Rocky Mountain NP: Grand Lake CDT Loop

Discussion in 'Trip Planning' started by AKay09, Jan 4, 2017.

  1. AKay09

    AKay09 Member

    Chicago, IL
    Trip Planning for the season has begun and I am thinking Rocky Mountain will be my first backpacking trip of the season. I'm looking to do the CDT Loop that starts out of Grand Lake. I believe it's about 30miles, so I'm thinking of doing it over 3 days. I'm considering making this my first solo trip as well as I don't expect a lot of friends being able to join me this year. So I have a few questions:

    1) Does this seem like a "safe" doable first time solo backpack? I'm thinking it is a pretty well traveled park with few bears so I should feel a bit more comfortable. I've done 25 miles in the Smokies, 50 miles in Glacier NP and hiked most of the Teton Crest Trail in the Tetons this past September so even if the nights are chilly I would be prepared, it's the snow that concerns me.

    2) Would doing this hike in mid to late June be possible? I know there are some high elevation sections and a nice long 6mile hike above tree line so not sure how snow pack will be. Looking at the weather from the past 2 years it seems like it waspretty warm all month, temps hitting the 90s, and with global warming and all I kind of imagine it will be again.
  2. Outdoor_Fool

    Outdoor_Fool Member

    Fairbanks, AK
    This is a fine first-time solo trek. Keep track of the snow pack as spring progresses. By that time, above treeline should be snow-free aside from some deposition zones, but some of the higher elevation sections in the trees may still have snow. I'd shoot for late-June to decrease the likelihood of large swaths of snow. Be prepared for the effects of altitude and stay hydrated.

    Don't worry about the black bears, a bigger problem may be the marmots on the alpine that love to chew on shoulder straps, etc. for the salt.

    The views from up top along this stretch are phenomenal, especially towards Long's Peak.
  3. Wanderlust073

    Wanderlust073 Member

    If you decide you don't want to solo it, hit me up. I live a couple hours away and should be available. We just moved out here from the Chicago area ourselves.
    Outdoor_Fool likes this.