183 miles from Denver, the Colorado Trail splits into two routes - the Collegiate East and West. They split just south of Twin Lakes and rejoin about 80 miles further south. The East route is the “official” Colorado Trail, taking a lower elevation path that goes through some hot springs. Collegiate West is the “high-elevation alternative” that follows the Continental Divide Trail. It offers incredible views, spends a lot of time above tree line, and goes over every mountain it can. Obviously, we had to do the western route. Climbing Hope Pass is a fitting introduction to the Collegiate West - we gained 3000 feet in just over 5 miles.