Handies Peak  
Condition Updates  
 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2020-10-18, By: supranihilest
Info: Trail is in great shape. Since the last time I did this route several years ago dozens of log steps have been installed on the steep sections, excluding the summit push, which is steep and loose dirt and/or scree. Still, it's an easy route and easily one of the most gorgeous of any 14er routes. 
 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-10-18, By: ballardwf04
Info: We hiked Handies Peak on October 17, starting at 6AM. We camped at Mill Creek and drove Cinnamon Pass to get to the trailhead. I you plan to do this make sure you have a high clearance 4WD vehicle. Roads are dry but rocky and narrow along cliff edges at some points. We summited around 8, despite very high winds. Not a challenging route (for a 14er) but windy conditions made it less enjoyable than I would like. Otherwise the route was in summer conditions- no snow yet. We saw a lake on the way down and stopped; well worth the detour. Overall, the hike took us about 5 hours and was a great time. Would recommend getting this in before the season ends. 
 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-10-11, By: durkan
Info: Drove up to American Basin for an evening summit. Dry. Straight-forward. Sloan Lake is worth the very tiny detour. 6 miles round trip form where I parked. Wasn't sure if I could drive to the upper TH as there was a small sign saying closure, but that meant nothing as there were vehicles at the top. Chalking that up to lack of oxygen after doing Redcloud and Sunshine. 
 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2020-10-04, By: Lowell_Googins
Info: Road to Grizzly Gulch TH from Lake City was bone dry, rough in spots but passable even with 2 wheel drive with some clearance. Trail to Handies was excellent and dry to the top. Total bluebird day with just a slight breeze on summit. Left TH at 7:05 and back at 12:05. 
 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-29, By: Marshall
Info: Up the East Ridge from Grizzly Gultch and down the East Slopes. The trailhead is easy enough to get to, and there was almost no snow on the route. The trail going up to the “rubber ducky' lake is in fine shape (look for a trail angling up into the basin from the right). I would not recommend doing this past the lake, though. The path beyond is loose talus and scree worse than almost anything I've been on. We stayed left after the lake, which might have been our mistake. I think the better route is staying right until you get into the miniature basin above then continuing right along the ridge line. After that is a undulating jaunt over to Handies. This route may be a lot more feasible in the winter, but it sucked today. East Slopes route is good minus a tiny bit of looseness near the top. Beautiful day! Picture is the unnamed “rubber ducky' lake. 
1
 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-09-25, By: Piotr
Info: Perfect summer conditions, no trace of previous day's thunderstorms, totally dry. 
3
 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-09-17, By: Guabell
Info: Road conditions to the American Basin trailhead were fine. No mud or snow. Amazingly, someone in a Chrysler 300 made it all the way to the trailhead (the car appeared to suffer some decent damage to the undercarriage as she fearlessly passed us on the way down). The trail was clear and mostly dry. Some small patches of snow remain in the upper portions of the trail - but they are rapidly melting. A few muddy spots in the afternoon as the snow and muddy ice melted. Hiking shoes are fine. Poles help in navigating the snowy parts. Summit was dry and almost completely clear of snow. Lake water is still warm enough for a swim by the brave. Awesome day. 
 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2020-09-17, By: Msbaker
Info: Parked at the Grizzly Creek Trailhead and headed up the Southeast slopes. I had no issue getting to this trailhead with my Mazda CX-5. There was a decent amount of snow on this route (over a foot in certain pockets) and everything became very slushy/wet in the afternoon. However, traction/flotation/microspikes were not needed and we were able to get to the summit in good timing without any special equipment. It was beautiful/peaceful along the way as basically nobody took the Southeast route last Saturday. I would guess most of the snow has melted by now with the temps over the last several days. 
 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-09-13, By: zootloopz
Info: Snow free road up to American Basin. Snow/ice starts around 12k. Managed to do the entire route without microspikes in 4 hours round trip, although some folks felt more comfortable with a traction device. 
 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-09-08, By: taylorharris50
Info: No snow on the route but terrible air quality from the wildfires. We drove in from Durango. Labor day weekend traffic on the drive in but almost no cars at the American Basin TH. Most seemed to park further down and hike up. I have to brag on my son a little. He has been wanting to hike Handies all summer, trained for several months, and made it to the summit at 4 years old. Proud of the little man. He said I did pretty good for being so old. 
1
 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-09-01, By: amyteten
Info: Started at 7:30am and the entire valley was covered in show! Used my short gaiters and put on ice tracks on the descent. Clear skies, warmed up and snow started melting quickly around 11:30am; should be really nice the rest of the week! 
1
 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2020-08-31, By: spoony
Info: Hiked from Silver Creek/Grizzly Gulch. Trail is in great shape from the trailhead through the summit. There is one downed tree in the forest and it is a little loose on the steep pitch right before the top, but easily manageable. Really pleasant hike in a very pretty basin. 
2
 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-08-25, By: kspitzer1987
Info: Perfect summer conditions from trailhead to summit. No need for any flotation or traction. Was very hazy due to wildfire smoke, but still a beautiful hike with great views from the top! Not sure if this is normal, but there was literally no wind on the summit...not even a slight breeze...this was by far the calmest summit I have ever had! 
 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-08-19, By: marcusmartin
Info: Plenty of campsites available at the American Basin TH when we arrived Tuesday evening. There were approximately 10 vehicles around the TH area. The trail is in excellent condition. Summit was perfect - no wind, warm. The skies were very smoky from the Colorado fires. 
11
 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2020-08-08, By: Deb Harrison
Info: The trail is in great condition with recent trail work evident. The trail was beautiful with wildflowers, multiple creek crossings and views of a few turquoise lakes. No crowds on this trail. We had a clear sunny morning and the clouds at the summit rolled in around 11am. The scree at the top was difficult going up and down. 
3
 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-08-09, By: jordanthebuff
Info: This is was a great route! We ascended via the Southwest slopes route and descended via the East slopes. Both routes are in great shape and shout out to CFI who was working on the East slopes trail. Still some beautiful wildflowers up high. Peak was fairly crowded even for a Tuesday, but nothing like the peaks closer to Denver. The East slopes route is mostly class one and the trail is easy to follow. The final 500 feet or so are steep and loose, which makes it a class two. 
 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-08-02, By: climbingkt
Info: Got a late start (around 8:30am) starting from below the creek crossing, but couldn't have asked for better conditions on a Saturday. Not too many groups were passed going up or down, with less than 10 people on the summit. Beautiful conditions throughout the day with no snow on the trail, and no storms by the time I summited around 11am. 
 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-07-26, By: SARAH342
Info: Do the East slopes, standard route looked like an absolute zoo. Lovely hike, well defined trial. Gentle until the last half mile or so and then it's a real piece of work. Strongly recommend hiking poles for ascending and descending the upper push because of steepness of incline and loose scree. Freezing temps up top around 8am and some light hail. 
 
Route: Southwest Slopes
Posted On: 2020-07-15, By: JR14
Info: Storm clouds rolled in about 11:00am all around us. Could see rain south and north of us. No lightning. Ten minutes of freezing rain near the top at 11:30am. Great 360 views at the top (noon) even tho party cloudy. 
2
 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2020-07-13, By: Squirrellysquirrel
Info: Didn't hike Handies, rather bumped into a 14ers.org trail crew member who did; he went up and over from Grizzly TH to American Basin. He noted that there are a lot of social trails above treeline; he surmised it was because hikers were avoiding snow. Just passing along information... might be worthwhile to stick to and/or fortify main trails and to deter traffic leading to social trails in order to safeguard the trail system. 

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