Hiking the CDT Loop – Colorado Backpacking & Camping Trip

Hiking the CDT Loop – Colorado Backpacking & Camping Trip

4 Days of Hiking, Camping & Backpacking on Colorado’s Continental Divide Trail in the Rocky Mountain National Forest. GPS Data at http://www.sintax77.com

For this backpacking trip, we’ll be doing a 4 day, 3 night camping trip on a section of the Continental Divide Trail in Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park. Sometimes referred to as the “CDT Short Loop”, this backpacking loop is a 29 mile mile circuit with several access point options. In our case, we parked at the Green Mountain trailhead, just past the RMNP Kawuneeche visitor center and park entrance by Grand Lake, CO. The 2 mile Green Mountain trail provided us access to the CDT and brought our mileage for the loop up to 33 miles.

For an easier read, check out my full blog post here: http://www.sintax77.com/hiking-the-cdt-loop-colorado-backpacking-camping/

GPS Data for this trip and many others can be found on my Trip Data Page. Includes full track data for each day, and way-points for campsites used, water sources, etc along the loop.

Season: First week of September

Trailhead Used: Green Mountain Trailhead, RMNP, Grand Lake, CO – 40°18’26.7″N 105°50’28.7″W
This parking area is only a few miles into the park & provides overnight parking for plenty of vehicles. A park entrance pass and wilderness camping permit is required (contact the Kawuneeche Office for details and availability)

Trails Used Day 1:

Park at the Green Mountain Trailhead.
Green Mountain Trail
Junction with Tonahutu Creek Trail (CDT)
Continue north on the Continental Divide Trail
Setup camp at Sunset camp (Elevation 9,498′)
This is a single group tentsite that must be reserved via permit.

Day 1 Mileage: 4 miles
Day 1 Gross Elevation Gain: 974′

Trails Used, Day 2:

Continue on the Tonahutu Creek Trail (CDT)
Stock up on water before heading up the ridge (last chance at N40° 19.579′ W105° 43.701′)
Continue on Tonahutu Creek Trail (CDT) through Ptarmigan Pass
Junction North Inlet Trail / Flattop Mountain Trail
Head south on the North Inlet Trail (CDT)
Junction North Inlet / Lake Nanita Trail
Head South on the Lake Nanita Trail
Setup camp at Pine Marten Camp (Elevation 9,568′)
These are two separate single group tentsites that must be reserved via permit.

Trails used Day 3:

Dayhike to Lake Nokoni by heading south on the Lake Nanita Trail
We only went to the first lake, Nokoni, due to weather and time issues, but there is a second lake, Nanita, about .75 miles further up the trail.
Backtrack to camp and grab packs.
Return to Junction w/ North Inlet Trail
Continue west on the North Inlet Trail (CDT)
Setup camp at Twinberry Camp # 2 (Elevation 8,661′)
These are two separate single group tentsites that must be reserved via permit.

Day 3 Mileage: 9.6 miles (4 miles round trip for lake hike, 5.6 miles on the CDT Loop)
Day 3 Gross Elevation Gain: 1,414′ (Almost all of this was from the lake hike excursion)

Trails used Day 4:

Continue west on the North Inlet Trail (CDT)
Arrive at the North Inlet Trailhead
Beyond the parking lot, you’ll find the Tonahutu Trailhead
Head north on the Tonahutu Creek Trail
Junction with Green Mountain Trail
Return to Green Mountain Trailhead

Day 4 Mileage: 9.5 miles
Day 4 Gross Elevation Gain: 1,204′

Grand Total Mileage: 37 Miles
Grand Total Elevation Gain: 6,666′
Note: 4 miles and 1,414′ can be attributed to our day 3 lake hike)

Notable Backpacking Gear Seen / Discussed:

Nemo Losi 3p Tent https://amzn.to/2yKoqGb
Unigear Sleeping Pad https://amzn.to/2Nu3nvV
Big Agnes Q-Core SL Sleeping Pad https://amzn.to/2NP4afX
Alite Mayfly Camp Chair https://amzn.to/2ItzfQq
WrightSocks https://amzn.to/2O8sB3n
Steripen Ultralight UV Water Purifier https://amzn.to/2EO8JmG
REI Co-op XeroDry GTX Jacket https://go.magik.ly/ml/gs0d/
Hammock Gear Burrow Top Quilts http://bit.ly/2qlZgJn
Outdoor Vitals 15° Down MummyPod Sleeping Bag https://amzn.to/2CIO15D
Hammock Gear Dyneema Hex Tarp w/ Doors http://bit.ly/2Sq1fsB
2T’s Hammock Chair http://bit.ly/2Ppe3Rn
Shawn’s Gregory Optic 48 Backpack https://amzn.to/2KOLsTp
Sara’s ULA Ohm 2.0 Backpack http://bit.ly/2Sq1FPH
Dutchware Argon Pack Cover http://bit.ly/2O8N7AL
Toaks 450ml Titanium Cup https://amzn.to/2GLboZV
Packit Gourmet Backpacking Meals https://www.packitgourmet.com/
Sea To Summit Alpha Light Long Spork https://amzn.to/2y4sek8
MalloMe Camp Cook Kit https://amzn.to/2O6ZIEX
Budget Canister Stove https://amzn.to/2n7iNv6
Mike’s MSR Whisperlite Universal Stove https://amzn.to/2EOZBy6
BearVault BV500 Bear Canister https://amzn.to/2CJRUqf
NatGeo Rocky Mountain National Park Map https://amzn.to/2EMNrFP
Sangean DT-400W Weather Band Radio https://amzn.to/2EMNv8x
Garmin Oregon GPS https://amzn.to/2ObFHNh

