Grays Peak Trail

MODERATE 276 reviews
#8 of 126 trails in

Grays Peak Trail is a 7.9 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
7.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3441 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

walking

cross country skiing

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

The trail is great for hiking and normally takes a full day.

hiking
14 days 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
21 days 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

1 month 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
1 month 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
1 month 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!

1 month 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.

1 month 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
2 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
2 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
2 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
2 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
2 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
2 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.

3 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.

3 months ago

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

3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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.

hiking
3 months ago

Just home from this hike. Top of Grays before sunrise. Quite cold on the ridge, but not too windy. Saw maybe 200 people on the way down. If you don't get there very early plan on adding over a mile to the advertised distance for parking.

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