History Meets Its Match On The Colorado Trail

August 1, 2016
Retro Colorado Trail Slideshow(Courtesy Ben Jenkins)
Hiker Ben Jenkins modeled 19th-century style clothes before he started his hike on the Colorado Trail.

The mountainous, 500-mile hike across the Colorado Trail from Denver to Durango draws ambitious hikers from around the world. Roughly half of them make it the whole way, according to the director of the trail foundation.

Ben Jenkins and his friend, Aaron Klass hoped to re-create, and make, history when they set off on the trail July 6. They had on clothing and carried camping gear that a merchant might have worn to make the trek in the 1860s. Before long, the pair encountered troubles. First, their footwear caused blisters, then a thin and quickly worn blanket failed to protect them from the evening cold. And then crowds of other hikers and bikers slowed their progress.

The upshot: Jenkins and Klass spent less than half of July on the trail, have covered about 200 miles, and are now back home in the Denver area, mapping out a new plan. 

Jenkins spoke to Colorado Matters host Nathan Heffel.