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What the heck is the Great Colorado Loop?
Basically the GCL is envisioned by me as roughly a 1,000 mile loop hike using the Colorado Trail as one leg and a more westerly return path back to Denver. It incorporates a little bit of Colorado's Continental Divide Trail (say Berthoud Pass to Mt Edwards) but mostly it links up forest service trails, forest service roads, and a few county roads on the return leg. People have yo-yo'd the CT before but this might be a first. Maybe I'll start a trend.
Here is a very sparse itinerary if you want to get an idea of the GCL route: Start on the Colorado Trail and hike to Durango. From Durango,hike a route north of the CT and travel near or through Mt. Wilson, Telluride, Ouray, Mt. Sneffels, Curecanti National Recreation Area, West Elk Wilderness, Marble, Aspen, Holy Cross Wilderness, Minturn, Eagles Nest Wilderness, Winter Park, Berthoud Pass and take the Continental Divide Trail south to Grays and Torreys Peaks, cross Mt Evans wilderness, and rejoin the Colorado Trail in the Lost Creek Wilderness. Then I'll hike out to Roxborough State Park. See the map.
I took off summer semester at Regis University to do the hike. I successfully hiked the Colorado Trail and section hiked the return leg to Snowmass. Classes started back up for me the last week of August so the last 260 mile section will have to wait until next year.