Grays Peak
standard North Slopes
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? (WINTER) HOLD ON! If you don't have much high-elevation, winter climbing experience, be careful in your planning and take a partner. All 14er routes are more difficult and more dangerous in winter.
Difficulty:
 Class 1 
Ski/Board: Intermediate, D3 / R2 / II  
Risk Factors:Exposure: Low
Rockfall Potential: Low  
Route-Finding: Low  
Commitment: Low  
 
Trailhead:Grays Peak
Start:11,280 feet
Summit:14,270 feet
Total Gain:3,000 feet
RT Length:7.50 miles
USGS Quad.:Grays Peak
County Sheriff:Clear Creek: 303-679-2376
National Forest:Arapaho
Author:BillMiddlebrook
Last Updated:5/2019

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 the stream in Stevens Gulch and follow the well-defined Grays trail - #2 and #3. Grays soon comes into view - #4. From the trailhead, follow the trail for approximately 1.5 miles to an information sign ( 39.64814° N, -105.7994° W) - #5. Shortly after this point, hike up through some bushes to reach a flat, rocky area - #6. After crossing this flat area, continue around a small ridge that runs south up to the east side of Grays - #7. Torreys Peak is to your right and Grays is ahead, to the southwest.

Above 12,600', swing left and follow the trail along the west side of the rocky ridge - #8. Continue above 13,000' (#9) to reach a trail junction ( 39.63789° N, -105.81327° W) - #10. Turning right will take you to Torreys peak so stay left on the Grays trail. Climb east to reach a 13,400-foot corner which overlooks Stevens Gulch and a rock tower ( 39.63677° N, -105.81135° W) - #11. From the corner, continue toward the upper, north slope - #12. After some brief gain, the trail turns right and begins a long traverse west across the slope. Switchback up the remaining slope (#13 was taken near 14,000') to reach the summit ( 39.633820° N, -105.817520° W) - #14 and #15.

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'.

Skiing?

Off the summit: #16
Skiing the north slopes: #17 and #18

Notes

The road to the trailhead is somewhat rough, so a good clearance vehicle is recommended.

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