Daily Miles: 15
Total Miles: 398
We had a really nice time in Winter Park. As usual, the afternoon went by way too quickly as we were trying to get town tasks done and also get things figured out for going forward.
We ended up changing our route for the next stretch to Frisco. We had originally planned to hike the actual CDT in this stretch, but yesterday we decided to hike the Silverthorne Alternate instead. While the alternate is significantly shorter, that wasn’t really our motivation. Instead, we were more concerned about hiking Grey’s Peak and Edwards Peak (both over 14,000 feet) which are both on the original CDT. The alternate will keep us at a lower elevation which we thought was a good idea. We have been warned as well that the trail for Grey’s Peak would be slammed with hikers as we would be heading to it on a Saturday, making that portion of trail less appealing.
So, since we had fewer miles in this next stretch, we didn’t feel like we needed an early start. It was nice to sleep in a bit, get McDonalds for breakfast and then have the motel owner drive us back to the trail around 9:45am.
We started back on the trail just after 10:00am. There were a lot of day hikers out today. Chances are that in the summer, there will always be a lot of day hikers out when it is a nice day. And today was a beautiful day…not a cloud in the sky, warm temperatures and a nice cool breeze.
As we climbed more and got further away from the parking lot, we started to see fewer and fewer other hikers. The climb was really gradual and the trail was nice all day. It was good to get up higher in elevation and to have great views all around.
Around 5:15pm, we finally got to the junction where we took the Silverthorne Alternate. The trail went onto a wide dirt road and descended down for the next three miles. It was nice to get back down into the trees and to have a bit of shade.
Tonight we are camped again in an established campsite along a dirt road. We haven’t seen any cars or people, so hopefully we’ll have a quiet night. We are camped near a creek, so there is a chance that we will have a very chilly night.