username
X
password
register help
This is likely a great time to hike this trail!  Check out "Prefered" months below, keep in mind this is an estimate.

Grays and Torreys Peaks, CO

details
drive
no permit
forecast
route
stats
photos
triplogs
topics
location
120 14 0
Guide 14 Triplogs  0 Topics
Rated  Favorite Wish List CO > Central
Rated
4
4 of 5 by 9
 
2
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
Statistics
clicktap icons for details
Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 1 of 5
Distance Round Trip 7.59 miles
Trailhead Elevation 11,259 feet
Elevation Gain 3,005 feet
Accumulated Gain 3,012 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 4.5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 22.65
Interest Ruins, Historic, Perennial Creek & Peak
Backpack Possible - Not Popular
feature photo
Photos Viewed All Mine Following
15  2019-09-15 LindaAnn
16  2018-09-09 MtnBart01
9  2018-06-23 friendofThunderg
14  2017-07-14 rvcarter
16  2015-09-04
Kelso Mountain
BobP
12  2015-09-04 fricknaley
15  2015-07-16 rvcarter
9  2013-10-26 hhwolf14
Page 1,  2
Author rvcarter
author avatar Guides 33
Routes 304
Photos 2,146
Trips 236 map ( 1,436 miles )
Age 73 Male Gender
Location tucson, az
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar
Expand Map
Preferred   Jul, Aug, Jun, Sep → 6 AM
Seasons   Early Summer to Late Summer
Sun  5:45am - 6:10pm
Official Route
 
0 Alternative
 
Water
Fauna Nearby
Named place Nearby
Culture Nearby
Bag a Twofer
by rvcarter

Likely In-Season!
Grays and Torreys Peaks are the two highest peaks on the North American Continental Divide, but they are considered to be among the easiest Colorado “14ers” to summit. Located south of Interstate 70, and east of the Eisenhower Tunnel and the tri-cities of Frisco, Dillon, and Silverthorne, they are a great attraction for elevation freaks and mountain lovers of all kinds. The trailhead is about 3 miles from the I-70 exit, at the end of Stevens Gulch Road, #321 (impassable in winter). Getting to the trailhead is not easy but is within the reach (during the summer) of anyone with a vehicle with relatively high clearance. There is one really rough spot about halfway in from the Bakersville exit (#221) off I-70, but there were even a few sedans in the TH parking lot on the mid-July day we were there. The road is not bad after the rough spot, so we regretted not going further since our hike involved an additional 2.8 miles RT and 600 feet of elevation from our parking spot. Its ease of access from Denver means that Grays/Torreys gets a lot of use, even during the week. The number of people on our Thursday hike was somewhere above “moderate” but way less than “hoards”. An early start is a good idea for two reasons: getting off the peak by noon, and finding a spot to park along the narrow road. There is a vault toilet at the trailhead.


The proximity of Grays and Torreys to one another, about 0.9 miles as the crow flies, across a 13,707-foot saddle, makes for an excellent opportunity for fit hikers to bag a twofer. Getting to the second peak involves descending to the saddle, then climbing an additional 600 feet, which is difficult at that elevation. Our group chose not to attempt the Torreys climb because we were spent just getting to Grays, and because hikers had to cross a thawing snowfield coming down from the saddle to rejoin the main trail. No one in our group wanted to climb another 1200 feet (including the 600 feet back to Grays) retracing our steps to get down.

The East Slopes trail from Stevens Gulch is the only class 1 trail (according to 14ers.com) to Grays and Torreys Peaks, and is known also as the Grays Peak National Recreation Trail. The typical Grays/Torreys hike would involve climbing Grays Peak, heading across the saddle to Torreys, retreating back to the saddle then down to rejoin the main trail. A reverse route would also work, and one could do either Grays or Torreys by themselves without traversing the saddle.

You're above the tree line at the trailhead. The trail to Grays is not bad, beginning with an initial short climb along the remnants of the old Stevens mine nestled at the base of McClellan Mountain to the south. This is followed by a gently rising stretch through lots of wetland willows, some water, and lots of wildflowers. The final portion, which involves most of the elevation gain, is a pretty steep and rocky climb up multiple switchbacks to the top. Near the top, expect considerable stretches of rocky trail but no scrambling. The direct approach to Torreys is much the same, but be aware that the snow field below the saddle between Grays and Torreys may survive into early August.
If you have extra energy, you can bag the 13,164-foot Kelso Mountain passed on the way up. Each of the peaks will reward hikers with spectacular views of both sides of the Continental Divide. Lake Dillon and some of Frisco is clearly visible to the west. The valley that contains Fairplay, Colorado is to the south. All in all, climbing either or both peaks (in the summer) is a great day in central Colorado.