Want to help support the channel? The next time you’re about to do some shopping, go through
(or bookmark it) & a portion of your session will help support the next trip …at no additional cost to you!


  1. BirdLaw 101 on January 25, 2020 at 8:01 am

    Set the fly on inside out…instant fail!

  2. Tom Power Vlogs on January 25, 2020 at 8:04 am

    WOOOW Cool Video Love Colorado Live there for 4 months Very Beautiful O one more think Nice 4K Footage👌

  3. Armando Veloz on January 25, 2020 at 8:04 am

    Why no trekking poles

  4. Alexander Weaver on January 25, 2020 at 8:05 am

    Wow! How did I miss this video?! It was the best of all your list, too. It was really cool to see the four of you together again. I wish I could convince my wife the best method for warming her hands is to put them in my crotch…LMAO but hopeful.

  5. Kevin Piggott on January 25, 2020 at 8:05 am

    Cracking video loved it. What was Mikes Pack please

  6. Doyle Sinclair on January 25, 2020 at 8:05 am

    I noticed that Mike is carrying, and I thought that was prohibited in the parks? Is he carrying just because he is legal to carry, or is he carrying in case of need from bear or mountain lion attacks? I’m in Texas, and have a license to carry, and was wondering if I should carry when I start doing hikes. Also, if you know, I’d be interested in knowing what he is carrying. Looks like a Glock, but if not, I’d like to know what gun and what caliber. Also, is anyone else carrying?

  7. oceaner008 on January 25, 2020 at 8:06 am

    We were your neighbors at Pine Martin that night (we were in #1). We must of been just ahead of you coming down from flat top in the hail. I even recognized the guy on the horse in the beginning. The girl on the white horse got thrown and the horse bolted back down the trail towards us. We were able to catch it and return it to them about a mile up the trail. We were fortunate enough to stay at the Haynack Lhama site as it was available the day of travel and the park ranger let us stay there.

  8. Foof50 on January 25, 2020 at 8:10 am

    I just bought some starter gear on Amazon after watching yours and another guy’s videos. A Walk In The Woods lit my fire, but you guys are stoking the flames. Wish I’d noticed the Amazon link sooner. Maybe make that a transition note between nights, because I sometimes don’t watch the gear up videos to the end or even after you exit the trail and the link is at the very bottom of the description. I would’ve totally helped you out.

  9. Rima on January 25, 2020 at 8:10 am

    12:02 did she say fajeeta….lol!

  10. Flyboy Phil on January 25, 2020 at 8:11 am

    How come none of you use trekking poles?

  11. Carbon Copy on January 25, 2020 at 8:12 am

    Thanks Sintaxx77 Sara, Mike. and Mikes Wife. amother great video !!!!

  12. Stephen Day on January 25, 2020 at 8:14 am

    Those packs are huge:). Great video!

  13. Mike Sell on January 25, 2020 at 8:14 am

    That was a awesome trip you four did 👍

  14. BackpackingthePNW on January 25, 2020 at 8:15 am

    Heading out early oct to do the hike. Great intel!

  15. Craig G on January 25, 2020 at 8:16 am

    That was a Shiras moose, They are the smallest and most southern sub species of moose .

  16. Chris Thornton on January 25, 2020 at 8:16 am

    Great video, so relaxing to watch. You should show your celebratory cheeseburger at the end 🙂

  17. 솔개 걸어서 on January 25, 2020 at 8:18 am

    Good video I like timber line trail

  18. Julia Chilcote on January 25, 2020 at 8:19 am

    What was your Day 2 mileage? It isn’t listed in the description like the others. Thanks!

  19. Insomniac Show on January 25, 2020 at 8:20 am


  20. Tenacious Terri on January 25, 2020 at 8:21 am

    Thank you that was great

  21. Stephen Lawson on January 25, 2020 at 8:21 am

    I’m new to syntax77. But Danielle nailed it at 1:09:37.

