This is a section of the Colorado Trail (CT) on Sugarloaf Mountain that
I've run and hiked numerous times since 1998.
The first couple of miles of the CT from the Timberline Lake trailhead
to Hagerman Road are on the LT100 Run course. At that point outbound
runners are directed up Sugarloaf Mountain on Hagerman Road to a jeep
road that leads them to the Powerline, a wide dirt track which descends steeply to CO 300
and the Leadville Fish Hatchery.
I followed the CT, not the race course. It crosses Hagerman Road,
ascends Sugarloaf Mountain rather steeply on single-track, and
intersects the jeep road just before the Powerline begins its descent.
Then the CT continues south toward Mt. Massive.
I remained on the CT this whole hike, turning around about half a mile
past the jeep road and retracing my steps back to the truck for a total
distance of seven miles.
The CT crosses several large and small creeks in
All the photos in this entry are from my hike this morning.
UP 'N AT 'EM
It was a chilly 47 F. when we got up about 7:30 AM, but clear and sunny.
Temperatures in town reached the upper
60s as more puffy white clouds formed in the afternoon. We could see storms
in the distance to the east and south; we didnít get any rain at our
August day in Leadville!
Cody loved getting in all these creeks today.
Jim cycled the Mineral Belt Trail again this morning for a total
distance of about 12 miles to and from our camper. He enjoyed his ride
and reported seeing very few other trail users.
(I'll show photos
from the Mineral Belt Trail in a few days. Jim rarely carries a camera
with him on rides; the pictures you'll see from the MBT will be
ones I take.)
The drive from Leadville to the Timberline Lake trailhead is very scenic
as it follows the western shoreline of Turquoise Lake. I took this
picture as I was driving to the trail this morning along narrow, winding
Forest Road 105 toward Mayqueen:
At the end of this entry is another "windshield shot"
I took on the way back to town after my
hike. Note how many clouds have moved in several hours later --
typical in the Rocky Mountains in the summer.
I parked at the Timberline Lake trailhead and hiked south on CT Seg.
10 for 3Ĺ miles. Outbound ranged from ~ 10,000 feet elevation to ~
11,000 feet. Inbound was mostly downhill.
Cody had plenty to drink in fast-moving streams like Glacier and Bush
creeks between the trailhead and Hagerman Road. Three larger creeks have
bridges on them, thankfully. There were two smaller streams on the
section between Hagerman Road and the dirt track on top of Sugarloaf
Above and below: another pretty creek and the
bridge over it
The first section I hiked is used in the LT100 run and Iíve been on it
many times. Itís still as rocky as ever. The second section, the tangent
between Hagerman Rd. and the jeep road, is much
steeper but less rocky.
There were more flowers in the second section, which has more sun. Both
sections had quite a bit of shade, though.
Oh Ė and there are dandelions blooming, too!
I saw five hikers, two runners, three dogs, and a bunch of cyclists. The
cyclists were only on Hagerman Road and the Powerline, not the CT.
One of the hikers, whoís been section-hiking CT Seg. 6-10 this week, told
me that one day a large group of cyclists in an organized event passed him;
theyíre doing the whole CT this week. I told Jim about it when I got
home. I'd be willing to crew for him if he ever wants to cycle parts of
it or the whole 485-mile trail from Denver to Durango.
The CT continues south after crossing the jeep road
on Sugarloaf Mtn.
Looking down at the Powerline track (below arrow) from the CT
Scenic trail as I head back toward the jeep road;
see the power lines just above the clouds?
Seven miles took me 2:45 hours, including talking with that hiker
and later with our running friend Bill Heldenbrand at the Powerline.
I saw Bill running on the course as I approached the jeep road on my return. He's had to be very careful
in that area recently because of all the LT100 cyclists training on the Powerline. It's a very steep
grade with lots of loose dirt and rocks. He fell
while running down the Powerline yesterday and he's got plenty of
company -- runners and cyclists often slide and fall there.
Three cyclists head for the Powerline.
This afternoon Marge Hickman
showed us bruises she got when she fell off her bike while training on
that treacherous slope one day this week.
Sheís doing the Leadwoman series of races this year -- one of
very few women over 60 who are brave and strong enough to even
attempt this bike race.
Go, girl!!! Marge is not only a previous female winner of the LT100 Run,
she's also the woman with the most finishes over the years.
Those last five pictures illustrate the beauty and solitude of this
segment of the Colorado Trail. I love it.
NEW SHOPS IN TOWN
After lunch Jim and I drove downtown to see the new LT100 store. The old
store/office is now just the office for Lifetime Fitness, which bought
out the race series from Ken Chlouber and Merilee O'Neal last year.
Elephant's head and asters
Marge is working part time at the new LT100 store. There are a bunch of
part- and full-time
employees here this summer for the five races.
It was good to see Marge (and her husband Mike, who popped in for a
couple minutes with his grandkids and son). This is her first time doing
the bike race and boy, has she got some funny training stories! Marge
lives near Leadville so she's got a leg up, so to speak, on the
We also visited the new bike shop in town. Itís near Billís Bike Shop,
which has closed. Billís had running, hiking, and other outdoor stuff,
too. The new store is primarily bike related and doesnít have near as
much merchandise that we're interested in as Bill's did.
Jim's eyeing a new bike shirt at the LT100 store, which has lower prices
on bike clothes with the race logo on them. He's been wearing
neon-colored technical and cotton shirts from ultra runs when riding
(me, too, even though I have a couple "real" cycling shirts). Our bright
yellow, orange, and green running shirts have good visibility for
View of Turquoise Lake and mountains on the way
back to town after my hike.
This was another relaxing day
in Leadville. I'm trying my best for a few days to ignore
what's going on in the real world.
Next entry: a
nostalgic hike to Hope Pass, another trail that's very familiar
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil,
and Cody the Ultra Lab
© 2011 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil