Trail Report - Grays Peak - Colorado

August 22, 2016

Written by Paul van Valkenburgh

Showing Small Pictures    

Grays Peak! Colorado - 14,270'
North Slopes Route
8.0 Miles Round Trip
3000 feet of elevation gain

Grays Peak! Our first 14er! At 14,270', it is Colorado's 9th tallest peak! So, you may read some reports on Grays and think 'oh, it's just a class 1 walkup'. Ok, so it isn't technical. But let me remind you of a saying you will get used to if you climb Colorado 14ers. Which is 'there's no such thing as an easy 14er'. TRUE! Grays is a great intro to hiking 14ers but it shows you how tough it is going to be to tackle these beasts!

Grays Peak And Torreys Peak

The road to the 4WD trailhead is a bit rough but can be made with a stock SUV and launches you onto the trail from 11,280. The route takes you up into Stevens Gulch on the way to Grays Peak. Grays is a sister peak to 14er Torreys Peak (just 3 feet lower at 14,267') so both are in full view the entire day.

We had a great day as my old friend Bob Ward joined Sheri and me on the trek!

Grays Peak Trailhead Sign

Bob And Sheri Beginning Grays Peak

Paul And Bob Ready For Grays

View Of Torreys Peak

After a while in Stevens Gulch, the trail becomes rocky above tree line. And then it becomes steep.

Further Up Stevens Gulch

Moving Higher Up Grays Peak

View Of Kelso Mountain

Interesting Rock Formation On Grays Peak

Interesting Rock Formation On Grays Peak

Kelso Mountain And Stevens Gulch

A Closer Look At Torreys Peak

Steep Trail Up Grays Peak

Sheri Higher Up On Grays

Getting closer to the summit, gorgeous views open up back over Stevens Gulch and over to Kelso Mountain, which shares the other ridge with Torreys Peak. Higher and higher we climbed until ...BAM!! Sheri was the first to hit the summit of a 14er!! Hooray!

The views from the summit are incredible back over Stevens Gulch and to the West over the Breckenridge area. After about 20 minutes celebrating, we headed down as the weather seemed a little unsettled. In fact, it started snowing on the way down! Yes, this was in August! Welcome to the wild world of the high mountain Western Peaks... anything can happen!

Sheri Is The First To Summit Grays Peak

The Summit Of Grays Peak

Looking West From The Summit Of Grays Peak

Looking East From The Summit Of Grays Peak

Snowing On Way Down Grays Peak

By the time we got back to the car, admitedly, we were very tired. Now we know what it takes! What a great hike!

Hope this has been enjoyable and / or helpful to anyone reading it!!


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