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Grays Peak Trailhead
Added by BillMiddlebrook

Location:  Front Range
14ers Served:  Grays Peak, Torreys Peak
Road Type:  Easy 4WD, good clearance recommended. 3   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
Normally it’s Rough 2WD to the TH but some years it gets rough and might require 4WD. It always requires good-clearance.
Directions:  Take I-70 to the Bakerville exit (#221). Leave the highway and drive south over to the dirt parking area near the start of Forest Road 189. This is the winter trailhead and, even if the upper road is open, low-clearance passenger cars should park here. It’s almost 3 miles to the summer trailhead. Reach a junction after one mile - stay straight and follow the sign for the Grays Peak trailhead. Continue another 2 miles to the trailhead at 11,280’. There are restrooms and a few dispersed camping spots near the parking area.
Winter Access:  Closed at the start of the 189 road, near I-70.
14er Trailheads on Google Maps
Date Status Information Posted By  Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2012-08-18 Dry and in fairly good condition with some bumpy parts and potholes along the second half (upper part) of the road. We saw nearly every type of vehicle at the trail head. My-Therapy         
2012-08-15 Drove up on Tuesday 8/14/12. Road was clear of any major ruts or holes. There were several small cars (Toyota Camry) at the trail head. Cat13    1    
2012-08-11 Just want to confirm what others are saying. I took my Acura TSX up to the trailhead today and many other 2wd did as well. Enjoy your hikes! dwoodsATL         
2012-08-09 To confirm what Shep posted, the road to the upper TH has been fixed and is in exceptional condition for a grade 3/6 road. Minimal potholes, few large rocks in the way. This alleged rut does not exist anymore! I was concerned about driving up this road as so many people have stated the road is in terrible condition, but was pleasantly surprised at how easy the road was to traverse. A Nissan Altima was present at the TH and I observed him driving down the road slowly and carfully. He stated he had to move a few rocks out of the way but did not bottom out once. FYI I drove up the TH in a stock 2011 Forester. If I can be of further assistance to you please feel free to PM me. Mike zdero1         
2012-08-09 They are fixing the road today. Saw a Prius cruising up to the trailhead parking lot as I was leaving. shep    3 1    
2012-08-04 I did clear it in my ‘07 Subaru Outback. When I got to the top lot there were 40 trucks or truck-based SUVs with "real 4WD", and about 3-4 other Subarus. I wondered how they made it. (The Mini Cooper did turn back) The potholes (craters) are not avoidable, so you just have to drive through them. I think I went too fast, but I was afraid of getting stuck so I didn‘t want to go slow (again real, low range lockable 4WD is really what you want for this). I did make it up and back, but my steering is now out of alignment. I‘m a pretty adventurous driver, but the road truly is a mess. Great hike, though. swebb75ky         
2012-08-03 Drove this road on Fri 08/03 and can offer a few observations: (1) The “rut” is actually a collection of ruts/dips/bumps/potholes/(craters?) spanning, as others have mentioned, approx. 20 ft. section of road. I thought it looked much worse “in person” than it appears in photos. (2) There were numerous 4WD trucks/SUVs parked along the road beneath this section. (3) No problem for my Xterra (heading up, I took a line about ¾ to the right). With my limited skill set, I would’ve been nervous to attempt it with lesser clearance but… (4) Shortly after I pulled into the TH parking, a no-clearance Subaru Impreza pulled into the lot (hats off to the driver - how‘d you do it?) Moraine14    1      
2012-07-31 Road turns to 4wd at the 1.4 miles to th mark. Only a short 20 foot section of bad roads and then all is clear to the th. I saw numerous stock suv‘s at the th. It depends on how willing you are to go for it and scrape up the bottom of your car if you mis steer or slip. My advice, when going up go as far to the right as you can, and you can avoid the largest pot holes. Andymcp1    1      
2012-07-28 ONLY 4WD CAN MAKE IT TO TOP joshuatrueanderson    4      
2012-07-28 F ing horrible... im sorry they need to do something... i walked and extra 3 miles and 120 minutes just from trailhead to car... like wtf.. seriously... i will not recomend this hike to anyone because of the road leading up to the trail head.. made me wanna rip my F ing hair out joshuatrueanderson         
2012-07-28 There are three or four big dips a little beyond the 1.4 mile sign. My 4WD Honda CRV managed to get through; but any 2WD car or car with ground clearance less than 7 inches should not risk it. Also at summer weekend, there are so many cars there, it only takes one clueless driver to park the car at a bad spot to block the whole road. erwinyu         
2012-07-25 I‘d like to update/correct a previous post. When we drove up Stevens Gulch road on 25 July, the "impassable rut" was at the signpost that says "Private Road for next 1.4 miles" -- that is, the rut is 1.4 miles from the trailhead parking lot. It took us 45 minutes to hike up the (with three children, the youngest of whom is 11) road to the trailhead. Assuming the 1.4 miles is accurate, having to park below the rutted out section added 2.8 miles to our round trip. I‘ve attached a photo of the rut. I should also note that it wasn‘t just low clearance vehicles that chose not to attempt to get over it -- there were at least 8 SUV/pickups parked down with us. The rains seem to have been quite heavy recently, which is worsening the ruts, and making them muddy, just to add to the challenge of getting over this section. Frankly, given the number of visitors to Denver we encountered on yesterday‘s hike, I‘m disappointed (but not, unfortunately, surprised) that whatever government agency or agencies are responsible for this road have not done a better job of maintaining it, given that Grays is a significant tourist attraction for visitors to Denver. TCoyne415  1       
