Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Backpacker Radio

Apr 1, 2024

In today’s episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, we are chatting all things Colorado Trail. Rachel, who filled in for Zach, and Chaunce are joined by David Fanning, who has seven complete hikes of the Colorado Trail, which is tied for the record we think. Topics covered today include the pros and cons of hiking the CT both east and westbound, the best weather windows, transportation to the trail, recommended gear, information about the campsites, water availability, the best towns, resupply strategy, preparation strategies, how to navigate the trail, wildlife, comparing the Collegiate East and West, and more.

We wrap the show with the official details of our upcoming LIVE podcast in Denver, how to cook corn, and the triple crown of bread.

Gossamer Gear: Use code “DINGLEBERRY” for 20% off packs at

Danner: Use code “TREK15” for 15% off Mountain 600 boots at

LMNT: Get a free sample pack with any order at

Shady Rays: Use code “TREK20” for $20 off polarized sunglasses at


Panel with David Fanning

Time stamps & Questions

00:06:14 - Reminders: Come attend BPR live in Denver on April 23! Apply to be a Trek blogger or Ambassador and suggest a potential Trail Days guest for BPR!

00:07:37 - Introducing the Colorado Trail panel

00:08:54 - Introducing David Fanning

00:12:04 - How did you go from the PCT to CT?

00:14:20 - When was the first year you hiked the Colorado Trail?

00:15:52 - Do you think having that conversation with the doctor turned out to be a blessing?

00:20:25 - Colorado Trail basics

00:22:40 - Hiking season and weather

00:30:10 - What crazy weather have you seen across 7 hikes?

00:31:45 - Discussion about keeping gear dry and rain gear

00:36:42 - What experience have you had with snow on the trail?

00:39:14 - Have you had any sketchy experiences with lightning? (NOLS lightning resources)

00:41:56 - Discussion about dead tree fall

00:43:15 - Hiking NOBO or SOBO

00:49:08 - Trail termini

00:51:00 - Discussion about taking the train from Grand Junction to Denver

00:52:12 - Resupplies and towns

00:53:18 - Discussion about hitching

00:59:50 - Trail towns: Bailey, Conifer, Jefferson, and Fairplay (See The Colorado Trail Guide: Resupply and Towns on the Colorado Trail)

01:04:04 - Trail towns: Breckenridge, Frisco, and Copper

01:05:45 - Sending resupply boxes

01:06:53 - Trail towns: Leadville

01:09:54 - Trail towns: Twin Lakes

01:10:35 - Collegiate East vs West

01:17:05 - Trail towns: Buena Vista and Salida

01:19:05 - The Cochetopa section

01:24:10 - Trail towns: Gunnison, Lake City

01:31:56 - Discussion about sheepdogs

01:34:06 - Trail towns: Silverton and the scenic train

01:38:40 - Discussion about the section between Lake City and Silverton

01:40:20 - Discussion about wildlife encounters

01:48:00 - Food storage on the CT

01:50:04 - Shelter considerations on the CT

01:54:15 - Discussion about campsites and Chaunce’s scary story

01:58:45 - Navigation on the CT

02:00:48 - Dogs and bikes on the CT (Backpacker Radio #214 | Tisha McCombs, Executive Director at the Colorado Trail Foundation)

02:03:30 - What has changed the most over your many hikes?

02:07:00 - Section hiking versus thru-hiking

02:14:02 - What’s your elevator pitch for the Colorado Trail?

02:17:04 - Physical preparation on the CT

02:21:25 - Discussion about food and appetite

02:21:55 - Tell us about Voices of the Colorado Trail


Trek Propaganda

QOTD: How do you cook corn?

Triple Crown of bread

Plug Me: Old Man Murph's Coffee Roasters

Mail Bag

5 Star Review


Check out our sound guy @my_boy_pauly/.

Leave us a voicemail!

Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes (and please leave us a review)!  Find us on Spotify, Stitcher, and Google Play.

Support us on Patreon to get bonus content.

Advertise on Backpacker Radio

Follow The Trek, Chaunce, Badger, and Trail Correspondents on Instagram.

Follow Backpacker Radio, The Trek and Chaunce on YouTube.

Follow Backpacker Radio on Tik Tok. 

Our theme song is Walking Slow by Animal Years.

A super big thank you to our Chuck Norris Award winner(s) from Patreon: Alex & Misty with Navigators Crafting, Andrew, Austen McDaniel, Austin Ford, Brad & Blair (Thirteen Adventures), Brent Stenberg, Bryan Alsop, Christopher Marshburn, Coach from Marion Outdoors, Dayne, Derek Koch, Eric Casper, Erik Hofmann, Greg Knight, Greg McDaniel may he bring honor to his name, Hailey Buckingham, Jason “Snail” Snailer barely know her, Liz Seger, Patrick Cianciolo, SPAM, Timothy Hahn, and Tracy “Trigger” Fawns.

A big thank you to our Cinnamon Connection Champions from Patreon: 12 Trees Farms, David, Dcnerdlet, Emily Galusha, Jeanie, Jeanne Latshaw, Jeff LaFranier, Joann Menzer, Katharine Rudzitis, Keith Dobie Jr, merle Watkins, Peter, and Ruth S.