Grays Peak Trail

MODERATE 328 reviews
#8 of 146 trails in

Grays Peak Trail is a 7.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Idaho Springs, Colorado that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
7.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3562 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

cross country skiing

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

A 4x4 vehicle is recommended with fair ground clearance.

hiking
15 hours ago

Very heavily trafficked trail (let’s get the one negative out of the way)

Awesome trail. I took off around 4:50am this morning- it was becoming dusk and wore a head lamp for maybe 15 minutes before removing it. The first mile is absolutely beautiful: green grass, wild flowers of every color, a nice creek and sights on grays and Torrey’s right in front of you!! It was quite steep at some points so my advice is to pack your bag smart- don’t go to heavy like I did and prematurely fatigue your legs.
My plan was to summit both grays and Torrey’s, but 3 hours of sleep, making a wrong turn onto Kelso ridge (tacked on about a mile LOL) and having a heavy pack did me in. In total, it took me roughly 6 hours to get this whole thing done. Everyone was nice and the dogs were nicer. Great views, a fun challenge, but so worth it!! Got to see mountain goats for the first time!! I was absolutely thrilled!!
Also, the road to the trailhead is as ridiculous as everyone talks about on here so be smart and don’t frig up your car!

hiking
2 days ago

Beware of the road leading up!!!!!!!!!!!!! Super, SUPER bumpy, which is funny for a while, but we ended up parking and walking quite a bit to even get to trailhead. Definitely need a car that can handle the road, or hope to hitchhike and catch a ride up.

Trail itself is moderate, we did both Gray's and Torrey's in about 6 hours. Start as early as you can, as it is heavily trafficked. We did Torrey's first, and I would recommend it, but have not done the other way so can't tell you if it is any better. Crossed a snow field with a pretty steep drop to the right, then got to the saddle. From there it is steep but pretty quick up to the summit. Then back down and up Gray's took us only about 45 minutes, we were moving pretty quickly as it was getting late in the day. The trip down from Gray's was very easy, lots of switchbacks.

One hiker with us was fairly unprepared, it was his first 14er, and he was able to complete Torrey's and decided against Gray's to avoid elevation sickness. I believe if you are well prepared, both are very easily doable for any level hiker.

Again, get there early and have a plan for the bummmppyyy road to trailhead!

hiking
6 days ago

this was great. we woke up at 3 and got hiking at 530. we had plenty of parking spots as people park on the road. It was real crowded. we did grays peak in 2 hours and then it took 45 to get to Torreys. did the whole thing in under 5 hours. It was great. Would recommend picking up your dogs poop bag if you bring a doggo.

hiking
7 days ago

Didn’t come up to climb a 14er but we couldn’t find the trailhead to Griffin Memorial Trail so we just grabbed the next closest one we could find. But now I want to come back so I can get to the top! The people we met along the trail said it took them between 7-9 hours... will definitely need more time and gear next time! But Its so gorgeous and I can’t wait to try again!

9 days ago

I noticed there’s a lot of information about the trailer itself but not much about the road. I’m writing this post specifically to shed some light on the conditions. Also note there are two main routes for this same hike. The review I’m writing for is Bakersville route which takes I-70 to exit 221 (Bakerville).

The road conditions are definitely rough and 4X4 is recommended with fair clearance. There were really only two spots that were hairy and my Nissan Rogue 4X4 handled it well with some guidance. The majority of the road has rocks sticking up along the way making it a bumpy ride but more unpleasant than an issue. A low clearance car would most likely scrap on them past the half way point (About 1.4 miles in). At this point there was a sign that noted the distance and a small turn off for one or two cars to park. My friend and I picked up two hitch hikers at this point and drove them with us to get he summer trail head.

Also note My friend and I went on a Thursday and arrived at 7:15 AM in the parking lot was nearly full. So if you were going with a group I would suggest carpooling.

Best of luck!

hiking
12 days ago

This is a link to my trail https://www.relive.cc/view/1630339455

This review is for Sunday 10th June 2018.

First, the drive up - wow. I was not expecting the 9 miles and 30 minutes of dirt road to the trailhead. I missed the tip "A 4x4 vehicle is recommended with fair ground clearance. " - my fault.

By the time I got there at 6 am all the parking lot spaces had been taken and people started to line the sides of the dirt road.

I started at 6:05 am and I was back at the car by 10:30 am after doing both Gray's and Torreys.

On the way up Gray's, I missed the left turn and so ended up on Torrey's Peak Trail - I had to scramble to get back on track - fortunately, the AllTrails downloaded maps helped me realize my error. I was not the only person that made this mistake.

It took me 45 mins to get from Gray's to Torrey's and it was crazy windy. On the way up I was doubting my choice of pants over shorts, but at this section I did not envy the people in shorts. I even put my gloves on.

On the way down from Torrey's the 0.4 section on the map was covered in snow. A trail was well worn in the snow, but still, it was nerve-racking passing people and many people were just wearing sneakers - I had my "Yak Tracks" on, which are a must item for the backpack IMHO.

