Grays and Torreys Peaks

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Trail Stats & Info

RT length 8.5 miles
Elevation gain 3,600 feet
Difficulty strenuous
Lowest elevation 11,290 feet
Highest elevation 14,270 feet
Trail type out & back
Trails Illustrated Map™ # 104
Restrooms @ TH? yes

Directions

From I-70, take exit 221 or Bakerville. Head south from the freeway, which immediately becomes a dirt road. Keep going south, and go straight passing a parking lot on the left, the dirt road goes uphill to the left, this is Stevens Gulch Rd. (If Stevens Gulch Rd. has a lot of snow, then you may need to park at this parking lot and hike up the road to the trailhead). Stay on Stevens Gulch Rd. for about 3 miles, passing Grizzly Gulch Rd. to the right. Parking lot is to the left and trailhead is by the bridge, which is to the right. This road is pretty rough and bumpy, so might be better to have a high clearance vehicle, but I have seen small sedans make it up this road. In the summer, this parking lot gets full quickly and many have to park along the dirt road before reaching the parking lot. This is a very popular 14er to hike as it is pretty close to Denver and is one of the easier 14ers to hike. There are a few primitive camping sites by the trailhead if you want to camp the night before.



Photos

Description

10/7/2006

This was my first 14er that I hiked, since moving to Colorado. Everyone told me that out of most of the 14ers, these were the easiest. I can’t say that they are “easy”, but after successfully hiking up several other 14ers, these are “easier” than the others. The trail is very well maintained, but there are a few areas that do require some minimal scrambling. On this day, I only reached Grays Peak, as I was with friends and didn’t have the chance to also hike up Torreys Peak. By this time of year, there was already a good amount of snow on the upper half of the trail, but since so many other hikers used the trail, it was easy to just follow the footsteps to find the trail. The start of the hike is mainly hiking up steps that are far apart and after that it flattens out as you reach a stream. This time of year, there wasn’t much water to cross, just some rocks. From here you can see Mt. Kelso to the right and the McClellan Mtns. to the left. The next section starts to climb and becomes steeper. Before hitting the switchbacks, you have to scramble over some large rocks. The switchbacks help with the steepness, but nevertheless the trail is pretty steep. You then come upon the summit of Grays Peak. It was very windy and cold on this day and only stayed up there to take a few photos and eat a quick snack. The summit is not very wide, but the view is amazing, including views of Mt. Evans and Mt. Bierstadt. You can even see I-70 at the bottom.

9/16/2007

This was my second trip up Grays Peak and my first up Torreys Peak. This time there was no snow on the mountains or any part of the trail, which made it easier to hike. It was pretty chilly and very windy at both summits. I would highly suggest having a windproof jacket, a beanie and gloves anytime you hike a 14er, even if it is the middle of summer. Weather conditions can be completely different than at the trailhead. The trail was still very well maintained all the way up to Grays, and when you get to the summit of Grays there is a sign for Torreys. Follow that sign if you are continuing onto Torreys Peak. Coming down from Grays to the saddle towards Torreys was a bit tricky to follow the trail as there are a lot of small boulders to scramble over. There is a trail, but I veered off of it several times. Luckily, you can see the bottom of the saddle, so just keep your eye out for it. Once we got to the bottom of the saddle, there is a pretty clear trail up Torreys Peak. This section of the trail is much steeper than going up Grays, so make sure you keep you balance. Just keep on trekking and eventually you’ll get up to the summit of Torreys Peak. After you come down from Torreys and you reach the saddle, look out for the trail to the left that heads down, instead of the trail that goes back up to Grays. There should be a sign directing you down.

7/10/2011

This was my 3rd ascent up Grays and my 2nd ascent up Torreys Peak. As this was July, there were already a lot of cars at the trailhead even though it was 7:00 am, so we ended up having to park along the road. The beginning of the trail was completely clear of snow, but did have a lot of run-off water from the melting snow above. It was good to have waterproof/GoreTex boots for this hike. When we reached the flat area, there was definitely more water in the stream, so we had to maneuver around the stream to avoid getting our boots and feet wet. As the trail started to climb, there was some snow, but it was pretty slushy or it was just wet and muddy. The rest of the hike up Grays was clear of snow and so was the hike in the saddle and up Torreys Peak. Coming down from the saddle, there was a large patch of snow, but nothing we couldn’t handle. We saw a few people take advantage of the snow and glissaded down it to save some time hiking down the switchbacks. There were a few snowboarders heading down the mountain, but it looked a bit sketchy as there were a lot of exposed rocks. Clouds started to roll in when we were about ½ a mile from the trailhead. All of a sudden, there was thunder and lightening, but luckily it was behind us. We did get a huge hail storm right on top of us, causing us to frantically don our rain jackets and run like mad down the trail. It only lasted a few minutes, but boy was it scary. We couldn’t even imagine what the hikers on the summits were going through. Our pants were soaking wet, but luckily our upper body and heads were dry. Just another reminder how the weather can change in an instant and how important it is to start your hike early to avoid afternoon thunderstorms. It took us about 6.5 hours to complete this hike, which includes taking a few breaks along the way and at the summits.

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About Jake & Mar

Jake and Maria have spent a good chunk of their time hiking and exploring all that the Colorado wilderness has to offer. Their ambition is to seek out all the hidden treasures of the Rocky Mountains from pristine alpine lakes, to tall dense Aspen forests, to high mountain summits. They both bring their own unique talents and abilities to Findhikingtrails.com, whether it's the organizational skills and consistent ambition to take on new terrain, or the desire to creatively record and document the experience. They are truly passionate about their site and the outdoors. "We thank you for visiting Findhikingtrails.com and wish you safe and fun adventures!"