After Monarch Lake I had hoped to get an ice cream at the Small Moose Trading Post but a sign said closed. Just as I disappointedly turned to leave the owner called down and said to come on in. Free Trail Magic Heaven with muffins, drinks, brownies and ice cream!
Thought I would easily make it into Grand Lake but the route around Lake Granby and up on Knight Ridge was difficult and slow. Unmaintained, overgrown, and a blowdown nightmare. You would cross over blowdowns and never find a trail on the other side repeatedly. Very challenging.
At Shadow Mountain Lake it was clear I wouldn't get to the hostel till 9pm so I found a place to stealth camp outside of Rocky Mountain National Park. Had to chase away a black bear at dusk and wondered if he would return all night. Looking forward to breakfast in Grand Lakes.