.

We awoke Saturday morning to some rather questionable weather, especially considering that there were 17 of us hoping to ride almost 40 miles with 6,000′ of gain at elevations up to 12,500′. It was beautiful, though.

Two thirds of the group ready to roll out...

Nevertheless, we headed out. What could possibly go wrong?

After a short initial climb, we were rewarded with some short downhill sections.

Heading towards the high point of this segment:

Check out the distinctive rock glaciers in the background of this photo. Rock glaciers are typically a mixture of rock and ice and creep downhill at 1-2 meters/year.

More descending:

Looking up Cascade Creek

Back up. Have I mentioned the amazing colors we were experiencing?

Danny ponders Lizard Head Peak
Engineer Mountain

"Who has 2 thumbs and is winning at life?" "This guy"

More amazing trail and scenery. There really isn’t much to say that the photos don’t already say.

Lizard Head
L-R El Diente, Mount Wilson, Gladstone Peak, Wilson Peak

We had been dodging weather all day long, but near Bolam Pass we finally got a bit of rain and hail. Thankfully it was short lived.

Next up was Blackhawk Pass. We all waited at the top so we could regroup, which led to those of us on top cheering each and every one of the remaining 16 riders to the top, with a switchback right under the pass serving as the proving ground.

Blackhawk Down

Onward down the best downhill of the day. Matt Steinwand killing it.

All good things must eventually come to an end. We reached the Hotel Draw road and continued on singletrack- at this point the trail weaves in and out along the road. It took a while, but we eventually found the support vehicles right at dark.

I really haven’t said that much in this trip report because there really isn’t much to say. This is an epic and classic section of the Colorado Trail (and I hate saying epic unless I really mean it). If you ever get a chance to ride this section, just do it. Total Miles: roughly 38. Ride (moving) time: about 5 and a half. Total time: a lot more than that with 17 riders. Click here for part 2…

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Frank Konsella

Frank loves snow more than anything... except his wife.  He ensures his food is digested properly by chewing it 32 times before swallowing.He is a full-time real estate agent serving Crested Butte and Gunnison and would be honored to send you his monthly newsletter.

Latest posts by Frank Konsella (see all)

Frank Konsella

Frank loves snow more than anything... except his wife.    He ensures his food is digested properly by chewing it 32 times before swallowing. He is a full-time real estate agent serving Crested Butte and Gunnison and would be honored to send you his monthly newsletter.

One thought on “CO Trail Segments 25 and 26: Molas Pass to Hotel Draw

  • September 12, 2012 at 9:17 pm
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    great photos, wish I could have joined. that section is magical.

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