Rocky Mountain National Park (Colorado) Backpacking – Grand Lake CDT Loop – September 2016

For my final ‘big’ western US backpacking trip of 2016 I went solo to Rocky Mountain National Park to take on the 30-mile Continental Divide Trail loop that starts in Grand Lake, Colorado.

I’ve always wanted to do a backpacking trip in RMNP but it’s never made it to the top of the list, primarily because they don’t allow dogs in the backcountry. But doing it as a solo trip made that possible in September 2016. I chose the Grand Lake ‘CDT Loop’ because it’s popularity makes it a good candidate for one of my videos, and because it is one of the few ‘natural’ multi-day loop hikes that RMNP offers.

This was a rough one, and quite a learning experience for me. I re-learned basic lessons about wearing enough clothes, drinking enough water, eating enough food, and paying attention to the trail and your body. And because I piled one mistake on top of another, in conditions that will slap you down when you make mistakes, I learned what real fear feels like. Fortunately the weather was perfect and the trails easy when I hit the low point or it could have been much worse. The 6-mile above treeline stretch on the Grand Lake CDT Loop is no joke!

Similar to my other recent backpacking videos, this one is also roughly one hour in length with a 10 minute slide show at the end. It is meant to be an ‘immersive’ experience that allows you to come along with me on the trip. If you aren’t interested in ‘riding along on my shoulder’ for an hour of video, just skip to the last 10 minutes of still pictures and you’ll get a good overview of our trip.

Still Camera: Nikon D700 with Nikkor 20mm f2.8 lens
Video Camera: Canon Vixia G30 with Rode Stereo Videomic Pro
Video Editing Software: Sony Vegas Pro 13
HDR Software: SNS-HDR Pro


“Already There” and “Learn to Fly” by Josh Woodward. Free download:
“These Moments” by Nicolai Heidlas

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