Miles Hiked: 11.4
Total Milage: 1000
Location: Grand Lake Colorado
This morning we all got up around 6:30ish and started hiking by 7:30. We only had to hike 11.4 miles to get to the highway at Willow Creek Pass where we will have to hitch around our first fire closure. 12 pack and I will also hit 1000 miles of hiking at that exact spot too.
Parkview Mountain was so cool! To get to the top we traversed an awesome ridge before doing a steep 1 mile 1,000 foot climb. At the bottom of the climb we took a break and watched as another hiker traversed the ridge that we will descend from Parkview on. When we got to the top we got to meet the hiker. His name was COT and he’s the second northbound hiker I’ve ran into on the CDT since we have flipped. It’s actually his first camping trip in his entire life and he is absolutely crushing the CDT. I’m so impressed. We also met two other day hikers on the peak who came up from the other side and ended up giving us a ride to Granby! It was nice to not have to hitch from the trailhead. Once we got to the gas station in Granby, I got a hotdog and a mountain dew, two things I’ve been craving. We stood on the side of the highway and hitched a ride to Grand Lake in the back of a pick up truck. We had to miss almost 50 miles of trail because it is closed due to a bad fire in 2020. That means that we missed most of Rocky Mountain National Park which is sad. Almost half of the park burned last year.
When we got to Grand Lake, we walked around the town looking for a place to eat. We went to an Asian restraunt and tried to figure out what to do for the rest of the night. We didn’t want to keep hiking because we would have to go quite a ways to find a legal spot to camp. The trail goes straight through the town of Grand Lake and then straight into the National Park for about 7 miles meaning we would have to hike 7 more miles before finding a camping spot. Cot let us know that the only cheap hostel in town is completely booked up at the moment with renters. He told us about a nice trail angel who is willing to let hikers camp in her yard if the hostel is full! I gave her a call and she was so happy to hear from us. We picked her up some dinner in town before hiking over to her house. She let us take showers, do laundry, and charge our batteries! She even had some nice fluffy bathrobes for us to wear while we waited for laundry to finish. Thank you Karen for your kind hospitality! Getting to spend the night in town for free was so nice. I ended up staying up way too late in my tent. I know I’ll be tired in the morning.