Day 19 - leaving Grants and up Mt Taylor (24.2 miles)
Updated: Aug 2, 2022
May 28, 2021
Miles: 24.2 miles
Woke up from my hotel room knowing that would be my last night sleep on a mattress for awhile so kind of hard to get out of bed.
Ate breakfast then went over to buy a new water filter, still unsure about my other one. Plus I had a feeling the one I had order in the mail was never going to get to me.
After heading over to Walmart I packed up everything and checked out of my room. Then was heading back to the trail by 8:30am. Later than I should have as I had more miles on the road. I also had at least 5,000 feet of climbing to do as Grants is at 6,400 ft and Mt Taylor is 11,300 ft.
Walked the half mile back to the trail which so happens to be Route 66. Then walked half a mile past the turn off to the post office to check on the status of my water filter. After talking with the post office worker it was pretty clear I wasn’t going to get it. My package was coming FedEx and she said unless it has a USPS number on it she couldn’t accept it. So I left and canceled my package to get a refund. Soon after leaving I get a text message saying it’s new delivery date was June 1, glad I bought that other filter.
Got back on the right road and walked the hot pavement for 7 miles until I got to the Mt Taylor trailhead. At the trailhead I ran into Drew. He was just about to leave when I got there. It was around 11:30am so a good time to stop and eat lunch before the big climb ahead. Plus there was a trash can.
The first 2 miles was a pretty steep climb that then turn into a nice flat trail. That lasted all the way to the Mt Taylor summit turnoff. The official CDT doesn’t go up to the summit so there is an alternate, which I took.
At the turn off it was about 4 miles to the top. About a mile in I stopped for water as I was about out plus my next source wouldn’t be for awhile. When I got to the water source I saw there was a possible water cache a quarter mile up trail so I decided to go for that. Big mistake as it was empty so I walked back down to the water and filled up 3 liters. While filling up I thought for sure I would see Drew but never did, I had passed him on the flat section.
With 3 more miles and over 2,000 feet of climbing to do I knew it was going to be a rough hike to the top. That 1st half wasn’t too bad but that 2nd one was the worst as no switchbacks, just straight up. The last mile was a little better only because of the switchbacks.
Right before the top I saw an ATV driving down the mountain real slowly, was not expecting to see that. The guy driving asked if I was ok as I was working pretty hard. Said I was fine and made the final push to the top.
The top of Mt Taylor was pretty awesome. There were even some good spots to camp but didn’t feel like camping at 11,300 ft. My first time on the CDT to head over 10,000 ft.
I spent about an hour at the top, resting and eating dinner. I thought for sure Drew would make it before I left but never saw him. He might had taken the CDT around.
I thought for sure I would have any easy 3 miles to camp, thinking all downhill, I was wrong. It went down for a little then had another steep uphill to do, didn’t last too long. Then after that it was all downhill to camp. I even saw some small patches of snow.
I found a nice camping site, just on the edge of the trees and the edge of the mountain. I should get a nice sunrise in the morning.