The Colorado Trail Tennessee Pass to Timberline Lake and CT Trailhead

Leadville, Colorado 80461

The Colorado Trail Tennessee Pass to Timberline Lake and CT Trailhead

The Colorado Trail: Tennessee Pass to Timberline Lake & CT Trailhead Professional Guide

Detailed Trail Description from our Guidebook

"In this segment, the CT turns south and stays on a southerly heading for the next 120 miles, all the way to Marshall Pass. It skirts along the eastern flank of the Sawatch Range between the 9,000 and 12,000-foot levels, following much of the path of the old Main Range Trail that was constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corp in the 1930s.

It was built both for recreation and fire protection. There are many high points along this route that provide spectacular views of the Arkansas River Valley. Toward the end of this segment, the CT passes through the southeast corner of the Holy Cross Wilderness Area with some great views of Mt. Massive to the south. It is the second highest mountain in Colorado at 14,421 feet. Shortly after leaving the Wilderness Area, this segment terminates at a trailhead by the Lake Fork of the Arkansas River."

The Colorado Trail: Tennessee Pass to Timberline Lake & CT Trailhead Trip Reports

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8/4/2018
We had a surprisingly peaceful backpacking trip. I'm used to the crazy crowds of people during my hiking vacay in Colorado, but we didn't run into too many folks. This is an excellent portion of the CT, very mellow. The trails are clear and the views of valley and mountains are amazing.
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4/10/2010
Snowshoed this trail. Really nice, lovely wet land area, were I ran into a pack of wild dogs that had just brought down an elk!!
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6/18/2005
Two areas we wanted to trek through: the section of the Colorado Trail that starts at Tennessee Pass, and the remaining network of trails at the 10th Mountain Division Memorial across the street.

There was lots of trail-work/trail-clearing and fire-lines in the process of being put together on the section of trail in the forested area behind the Memorial--pretty mild hiking sprinkled with fox and mule-deer sightings. This was June, so it was without the hoopla of the commercial ski slopes also located near the memorial.

Across the street from the Memorial, there's another parking area where the trailhead for this section of the Colorado Trail kicks off.

Further north on the stretch of highway that runs through TN Pass is another pull-off for another section of trail. Also looked like some work was being done---we were kind of disheartened at the accumulation of broken glass, wires, and tires just at the bottom of the trail, so we skipped this part. The mule deep skeleton just off the trail was kind of foreboding as well, so we stuck to the southern region of the pass for something less sinister.

Follow the diamonds, put extra sunblock on your neck, and take it slow if you're altitude-sickness rookies like us!

-PineTree/CedarCell | Atlanta, GA
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The Colorado Trail: Tennessee Pass to Timberline Lake & CT Trailhead Photos

Trail Information

Leadville
Nearby City
13.6
Distance
2,120 feet
Elevation Gain
Shuttle
Trail Type
Best summer and fall
Season
10,424 feet
Trailhead Elevation
11,480 feet
Top Elevation
Leadville Ranger District, San Isabel National Forest
Local Contacts
Trails Illustrated #126, 127; USGS Leadville North, Homestake Reservoir
Local Maps