I found it harder than Mt Bierstadt and did not pack enough water. I drank a liter by the time I got to the top of Grays. These are the items I took

- Water 1 liter
- Yak Tracks
- Gloves
- Layers, I had a t-shirt, a mid layer jacket and outer layer jacket ( I shed the outer layer)
- Pants
- Food for energy, I had two energy bars and a banana
- Hiking boots ( not sneakers )
- Pair soaks (there are a couple of creeks to cross, not as wide and deep as the Bierstadt one )

I checked the weather on https://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks/Grays-Peak/forecasts/4350

I am not an expert. I am learning as I go. I hope this review helps.

17 days ago

Started at 3:45 am to head up for a snow climb up the dead dog couloir on Torrey’s. Boy, was it a challenge, a bit nerve racking, and exhausting but SUCH an incredible feeling to reach the summit after spending about 3 hours on the snow. It was my first time doing a legit snow climb that included Class 3. Then jumped over to Gray’s but the best part was the glissade right down the saddle! Changed the tedious decent hard on the knees into the best part of the day:) however I have my ice axe to control speed, as it is extremely steep in areas.

Most of the trails were snow packed. Lots of slipping and falling on the way back down as the snow had softened. Would love to try this again when the area had time to green up and all of the snow melt.

28 days ago

Some snow remains on parts of the trail. Start early when snow is still frozen otherwise you’re going to be slipping and sliding in slush.

hiking
1 month ago

I hiked grays to torreys and whent down Kelso ridge. it was covered in snow about 75 80% got off trail and post holed it back for cuple miles... ;) next time it's kelso.to.torreys to Gray's then out ..

1 month ago

Hiked 4/29. Winter trailhead still in play, 4x4 recommended for the drive to the TH. Started early and was solid boot-pack up to the summit, coming down was another story and you will need flotation. Didn’t have time to do both, Grays and Torreys, but overall awesome hike

hiking
6 months ago

Road up to the trail is still straight ice, pretty much everyone's parking down at the winter lot and hiking the 2.8 miles up. The trail is packed pretty well so spikes are nice, but you can do without the snowshoes without a problem.

hiking
6 months ago

Hiked this yesterday 11/26. The road going up to the trail extremely snowy had to stop about 3/4 of the way and hike the rest. I drive a new Jeep Wrangler and it couldn't make it. Getting almost to the start of summit snow got really deep I highly suggest bringing snow shoes. Over all a lot of fun

7 months ago

We went yesterday (11/9). Very challenging in snow. Trails were not visible. We're unable to summit. Stopped at a little after the false summit because of deep post holing. Over the waist. The gap from grays to Torrey's looks completely impassible. This was very technical and very tough. We stopped and turned around at about 13,900. Took 5.5 hrs to make it to fall summit. We drove to trailhead. You need an all wheel drive to make it right now. But it's doable. Have to have snowshoes and micro spikes. Winds hit at least 50mph. Gnarly trek but worth it. I would say experienced mountaineers only right now. Have fun!

hiking
7 months ago

For the drive: I recommend 4WD vehicles for driving to trailhead (but some folks made it with sedans (e.g. Camry and Elantra), otherwise you're adding 4 extra miles (2 miles each way) if you park at bottom. Fairly technical driving is all it takes to handle 189. As for hike: Quite a rigorous trek for my second 14er, but this was an incredible journey! My wife and I started at 7:00AM and summited Grays around 10:00AM. You'll find trekking poles and micro spikes to be quite helpful for your final ascent. Once at top, we were especially mesmerized by the infinite view of the range, but we didn't linger there as it was below 0 with wind chill (about 40 mph), otherwise we may have tried Torreys. Plenty of hikers on both peaks and at least 2 gentlemen climbed up to Torreys via Kelso Ridge. We took several breaks up and down, and eventually made it back to parking lot at 12:30PM to enjoy warmth again. The mountains were less busy than Bierstadt and Evans this month, and we still made plenty of new friends along the way!

hiking
7 months ago

Good amount of snow and ice up top around Gray's peak. Not nearly as much on Torrey's. I highly recommend micro spikes for traction, hiking poles, and full blown winter gear. Camelbaks will likely freeze as well so bring nalgenes or something similar. We got our Audi A4 up to the trail head with some snow on the ground but I would not recommend it. 4X4 would have been much better!

7 months ago

Great hike. If going early in the morning, be prepared with a good windbreaker. It was windy when we went; wish we brought gloves.

8 months ago

Cloudy and windy today. Beautiful trail. Icy and snowy even with chains. Late October you may need spikes, poles and warm winter gear.

hiking
8 months ago

Fantastic weather, excellent views. The upper half of the trail was covered in snow. We used YakTrax and had no problems. There were just a few areas where the snow was soft and our shoes sank in the snow, but no more than ankle deep. As usual the temperature range was dramatic, warm calm winds at the bottom and icy cold high winds towards the top.

hiking
8 months ago

Definitely not for the faint of heart this time of year. Bring traction assistance and poles at the minimum. Wind proof clothing is a must.