  22. Calvin Hikes on January 25, 2020 at 8:22 am

    All your videos are so good. I appreciated watching this. My hiking videos aren’t great yet but I’m working on it. I would love it anyone wouldn’t mind checking out my channel. Thanks and cool video!

  23. Wild West Trail on January 25, 2020 at 8:23 am

    Great work. Any hiking plans for the summer?

  24. Gary Day on January 25, 2020 at 8:23 am

    General info, sorry if this is a silly question: How do you, and other video-makers, keep the video camera focused on your face even as you walk over terrain. I’m assuming you’re using a selfie-stick of some sort, but I think if I did that the camera would bounce all over and not stay focused on my face. Is this software, facial lock, or something?…

  25. Emily McCarthy on January 25, 2020 at 8:25 am

    Anyone else think he looks like Charles Boyle from Brooklyn Nine-Nine it is it just me 😅

  26. Living Tomorrow Today on January 25, 2020 at 8:26 am

    Great video, but I had a question. Isn’t eating in your sleep area a bad idea? New to camping so there might be something I’m missing. Also, where do you keep all your food trash while hiking to prevent food odor from attracting animals?

  27. The Truth on January 25, 2020 at 8:27 am

    white people

  28. People Pursuing Greatness Podcast on January 25, 2020 at 8:28 am

    Great video brother! Might end up doing this one!

  29. Hudson McGrail on January 25, 2020 at 8:29 am

    I had to come back to this after watching it last night and say it was the best film documentary I’ve seen in a while! An hours and 10 minutes just went by and I didn’t fast forward and skip the boring bits ‘cos there weren’t any. Just want to say well done. Watched a few YouTubers doing bushcraft canoeing trips and they bore the crap out of me…. well done

  30. Jared Stinson on January 25, 2020 at 8:30 am

    I am sorry not trying to be mean but I laughed out loud when she said Fa-Gee-Tah, instead of Fa-He-Tah, The J makes the H sound.. ok back to watching this great vid so far 🙂

  31. sintax77 on January 25, 2020 at 8:31 am

    Check out Mike’s Trailkilla channel at 2pm for his Coloardo vacay video! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxRSW3LLk4FtG87qPouzD8Q

  32. Doyle Sinclair on January 25, 2020 at 8:32 am

    when you hike a trail that aren’t close enough to drive to, how do you get all your packs and equipment to the trail? Do the airlines allow you to check those packs as bags, or do you mail them out to the trail ahead of time or what? Excuse me if this is a dumb question! lol

  33. David Stillman on January 25, 2020 at 8:32 am


  34. FlorinU on January 25, 2020 at 8:34 am

    What was the average weight of your backpacks?

  35. David Reece on January 25, 2020 at 8:35 am

    Favorite scene at 57:30. This is what hiking is all about. The fun, the memories and the joy of just being out. When you get to this point in the hike, you will know it. 🙂

  36. Luke R on January 25, 2020 at 8:37 am

    What map are y’all using ?

  37. Rollin Thunder on January 25, 2020 at 8:40 am

    With all these Epic hikes you do have u ever seen Bigfoot yet ???

  38. MJ_Hiking on January 25, 2020 at 8:40 am

    This was the first video of yours that I came across. Great work! You inspired me to take action on a dormant plan I had to record my own hikes.

  39. JakeOfAllTrades on January 25, 2020 at 8:40 am

    great vid

  40. Metro On The Move on January 25, 2020 at 8:47 am

    Really enjoyed this video. Great views. Just subbed!

  41. Td Di on January 25, 2020 at 8:48 am

    was enjoying the chili cookout backountry style until VinDiesels disgusting feet came into focus
    -nice timing while your camp buddies r eating

  42. Shawn Claycomb on January 25, 2020 at 8:48 am

    Great hiking, have you been out to Oregon?

  43. Carbon Copy on January 25, 2020 at 8:54 am

    Totally Excelent People !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  44. Southern Trekker on January 25, 2020 at 8:54 am

    This was one of your best videos ever.

  45. Shaun Kemp on January 25, 2020 at 8:55 am

    You can’t fool me, you are hiking with Joe Rogan.

  46. Bushcrafty Bert on January 25, 2020 at 8:56 am

    fantastic video had everything , keep up the good work…

  47. Steven J on January 25, 2020 at 8:57 am

    I only watch for the hot wife

  48. DrugTalk 101 on January 25, 2020 at 8:58 am

    New postcard .. Mike pointing at something interesting while his wife holds on to the family jewels like they’re gonna fall off and gazes up at something interesting with the pack right next to them!! Haha 😂 maybe even a travel brochure!!

  49. rashiehill on January 25, 2020 at 9:00 am

    No drone in a national park ?? What’s the rules on that ?.

  50. Chris Vuille-Kowing on January 25, 2020 at 9:01 am

    Great video, thank you for sharing 🙂

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