Photo
Combination Route
standard Grays and Torreys
print
Difficulty:
 Class 2 
Risk Factors:Exposure: Moderate
Rockfall Potential: Moderate  
Route-Finding: Low  
Commitment: Moderate  
 
Trailhead:Grays Peak
Start:11,280 feet
Summit:14,270 feet
Total Gain:3,600 feet
RT Length:8.00 miles
Duration:User Climb Times
Author:BillMiddlebrook
Updated:5/2019
Weather:NOAA Forecast
Conditions:356 reports
Cell Signal:30 reports
Sheriff:Clear Creek: 303-679-2376
Forest:Arapaho
Quad. Maps:Log In to View
Camping:On Google Maps
Eats:On Google Maps
Downloads:Log In to Download
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Trailhead

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. Continue up the Grays Peak (189) road. After 1 mile, stay straight at a junction. Continue another 2 miles to the trailhead, at 11,280'. There are restrooms and a few dispersed camping spots near the parking area.

Route

1 provides a distant view of the route. Start the hike by crossing the large bridge that spans Stevens Gulch and follow the well-defined Grays trail into Stevens Gulch. Near 11,800' you'll get a full view of Grays Peak - 2. Continue for 1.5 miles to an information sign where there are excellent views of the two peaks - 3. Shortly after this point, hike to and across a flat, rocky area - 4. The trail gradually turns left as it climbs behind a small ridge that runs south up to the east side of Grays - 5. Torreys Peak is to your right. Continue west and southwest as more of Grays comes into view.

Near 12,600', the trail turns left and continues south along the small ridge - 6 and 7. After the rugged section along the ridge, continue on easier terrain ( 8) to a trail junction above 13,200' - 9. Taken from Kelso Ridge on Torreys Peak, 10 is a different view of the area. If you're starting with Grays, stay left on the main Grays trail and continue to a corner with a large overlook of Stevens Gulch (approx. 13,700') - 11. Turn right and gradually ascend west across Grays' north slope before switchbacking a couple of times below the top - 12 and 13. After 3,000' of elevation gain and over 3.5 miles, gain the summit of Grays summit - 14.

If you're continuing to Torreys, your first goal is to descend Grays' north ridge. It's a 575-foot descent on a rough trail and the most difficult portion of this route. Drop northwest and hike down the ridge, toward the Grays-Torreys saddle - 15, 16, 17 and 18. Reach the broad saddle at 13,700' - 19.

On the Grays side of the saddle, there is a trail that descends back to the main Grays trail. It's the trail used for a direct hike of Torreys, without Grays, and will also be used later to return to Stevens Gulch. Hike across the saddle and begin the ascent of Torreys - 20. Follow the trail along Torreys' southeast ridge all the way to the summit - 21 and 22. For your descent, retrace your route down Torreys and locate the trail that drops east from the Grays side of the saddle - 23 and 24. Continue down to reach the Grays trail near 13,200' - 25.

In Winter

In winter months, the southeast side of Kelso Mountain is prone to avalanche activity which may run over the summer Grays Peak trail. Unless you're confident the snow in this area is stable, it's best to leave the trail near 11,600' and take a more direct line up through Stevens Gulch before re-joining the Grays Peak trail near 12,100'.

Notes

The road to the trailhead is somewhat rough, so a good clearance vehicle is recommended.
#1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14 #15 #16 #17 #18 #19 #20 #21 #22 #23 #24 #25
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