Torreys Peak Kelso Ridge Trail is a 7.6 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Idaho Springs, CO that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from July until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
North east ridge is the ridge between Torreys (14er) and Kelso Mountain(13er.) A class 3 hike that does take some mountaineering experience. You will encounter exposure and rock climbing. Probably not a good place for a dog. Follow the standard trail for about 1.5miles to Grays and Torreys and cut right and follow the trail to the lower part of the saddle between Kelso and Torreys. Here you will see a mine, and climb up and then strap in your helmet. Follow the ridge, there is a trail that comes and goes. The best advise that was given to me is if you feel it is getting too hard, turn around and find an easier way. You can make this trail as difficult as you want.
This was my first 14er and I fell in love. Kelso Ridge wasn't anything like what I had in mind, though, and it kicked my butt. I would definitely suggest taking on Gray's Trail to reach Torrey's Peak before taking on Kelso Ridge. There were several times where I lost the trail and had to think on my toes. The ridge itself was a total adrenaline rush. Many steep drop-offs and unbelievable views. This is not a trail for kids or dogs, and I would also suggest having a partner. As with any trail, make sure to get an early start and bring plenty of water. I also noticed that my hiking boots were a little too clunky during my ascension of the Ridge. Obviously I managed, but I think that a change of shoes for some better grip and mobility would have been helpful. Anyways, super proud to call this my first 14er--the views at the summit are so beautiful it's surreal.
PS: you're gonna need an SUV or truck to get up the road to the trailhead. My car was no match for this one haha.
Did anyone have climb Grays in the winter....?
During August, the wildflowers are gorgeous.
Taking off on a 3 day wandering session someone mentioned this trail to me at the trail head. I've hiked the Grays/Torreys Peak trail a few times already, so I thought I'd check out the Kelso Ridge trail.
I was really expecting another well maintained. Well marked trail like Grays. This Is Not The Case. Which I enjoy. Easy to get off trail, a couple places to climb up and over. Lots of exposure to get you second guessing. A lot of fun.
If you get to a point where you think your about to fall to your death you've lost the trail... Your supposed to be on the other ledge with the death drop.
Probably not dog/small child friendly.
The road gets a little rough towards the end, but there's tons of places to park within a 10-30min walk to the trail head. Lots of places to camp as well.
I like to drop down the west side of the saddle between Torreys and Grays and explore chihuahua gulch. Lots of wildlife around the lakes this time of year.
Kelso ridge is definitely a challenge..a lot of class 3 climbs and loose rock and gravel. Steep hikes and a knife ridge with no footing gets you to the peak. Amazing views of major peaks around.
My wife and I got married on top! 9/10/11
fun scramble with a short knife edge ridge near the summit
Great hike!! Busy busy busy so start early. Kelso ridge trail is no joke. Be ready to climb a little bit (no ropes). Sure footing and sure grip
Fantastic trail. Summited with my two boys (Ages 12 & 16). Start before sunrise and bring at least 3 liters of water per person. Incredible views!
First time doing a 14er and had to do this class 3 trail up to Torreys before heading over to Grays, eventually making a giant loop of both peaks. When heading towards the peaks, turn right off the main trail at the first junction point you come across to start the Kelsos Ridge trail route up to Torreys. Would not try this without experienced friends. Lots and lots of loose rock, scramble. Road is bad to trailhead but with any 4x4 its easy. Amazing views the entire trail.
Driving a car with sports suspension not recommended but it worth the trip to hike 2 14ers on Merica day. Much props to the couple that gave us a ride to my car further down the road of the trailhead.
Amazing views. Challenging and long. Gotta do both peaks (Torrey's) the same day!
Second 14er that day, so it was rather tough! Well worth it though! Save time to do Greys in the same day!
Amazing climb! Kelso ridge is very challenging. Not for inexperienced climbers or hiker. Exposure in many areas is high. Lots of places to potentially die. If snow is present I remember aggressively cleated snow shoes, crampons or spikes. Ice axe might prove helpful as well.
Via Kelso Ridge. Pretty difficult with lots of exposure.