FKT: Lawton Grinter - RMNP CDT Loop (CO) - 2011-09-11

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Finish date
Total time
6h 31m 0s

In 2006 I hiked the 3,100-mile Continental Divide Trail from Canada to Mexico but skipped the RMNP CDT loop (as most thru-hikers do). I’ve been looking for an opportunity to do the loop ever since and training for an upcoming 50-miler seemed as good a reason as any. I ran the loop CCW on September 11th, 2011 starting at 7:30 AM at the North Inlet Trailhead. I used a Nathan #020 pack with a Sawyer Inline Filter, in addition to enough sports beans & Stinger waffles to get me around the loop. It took me 6 hrs 31 mins to complete the circuit and the altitude was definitely a factor for this Denver resident! Someone living at elevation that ran the uphills on this loop could likely knock 2+ hours off my time. I just want to get this loop up on the boards for those of you scenery junkies looking for a nice scenic loop with ample water sources. Frankly I’m a bit surprised this loop hasn’t already been posted. I’ll also mention that you don’t have to pay any fees or need any permits to access the North Inlet Trailhead and do the loop so long as you don’t camp overnight.

- Flattop Mountain Trail, 3:20
- Timberline Campsite, 4:17
- North Inlet Trailhead, 6:31