CDT Day 78 Climbing to the Highest Point of the CDT

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4th July

15.4 miles

Warden Gulch (1098.3) to I70 (1113.7)

What is the Highest Point on the CDT?

Grays Peak is the Highest point on the CDT at 14278ft / 4352m. Grays Peak has an easy hiking trail to the summit. The biggest difficulties of the hike being the weather and altitude.

I’m not sure when the rain stopped last night. Everything was wet in the morning. I was packed and hiking well before Lucky. It was several miles of early morning road walking before I made it to the trailhead. Several thousand feet of elevation gain separated me from the highest point on the CDT, Grays Peak.

After the first long climb that took me to 13000ft I stopped to dry out my wet tent and gear. Lucky caught up. For the next 3 hours we traversed the ridges to Grays Peak. For the most part we were route finding on a trackless spine. It amazed me that the CDT is not even a trail up here. Some mountain goats appeared from nowhere. We followed them. They led us to the main trail that all the day hikers use to climb the mountain. We were climbing the mountain from the difficult, almost inaccessible route called the CDT.

Lucky and I dropped our packs on the main trail and almost ran to the top. Our bodies being so used to carrying backpacks. It felt superhuman to be nearly running up this 14000ft mountain. The thin air not bothering us. We chatted as we hiked to the summit, passing several winded day hikers.

On the 4th July we reached the summit of the highest point in the CDT. 14278 Feet. It’s all downhill from here to Canada.

We descended to the carpark very quickly. My old hiking buddy Crunchmaster was there waiting for me with his brother. He was getting back on trail. We were reunited to hike the trail together again. Thomas, Crunchmasters brother took us to the nearby town of Idaho Springs where we all demolished a pizza and beer. Then back to the trailhead to continue our hike. It was great to be back hiking with Crunchmaster.

The valley approach to Grays Peak
Snow near Grays Paek
The CDT near the top of Grays Peak, Colorado
Approaching the summit of Grays Peak on the CDT
Summit of Grays Peak, Colorado. The highest point on the CDT

Next – Day 79 This Trail is Brutal

Everything you need to know about hiking the CDT:
Complete Guide to Hiking the Continental Divide Trail
CDT Resupply Guide
CDT Gear List

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  1. I have a friend from here who hiked Grays Peak today! His Facebook photo looks almost identical to the one of you holding the American flag. Congratulations!

  2. Excited to hear Crunchmaster is back!!! I have been following his journal as well and was wondering what he was going to decide to do. Welcome back Crunchmaster! As with your other adventures, this has been great to follow along.

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