Hi, I’m planning on a thru-ride of the CO Trail late-summer 2013, and I guess my first question would be if there’s a majority opinion of the best direction to ride? I guess most of the articles and reports I’ve read seem to focus on riding E-W, but I live pretty close to the Waterton Canyon TH, and I love the idea of ending the ride "at home".
Opinions or ideas, anyone?
I think there are two main reasons for the general E-W preference.
1. The harshest climbs run W-E; these make sweet descents going E-W.
2. You save the best stuff for last. You can hit the last four segments uninterrupted by Wilderness detours and they run through the absolutely stunning San Juan Range with the final awesome plummet into Durango.
However, given your location, there may be something to the idea of having a familiar bed to climb into at the end of the trek.
I agree with ski bum, the climax is in the San Juan’s. you also hit many towns in the first half of the trail, making it a good warm up before you have to carry your food until Silverton. I would say the climbs would even themselves out in both directions, maybe the first climb out of Durango up to Indian ridge would be a pain. The Colorado Trail Race is rumored to be doing it from West to East this year! No matter what you will have a blast!