Grays Peak Trail from I-70

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Arapaho National Forest

Grays Peak Trail from I-70 is a 13 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Idaho Springs, Colorado that features a river and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 13.0 miles Elevation Gain: 4,429 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dog friendly

cross country skiing

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

bird watching

running

river

views

wildlife

rocky

snow

hiking
icy
snow
4 days ago

Pretty decent hike On 23 May 2020 Hard pack snow in the morning turned into knee - waist deep mix of snow/ice/water that collapse under our body weight —- every step. The trail was clearly marked where it was visible between snow drifts. I’d recommend either: 1) Do the full hike before the snow melts- start early 2) Bring snow shoes 3) Try the hike after most of the snow melts— maybe June/July The views were breathtaking

hiking
icy
snow
2 months ago

Loved it - for sure you need snow shoes right now! Enjoy :)

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

The road to the trail head is rough but not as bad as I expected. I have a CRV and made it no problem. This hike is beautiful. I’m not a professional 14ner and I don’t do uphill hikes ever but I do jog in my neighborhood. I felt like I was slowest person on the mountain but I just kept my focus on slow and steady and I made it. I love it because I accomplished it but I won’t be coming back for a while.... oh yeah I am 5 weeks pregnant

hiking
7 months ago

We did this trail 10/5/2019. There was plenty of parking even arriving late on a Saturday morning and the road up to the summer trailhead was not bad with a 4WD. On trail it was very windy with gusts to 40+MPH. We wore layers and were fine. The trail is well defined and maintained and somewhat rocky in places. It took us about 6 1/2 hours, but I am 67 and not a fast hiker. We started at 7:05am and were back to the trailhead at 1:45pm. We decided not to go over the saddle to Torreys due to the high winds, although a few hardier souls did. The view from the top is stunning. Would do this trail again.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful weather all day and a lot of goats

hiking
rocky
8 months ago

For my first 14’er this was great! There were a few things I wish I would have known though! Me and some friends got there early and parked by I-70 because the road was too rough. That was a big mistake because this added 6 miles to the hike, 3 up, 3 back. The hike to the trailhead was steep and had us exhausted by the time we even hit the trailhead. By doing that, grays, Torrey’s, and back, it ended up being 15.5 miles. Yikes! If you can, get a high clearance vehicle and get to the upper lot. Also start at 6 AM. Bring a face mask or something to handle the High winds at the top too. Amazing first two 14’ers! Highly recommend!

hiking
rocky
8 months ago

Not going to lie, this was a bit more challenging than I thought. I sort of underestimated this hike. We started from I70 however, the hike up to the trailhead was kind of tough as it is all uphill literally from the start. We got lucky and hopped in a pickup and got a ride up (which was kind of fun). We started at the Trail Head at 6:45 AM and made it to the summit at 11. The hike up is tough, with some parts being a bit steeper than some other spots. Considering that this was my first 14er, we did good time wise and went along with some fit people, but it was challenging, tiring, and super windy at some spots nevertheless. Starting from the actual trailhead is a much better deal than hiking from the bottom, so make sure you have a 4x4 or high clearance vehicle as you won't be able to drive up. This hike is definitely worth every second. I would do this again in a heartbeat! The views from the top are amazing and super rewarding. We didn't hike Torrey's as we just weren't up for it...I'll do it next time for sure!

hiking
no shade
rocky
8 months ago

Trail was great, my first 14er. Our dog had no trouble getting through, though if your pup has tender paws I’d advise booties because it’s quite rocky in many places. Definitely would advise trekking poles for the descent. If you don’t want to go the whole 13 miles we were able to get a hitch up to the closer trailhead and also back to our vehicle after the hike almost immediately.

hiking
no shade
rocky
9 months ago

First and only planned 14er. It took us 6 hours to the summit, but we did it! Went with a group of relatively fit 50-something women from out of town. :) Very heavily trafficked on a beautiful Saturday in August. Winds were extremely gusty at times. Because of all the hoopla we parked in the lower lot even though we arrived at 6:10 am, and hiked 2 miles up before getting to the trailhead. There was still parking at the trailhead, so we should have pushed on. Not crazy about the dogs off their leashes bolting down the mountain, but that's not the peak's fault. Great adventure and beautiful scenery on approach.