2012-07-18 As listed in previous posts a 4wd will get you there no problem. The rough area is only about a couple hundred feet. When I came down at around noon, there was 20 or 30 cars parked along the road at the point were it gets rough. Some jerk at the front of the line had parked into the road making it almost impossible to get around their car without falling off the road. I can‘t imagine what a weekend will be like. Also, the cars were parked bumper to bumper so close I don‘t know how they got turned around to drive out. I would park much lower on the road than the rough spot and go ahead and get your car turned around for your drive out at the end of the day. desertdog         
2012-07-12 The road is very torn up about half way up. Saw a couple Subarus at the top, and an amazing 2WD Chevy. I gave up attempting it in my Outback. ezabielski    2      
2012-07-10 There were a couple low clearance vehicles up there, but I‘m amazed they made it. I would never have attempted mine, the road is really tore up about half way in. Pathfinder made it ok. klinger         
2012-06-23 I got my 2WD Honda Accord to the TH with little problem. There is a patch about halfway up the road that is a pain in the butt, but it‘s completely doable. Plenty of other 2WD cars at the TH, as well. forbins_mtn         
2012-06-19 Headed up to the TH the night before and made it just fine in a 4wd tahoe with low profile wheels. I would think that a 2wd truck could make it up with good clearance as there are 1 or 2 spots that can be a problem for low clearance vehicles. I did see a couple of mini vans that made it to the TH so when there‘s a will, there‘s a way. Mtn Izz         
2012-06-15 Forest Road 189 is in good shape. Drive 3 miles up a rocky dirt road to Steven‘s Gulch Trailhead. It is completely clear of snow. We drove our Honda Pilot up all the way up without any problems but did see one Honda Accord up there also. That is probably pushing it. A Subaru could do it ok. There is only one spot where there are some large ruts. There are bathrooms and quite a few parking spots, I want to say 35 or so. Ramsey Boys         
2012-06-03 Went up the Stevens Gulch road on my Toyota Corolla. The road was in good shape till the intersection with Grizzly Gulch road. From there on, there were a couple of deep ruts. But, I could manouvre through them in the Corolla by going very slowly (10mph) and avoiding the deep spots. Could drive all the way up to the trailhead by careful, slow ascent. yogi         
2012-05-26 Road mostly clear all the way up to about 1 mile before Summer Trailhead. The avalanche path (off an known shoot from Kelso) covers the road probably about 6 feet deep. I really didn‘t see any debris, just snow. Here are a couple pictures. dcbates80911  2       
2012-05-25 There are a few deep ruts on the Stevens Gulch road near the houses above the Grizzly Gulch turnoff. Other than that the road is dry, clear, and in pretty good shape. Vehicles of all shapes and abilities were at the trailhead today, just be careful. k9hiker         
2012-05-20 Road to trailhead wasn‘t bad, no snow at all - made it just fine in an AWD MazdaCX7. nicolen701         
2012-05-17 Peru Creek Road is closed to vehicles at Montezuma Road, requiring extra walking to Chihuahua Gulch Trailhead and Horseshoe Basin Trailhead. Dirt Road to Gray‘s Peak Trailhead is dry and has no snow. Hiked up to Grays and Torreys, microspikes were helpful the last 1/3 of the trail, but not required. polarpop  1       
2012-05-06 I was able to drive a two wheel drive vehicle to trail head today. The road was dry and no snow. No show shoes, or spikes needed for the climb, look like summer is early this year. jasonmiller         
2012-04-18 We got about 200yards below the summer trail head in a hyundai santa fe 2002. First part of the road is easy for 2wd cars. Then when you go past grizzly creek trail head there is a very steep and rock hill what is a little sketchy for low clearance cars, but if you take your time and pick the right line its fine. Then from there up there are some snow patches that you can either straddle the rut or ride the rut. We had to stop because the last 200yard straight stretch you can not straddle the rut and the rut is about 2ft deep and bigger. Saw a lift jeep with big tires, Chevy silverado, and a 4 runner at the summer trail head. skiingrock         

Pulling into the trailhead (Added by: BillMiddlebrook on 2006-09-02)The upper parking area (Added by: BillMiddlebrook on 2006-09-02)The start of the trail and bridge (Added by: BillMiddlebrook on 2006-09-02)Grays Peak TH (10–21–07) (Added by: rferrier on 2007-10-22)Right after the parking lot TH (Added by: polishruben on 2008-06-05)The infamous "rut" (Added by: schumi248 on 2008-09-18)The upper trail head parking lot by the bridge (Added by: ColoradoKrazy1 on 2009-05-09)The upper trail head parking lot by the bridge 5/8/09 (Added by: ColoradoKrazy1 on 2009-05-09)Bridge (Added by: xavier3181 on 2012-05-21)

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