Peak(s):  Handies Peak  -  14,048 feet
Date Posted:  06/30/2020
Date Climbed:   06/25/2020
Author:  mnsebourn
 The Final Summit: Handies  

The final of my four fourteeners for this season.

I decided to make the go from Grizzly Gulch. The road out there is fine, but my truck had already been through a lot this year... and I thought, Why put more miles of crappy road on it just to save a mile or so of hiking, when Grizzly Gulch is supposedly the more scenic route, anyway?

Regardless, Grizzly Gulch it was.

The weather on this day was calling for a chance of afternoon storms, and I had a long drive home ahead of me, so I got an early (~4) start and pushed through the woods in the dark.

I started seeing the east face of Handies in the sunrise.

About the time I switch-backed up to the ridge, there was rain visible in the distance. Nothing ominous or close enough to send me back—but I was glad for my early start.

The final push to the summit was a little strenuous on my tired legs. Four summits in less than a week will do that to you, I guess... but I felt good when I hit the top at about 6:30, some 2.5 hours after I set out.

I had the peak to myself. Selfie and fruit snack time. Then back the way I came.

The trek back down in the early sunlight really revealed the valley’s beauty. Rushing streams. Flowers. Green grass. The huge east face of Handies, still brushed with snow.

This is one of the most relaxing, beautiful hikes I’ve ever done.

Handies is tied with Wetterhorn for my favorite summit this year.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6

 Comments or Questions

Good choice
06/30/2020 20:32
The east side of Handies is absolutely the way to go. Perhaps I can't speak having never done the west slopes from American Basin, but the east side is pure scenic bliss. If I may ask, why's this your final summit for the season? The season's just beginning in my opinion!


07/01/2020 12:46
I can only be in Colorado a week or two out of the year. So, unless I can sneak away one more time and live out the back of my truck, Handies was probably it for now.

Road to Grizzly Gulch
07/03/2020 14:37
How was the road to the TH? Did you feel it was very rough?


07/03/2020 17:33
The road to the Grizzly TH is plenty rough. I was glad to be in a pickup.

That said, if you€„˘re careful and don€„˘t mind your teeth getting rattled around for an hour or so, it€„˘s doable in just about anything.

TH road
07/04/2020 07:46
Hope you are able to get back to CO more mountain time!!
Are there steep drop offs on the road to the trailhead?


07/04/2020 09:52
There are.

The shelf road section goes on for a long while; the road is narrow and the drop offs are fairly steep.

Thankfully, there€„˘s almost always a wide corner or a pull off where you can get out of somebody€„˘s way if you need to.

Road to TH
07/04/2020 18:33
That makes me feel only slightly better but we're doing it!
Thanks for the info!!


07/06/2020 09:09
4 in a week is quite an achievement. Seeing your pics, I now want to repeat Handies but from the Grizzly Gulch side. Such a beautiful mountain! The trail from American Basin is very scenic too.

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