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Colorado’s official trail map app gets new features as summer hiking season nears

Posted at 12:02 PM, May 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-06 14:31:00-04

No matter how you prefer to enjoy the trails of Colorado, you’ve likely sifted through various websites or apps to check on conditions and trail closures, or to find new routes.

One popular app is the Colorado Trail Explorer app, also called COTREX, which began in 2016 as part of former Gov. John Hickenlooper’s Colorado the Beautiful Initiative. After years of data outreach and development, Colorado Parks and Wildlife brought the idea to life and created a web-only version in 2017. Through a contract, the state developed the app.

The web and app versions are both free and detail 39,829 miles of public trails in the state. It has options catered toward hiking, mountain biking, running, ATV riding and horseback riding.

The new version of the app comes with some new features that will help all trail lovers enjoy the outdoors even more.

First, users will be able to download maps ahead of time, so they can access them throughout the entire journey, even in areas with no or spotty cell service.

They will also be able to record their adventures with the “Trips” option, and can chose from more than 45,000 classifications, such as trail conditions, species spotted, rock hazards, historic places, points of interest and more. These field notes can help other users understand what to expect when they head out in that same area.

To make things a little more fun, the app also added challenges for users to complete, which include visiting two waterfalls at Rocky Mountain National Park, locating Colorado’s state flower and more.

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"The COTREX app is a marriage of Coloradans’ love of the outdoors and using the latest technology to discover more of our beautiful state," said Trails and Recreation Project Manager Alex Dean with the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. "We are excited for Coloradans to download the COTREX app. It’s a great tool for exploring our wide diversity of trails and encouraging more Coloradans to spend time outdoors."

Want to learn more about COTREX? Click here for the FAQ page on CPW’s website.