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UPDATESWhat we've been doing
- All Quiet on the Holy Cross Summit
– August 25, 2014
The question of Wilderness has been plaguing my brain this past season. I’ve worked trails in multiple states throughout the last three years and I … Read More
- Moments of Education in Trail Work
– August 22, 2014
I meet tons of volunteers as part of the Adopt a Peak crew with CFI. I often must introduce them to the importance of practicing … Read More
- My Job as a Trail Builder
– August 18, 2014
I consider trail building an art. I have spent eight seasons constructing trails all over the country, and I have had the pleasure of working … Read More
- Fourteener Climbing 101: Intro to Wilderness
– August 15, 2014
A few years ago I spent the summer working on San Luis peak, Colorado’s least visited Fourteener. In total we spent two years working on … Read More
- Elevation: 14,270 feet (9th highest)
- Maps:USGS Quad: Grays Peak
Trails Illustrated® – TOPO Map # 104
Click here to purchase Trails Illustrated® maps for this route.
- Contact:US Forest Service, Clear Creek Ranger District 303.567.3000
Our Work CFI completed major trail construction and restoration on Grays Peak from 2000-2002. Due to heavy traffic on this peak, the standard route is maintained regularly by CFI and partner organizations.
Recommended Route Stevens Gulch Route—use of this route will help to reduce impacts to these Fourteeners’ fragile alpine environments. For more detailed route information including pictures, maps, and elevation profiles, click here.
Route Information and Additional Resources The trailhead is approximately ten miles west and south of Georgetown, CO. Exit the Bakerville exit from Interstate 70 and drive approximately 3.5 miles to the trailhead up the Stevens Gulch Road. The main route to the summit of Grays Peak splits into two routes after approximately 2.5 miles. The main route follows switchbacks up the northern face of Grays at a 6-15% grade. This route was constructed a hundred years ago to accommodate pack trains and equestrians. The other route follows directly up the ridge along the continental divide at a 15-30% grade. Both trails are necessary because the lower trail is covered with snow for June and part of July and people follow the ridge route during those months. People looking for a steeper ascent or descent typically choose the steeper ridge trail. Most people prefer the flatter trail during the ascent.
Torreys Peak is generally climbed in conjunction with Grays Peak. A rather stable route from Grays to Torreys is to descend the pack trail about four switchbacks and then cut over to Torreys rather than plunging directly off the summit of Grays. This preferred route avoids the craggy top of Grays. On the route to Torreys, there are several braided trails. Avoid the steep trail along the northern ridge and cliff edge. This route is too steep and unraveling. Choose a gentler route on the broad southeastern face. On the descent, please follow the constructed trail off the summit of Grays that follows the ridge down to the saddle between Grays and Torreys. Stay on the trail on this descent to minimize impacts and trail braiding issues.
An informal route has been created from Peru Creek. A steep eroded and unraveling route goes up along a spur ridge from Grays Lake. Continued use of this route will cause a major scar on the hillside. Please do not add to this problem.
The above information does not replace the need to consult additional maps and Colorado Fourteener Guidebooks for more detailed route descriptions. We suggest checking multiple resources before departing on any hike. Keep in mind that not all guidebooks list this recommended route and that each guidebook’s description or route name may vary slightly.
Peak Specific Environmental and Safety Concerns Stay on the existing trail. The pack-trail route has many sharp switchbacks which many people have cut forming numerous cutoff trails which unnecessarily scar the mountainside. Stay on snow or existing trail during the snow-melt-out period rather than creating new routes. Respect Wildlife. Keep dogs on leash to minimize harassment to goats and other animals and other hikers. Do not feed or approach the goats. Dispose of Waste Properly. Use the toilet at the trailhead to reduce human waste problems on the mountain.