Trailhead condition requests, questions, alerts, etc.
6 posts • Page 1 of 1
Any thoughts on how far past Lake City a Honda minivan could get to climb Handies? Is it decent road to 11,400ft? Looks like where the website says the road splits to A Basin/CinnamonPass. Thanks for the advice
You should be able to make it to at least Grizzly Gulch and can use that route if you can't make it to American Basin.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.
Honestly, I would just play it safe, ascend Handies via Grizzly Gulch and descend the standard route via American Basin, then just hike the county road around Whitecross Mountain back to the Grizzly Gulch Trailhead. It doesn't add that much distance to the route and you get to enjoy the best of both routes.....Handies looks amazing on the ascent from GG, it is not as impressive from the AB side, but descending into AB still gives you the opportunity to witness the amazing wildflowers it is famous for and also you can enjoy a break at Sloan Lake. This is the loop route that I took my son and daughter on several years ago, it was my daughter's first 14er, and we absolutely loved the route. The grand total distance was only about 10 miles, with 6 of those miles being the gentle descent into AB and about 2 miles of easy road hiking back to GG from AB. We actually had multiple drivers offer us rides, but we were having such a great hike we kindly declined.
Seems like the times that I need a mountain the most are the times that I can not get to them.
First time I did Handies from Grizzly Gulch I was in a Ford Fusion. Your minivan will be fine.
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When does the road close to Grizzly Gulch Trailhead?
Going slow you should make it. The road isn't in tip top shape right now but I was up there a few times in the last two weeks and there were some low clearance vehicles at the Grizzly Gulch trailhead. I would not go farther than that in a minivan, you'll quickly find out the road gets more difficult. Handies via Grizzly Gulch is a top tier route as well.
Depends on the snowfall but usually October to early November.