100% worth the effort to get to the top of both peaks.

hiking
8 months ago

Awesome trail with some stellar views. Hiked this on 10/5 in gorgeous weather. The trail is definitely pretty snowy, but manageable up until about Kelso Ridge, where it starts getting pretty deep. I hiked with my friends, and we all found it difficult to manage in the altitude (from MN, where's it's considerably lower elevation). Found the ascent pretty strenuous, and took lots of breaks. We ended up not quite making it to the top, but the hike was still totally worth it (turned back at about 13,000'). Even though there is snow, during the day it got pretty hot & the trail turned into a stream at sections & was pretty muddy. Prepare for the cold but also prepare to shed to your base layer once that sun starts shining.

Oh, and the crappy road everyone keeps talking about? It lives up to the hype.

hiking
8 months ago

Amazing hike! I've attached pictures to show the current conditions. SNOW! Just before the base of Grays coming up Stephens Gulch begins the snow coverage. We did not attempt past this point, but decided to peel off on a trail to the right which took us up to a ridge and old mine shaft. Sweet views of Grays and Torrey from this ridge and a cool overlook to the other side of the valley where I-70 runs through. Although we didn't peak, it was one of the most beautiful locations and totally worth it. Very cold mornings. Recommend dressing in lots of warm layers, to shed once the sun breaks the peaks.

Started at 7:30 and the upper trailhead lot was almost full. Huge potholes, divots and protruding rocks on the trailhead road. Takes about 30 minutes to drive this. Would recommend a high clearance car, and a 4WD only if it has rained

hiking
8 months ago

This is a amazing hike easy to follow beautiful views great for high elevation training. But on the down side HIGH traffic trail!

hiking
9 months ago

I've seen a sedan or 2 at the upper parking lot, but I would highly recommend a 4WD (or AWD) and a higher clearance vehicle. It took about 25 min to navigate this 3 mile, God-forsaken road to the trailhead (why can't this road be improved?).

Additionally, calling this a "moderate" hike is misleading. Whether you just climb Grays or take the loop to Torreys, it's a 3000+ foot elevation gain to over 14,270 ft. Yes, it's an "easier 14er" on a well-marked trail, but it still requires acclimation to altitude and conditioning.

That said, it's a beautiful hike - we hiked to Grays and Torreys. You feel as if you're on an alien world near and at the peaks - forbidden, strange, hostile and devoid of life (except for the occasional marmot or mountain goat); yet, stunningly beautiful.

Carry enough food, water and the right supplies and enjoy.

9 months ago

A crazy but beautiful hike for my first 14er. I drove my low-clearance hatchback up to the summer trailhead, and while mildly treacherous, it was doable with dry ground. That said, I won't do it again without a higher, 4WD vehicle. The weather was crazy today- lots of wind and snow and low temperatures, so it was an icy descent. All in all, a well marked, relatively populated trail.

9 months ago

Great hike, our first 14er. The road to the trail is very bumpy and rutted. Beautiful views.

9 months ago

Hiked Torreys and Grays today. Beautiful views, great weather, and nice people on the trail. Left at 5 am had lunch on Grays and was back to the car by 1. Note: the road to the upper trail is a ridiculous mess. Low clearance vehicles should not attempt or proceed with caution.

hiking
9 months ago

I'm not quite sure I'd call any hike to 14,270 feet "Moderate". Yes, as far as Colorado 14ers go, Grays has no particularly technical portions, but at the end of the day, you will still be in a grudge match with the altitude. I live in Denver and absolutely felt the thin air impacting my hike. There were a lot of out-of-state hikers who were far more fit than me but still found themselves out of breath at the 13,500 foot mark. All that being said, conquering a 14er is a lot of fun. The views are amazing and the sense of accomplishment is palatable.

Words of advice:

1. Bring plenty of water. I went through 3 liters and really wish I'd carried a fourth.

2. Get there early. The lot is small and there will be a sizeable line of cars along the side of the access road, getting there after 7:30 am most weekends can add a mile or two to the hike.

3. Give yourself plenty of time. Yes, on paper its only 3.5 miles to the summit, but your body is likely going to start slowing down as oxygen becomes increasingly scarce.

4. Dress appropriately. The winds on the trail can be fierce and very cold, even on warm days. I found myself switching from warm to cold weather gear a few times during the hike.

5. Check the weather. There are plenty of places where one can tolerate a bit of rain while hiking, but at 14,000 feet with no shelter in sight is not one of them. If there's a chance of rain, try a different hike.

hiking
9 months ago

For a first time 14er, this was a great introduction to the world of summiting Colorado's great mountains. The trail to the top is well groomed for the most part. It gets steep and rugged towards the top but just keep pushing. It's one of the easier 14er's and once you summit, the view is breathtaking. Absolutely stunning. This can easily be done in a few hours as an out and back day trip. Leave early so you don't run out of daylight on your way back down.

hiking
9 months ago

My 1st 14er. Hiked with REI outdoor school. Hiking at this altitude was much more difficult than I anticipated. But it was an amazing accomplishment to reach the summit.

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