Check out the Official Route and Triplogs.

Leave No Trace and +Add a Triplog after your hike to support this local community.

2015-07-19 rvcarter
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Most recent Triplog Reviews
    Grays and Torreys Peaks
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    Got started at 4:00 am. There were a few people ahead of me on the trail, but not many. Thanks to the nearly full moon, I did not need a headlamp. The first 1.5 miles were pretty easy, without a whole lot of elevation gain. The trail is constructed with quite a few big steps for the first mile—I knew I wouldn’t like coming back down those later.

    After about 1.5 to 2 miles, the trail gets steeper and steeper, but is in pretty good shape, and was relatively easy given the high elevation. No wind today, and temps didn’t feel all that cold. Just as the moon disappeared behind Grays, the sun was rising, and I was treated to a nice sunrise just before the summit of Grays. I had a snack on Grays, then hiked across the saddle to Torreys.

    Ascending Torreys wasn’t too bad—steep, but generally good footing. If you don’t like walking on the edge of steep dropoffs, there a couple of short sections on Torreys you might not like. The trail is pretty wide though, so you can stay to the far side. I took a few pics atop Torreys, then headed back down to the saddle.

    From the south side of the saddle, there is a signed trail that leads east and back down to the main trail. Once I was back on the main trail, there were hordes of hikers, all heading uphill. My descent was slowed at times by chatting with afew of the hikers, but overall, I made good time back down to the trailhead. Nice hike, and would probably be especially nice on a weekday.

    The road from the interstate to the trailhead is definitely rough, with the worst section around the middle. I’d recommend at least a medium clearance and all wheel drive (or a rental car with insurance), but I did see a Honda Element at the trailhead. All of the other vehicles I saw were SUV’s, trucks, or Subarus.
    Grays and Torreys Peaks
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    This was the last stop on our little hiking and backpacking tour of Colorado. I normally would not go out of my way to do a 14er so close to Denver on a Saturday, but both peaks were listed as a couple of the more dog friendly 14ers in Colorado and it was slightly on the way towards Michigan, where the pups and I were driving to after.

    Camping at a popular 14er trailhead within an hour of Denver ended up being about as nice as one would expect, loud, tons of people and no sleep, but I was still able to grab a couple hours of sleep before a 3:30 a.m. wake up. The early start enabled us to be on the summit of Grays before 6:30 a.m. The trail up to Grays is a good trail and as advertised is a pretty moderate trail for a 14er with a manageable grade. There were only a couple of people on th summit when we got there. We took turns taking each other’s pics and then headed down after only a couple of minutes because it was so cold and windy. From Grays we made the quick drop to the saddle and then headed up to Torreys. The views from Torreys were a little nicer, but again our stay was short, as it was very windy and cold. From the summit, it was a quick hike back with the only thing slowing us being the boards of people and I do mean hoards. Every squaare inch of parking was taken near the trailhead and cars were parked on the side of the road for another 1.5 miles down the road. Start early to beat the crowds and storms.

    My 11th and 12th fourteeners.


    Grays and Torreys Peaks
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    This report is for Torreys Peak only. Turn south at the Bakersville exit off I-70. Got a fairly early start and was able to get to within 800 feet or so of the trailhead (unlike two years ago, when I did Grays Peak). Bluebird day. Not a crowd on this weekday, but the parking lot was full by 7:00 a.m. and cars were parked at least 1/4 mile down the road. My little 2WD Edge made it up fine, with some jostling; I saw at least 4 sedans (including a Toyota Corolla) in the parking lot, so the road is in better shape than two years ago.

    The trail is in good shape except for a few spots, and you still have to cut through a 100 yd snowbank to reach the saddle between Grays and Torreys.

