Sunday, August 23, 2015

Grey Rock MEADOWS Trail Hike, Fort Collins CO (Day 2)

As I said in my last post, we ran out of time to summit The Rock on Wednesday, so we vowed to come back Thursday and tackle it.  After reading up on both trails, we decided to test out the Meadows trail - it's longer, but was supposedly a more gradual incline to we figured we could make better time if we tried it this time around...
We started a little earlier and were on the trail by 2 PM. However, we didn't end up reaching the first summit until 5 PM!  This trail was killer, the first mile was MUCH steeper and since the trail isn't frequented quite as often it was very overgrown in parts.  Not to mention the trail was basically lined in Poison Ivy, not cool.  We ran into a few people along the way and they all said this was the easier trail, but we were beginning to doubt their sanity.  After 2 hours we reached what we thought was the first summit, only to find out we still had to go around ANOTHER mountain.. We sucked it up and continued on - at this point we were running extremely low on water and on moral, but we assumed we were close so we kept going, we couldn't have been more wrong.  About 45 minutes later we finally reached the Meadow, which was breathtaking, but at that point we were very nervous about our water situation so we didn't stop long.
After the Meadow we still had to get to the first summit (our second or third of the trip by then) - we ended up doing a lot of bouldering, which none of the trail reviews mentioned.. When we got to the end of the boulder field we realized our error - at some point (we have no idea when) we actually got off the Meadows Trail and ended up on a third trail that we had no idea existed - adding roughly 2 miles and the additional summits to our trip.  I haven't seen anything on any trail websites about this third trail, but when we reconnected with the Meadows trail it was obvious what had happened...  I wish I could tell you where we got mixed up so you could avoid it, but I honestly don't have the slightest idea..

By the time we got to the base of The Rock, it was already 5 PM - even LATER than the previous day.  Due to the time constraints, and the fact that we were now dangerously low on water, we unfortunately were unable to summit it, yet again.  I swear we will do it soon - everyone said the top it absolutely amazing.

We took Grey Rock Trail down, and made the descent in an hour an 7 minutes - we were on a mission to get back to the Jeep and get some water in us ASAP.

We will probably not attempt The Meadows again just based on that experience, and if you do please be careful and watch the trail so you don't make the same mistake we did - unless you want to, it honestly was a beautiful hike and the first summit we hit had incredible views - just make sure you are prepared!

Lesson learned for sure - watch your trail, bring MORE water than you think you'll need, and just prepare for the worst in general - God forbid something had happened up there, especially when we were off the trail - things can go south pretty quick!  Day 2 took us 4 hours, and we were really moving - start earlier than we did if you can, especially to avoid that afternoon heat - it was crazy hot out Thursday!

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