Grays and Torreys Peaks, CO • Hike
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Grays and Torreys Peaks, CO

Guide 14 Triplogs  0 Topics
  4 of 5 
no permit
120 14 0
HAZ reminds you to respect the ruins. Please read the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 & Ruins Etiquette
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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 MineFollowing
15  2019-09-15 LindaAnn
16  2018-09-09 sneakySASQUATCH
9  2018-06-23 FOTG
14  2017-07-14 rvcarter
16  2015-09-04
Kelso Mountain
12  2015-09-04 fricknaley
15  2015-07-16 rvcarter
9  2013-10-26 hhwolf14
Page 1,  2
author avatar Guides 36
Routes 310
Photos 2,235
Trips 241 map ( 1,467 miles )
Age 77 Male Gender
Location tucson, az
Associated Areas
list map done
Central Region
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
Radar Map
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Preferred Jul, Aug, Jun, Sep → 6 AM
Seasons   Early Summer to Late Summer
Sun  7:17am - 5:15pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

Bag a Twofer
by rvcarter

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 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.

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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.

     Permit $$

    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

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