    The flowers and wetlands are georgeous. Lots of snow left to melt. My start was in mid 40 degrees and it never got hot. Great weather, but it sprinkled some about 1:30 p.m.
    Grays and Torreys Peaks
    rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5rated 5
    a double dip for our last day in colorado and i was really looking forward to this one. it's eye candy from the start and never lets up. wonderfully beautiful area. randomly got windy and outright freezing on the way up grays, but then mellowed out and was gorgeous

    felt really good on this one

    wonderful trip. gonna be hard to ever top this year. up to 19 of the big ones now
    Grays and Torreys Peaks
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Nice 14er not far from Silverthorne CO, but a slightly rough 4 km drive in from I70. Many (fit) people will try to also bag Torreys Peak, a nearby 14er, the same day. However, this adds 600-700 feet elevation and at this time, crossing a lingering snow field on the east side of Torreys. Back to Grays, there are sections of rough trail, but the valley and nearby mountains is beautiful. The four of us got a pretty early start (6:30 a.m. from Dillon). We (I, since it was my truck) chickened out about half way in at a really rough part of the road, so we walked in to the trialhead, adding 2.8 miles RT and 600 feet elevation to the day. If you have a decent 4WD with good clearance, you can make it without loosing a muffler or worse. I even saw a few vans at the upper TH.

    There were lots of people but not overwhelming; weekends are probably a zoo because of the nearness of these peaks to Denver. The parking areas fill up pretty fast.

    Outstanding views, abundant flowers, saw a mountain goat, lots of water on the way up, great weather. Great day in central Colorado.
    Grays and Torreys Peaks
    rating optionrating optionrating optionrated 2rated 2
    As part of a long Colorado weekend, four friends and I joined the procession of 20,000 ants on a brisk Saturday morning to reach whatever the previous ants found worthy of marking.

    Steve and I hiked Torreys first, while Bill, Michelle and Cheryl went for Grays. Bill flew up Grays without effort and caught up to Steve and I atop Torreys shortly after we got there. Bill had to get home departed from there. After hesitating over the additional effort, Steve and I huffed and puffed over to Grays to find Cheryl and Michelle waiting. We thought they might have bailed out, so we were glad to have gone for two.

    Steve and I got ahead on the way down, and waited 45 minutes at the meadow, wondering what happened. When they finally got to us, we learned Cheryl and Michelle had stopped to assist a woman who took a minor tumble on the trail. She was unhurt, but badly rattled and asked them to stay with her as she walked out. We got another 20 minutes ahead before the end. It was strange how many people who passed them in that last 20 minutes did not remember passing three women in bright colors, even though in most cases they were the only people those groups passed.

    Views from the top were spectacular, but the crowds clogged every inch of trail and summit. This hike would be greatly enhanced by going during the week, and also by inspecting some of the many mining ruins within the valley.

    Actual hiking time was a little short of 5 hours, accounting for the delays and loafing on the summits. The elevation gain on the description is a little off. It should be about 3,100 feet for hiking either one of the peaks, and about 3,700 for both. I'll check around for the correct number.

    Foliage
    Withered harebells were the majority of flowering plants. A few of the willows were starting to go yellow, but most were still green.
    Grays and Torreys Peaks
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    started hiking around 10:30 witch was way to late in the afternoon to try and bag both peaks but we thought we would try anyways. Got to grays summit around 1 and took a 20 min break . while on our break we noticed the clouds were starting to build up and darken so we cut the break short and got moving. By the time I hit the saddle the clouds moved in and I heard a loud crack of thunder that was when I saw my buddy who had gotten ahead of me running down the side of Torreys. so I turned around and too the trail that crosses grays slope and back to the main trail but I didn't even make it 500 feet be for it started to poor . I was glade I brought rain gear to stay dry but the lightning and thunder were getting closer . when we got back to the main trail the thunder was so loud it sounded like it was right over us . you could hear the thunder 2 seconds after you saw the lightning . that's when we picked up the pace. After about another 45 minutes of jogging I made it back to the truck .
    Grays and Torreys Peaks
    rating optionrated 4rated 4rated 4rated 4
    Logging this old trip for my personal database. My buddy Tony and I hiked this to say we climbed a 14er. We made it to Gray but couldn't attempt Torrey because of ominous clouds approaching. The rain hit us on the way down but was thankfully not too bad. Saw a few mountain goats. I loved this hike and love Colorado.

    Permit $$
    None


    Directions
    Map Drive
    or
    Road
    FR / Jeep Road - Car possible when dry

    To hike
    From Dillon, Colorado, head east on Interstate 70 through the Eisenhower Tunnel to the Bakersville exit (#221). Turn south on the Stevens Gulch Road and go about 3 miles on a fairly rough dirt road to the Stevens Gulch Trailhead.
    page created by HAZ_Hikebot on Jul 19 2015 8:49 am
    3 pack - loud whistle
    go prepared
    help comment issue

    end of page marker