hiking
9 months ago

Wonderful views. Didn’t summit only recon’ed to trailhead and lower section of trail. Avalanches have been cleared.

hiking
rocky
10 months ago

Good short 14er hike. Recommend booties for your pup. The summit is much colder than expected so bring gloves and hat and warmer outer layer. Lots of marmot along the river and in between rocks so keep your pup leashed. Few spots near the top are shale to can be slippery when wet. Great views!

hiking
muddy
snow
Mon May 06 2019

This was a super fun hike! We didn’t summit because we went in early May so the entire route was covered in slushie snow. Some sort of snow cleat was definitely required when we went along with some good trekking poles. Stunningly beautiful all around, but be prepared for a steady incline that doesn’t let up the entire time.

Mon Oct 01 2018

We are from Houston TX and this was our first 14ner . I thoroughly enjoyed the experience . The views along the way are out of this world . The trail only gets more and more difficult. I experienced headache and nausea only on my way down. The ascent is very doable but please take as many water breaks as u need. I recommend taking your time with plenty of water and high energy snacks. I also recommend training yourself physically a few weeks before the hike so it is more of an enjoyable experience.

Sun Sep 23 2018

The drive to the trailhead is as challenging as others described. Got there at 7am and was able to find parking in the upper lot but it was close to full. The first mile is deceptive and once you get to the rocky part in mile 2, it’s definitely challenging. This was my first 14’er and it took me 7 hours but the views from the summit made it all worth it.

Tue Jul 24 2018

Beautiful and doable!

hiking
Sat Jul 21 2018

Great hike! We followed this trail up, then continued on to Torrey’s. The summit to Gray’s definitely isn’t as steep as Torrey’s, but both offer great views and a fun hike. Defiantly bring lots of water. Conditions are all clear. It’s definitely not an easy hike but we did see families with younger children making their way.

hiking
Tue May 01 2018

Hiked from I-70 in mid April as the road to trailhead was not accessible even with a 4x4 due to mix of snow and Ice. But as Temps rise it should clear. Check with Ranger's office to get updated information on the road conditions. Amazing views from the trailhead to the peak. Recommend snowshoes and microspikes if hiking in winter conditions. Definitely worth giving a try.

hiking
Mon Oct 09 2017

Beautiful trail, however would not recommend going anytime after September. Was incredibly icy and snowy when I went and it ended up stopping my group from going to the next peak and made for some pretty slippery descents.

hiking
Sat Sep 16 2017

Good for first 14er, combined with it's partner Torreys peak. Most hikers were doing Grays then over to Torreys via the mountaintop connection; however there was significantly less traffic the other direction. Beautiful weather at the beginning of September, keep an eye on weather for potential thunderstorms.

Fri Sep 15 2017

Beautiful 14er

hiking
Sat Jul 29 2017

The fact that it basically rained all day doesn't really factor into my enjoyment of this hike. Strong recommend. I'll be back when the weather is clear to do it again.

hiking
Sun Jul 23 2017

Bring a sandwich with you and eat it when you get to the top.

hiking
Tue Jul 18 2017

Hiked both Grays and Torrey's Peaks. Weather was great. Not a real hard hike. A little challenging on the decent with the loose rocks. Overall a good hike for a average hiker. Started at 5:30 and was back at the trailhead by 2:00pm.

Thu Jul 13 2017

My first 14er, and it was amazing!

Tue Jul 04 2017

Really loved this hike. As we did it on 4th of July, it was pretty crowded but it never felt as packed as it was. Even at the summits. First off- HIGHLY recommend 4WD to get to the trailhead. The trail is very well kept, quite steep once you're passed treeline, as to be expected, but easy to follow. There was snow as you approach the saddle and a narrow ridge to walk along it with quite a steep drop off to the right. It wasn't ideal. Especially if you had to pass someone. Would've loved micro spikes at that point but you wouldn't need them at any other point. I was fine in just my hiking boots. The biggest advice I have is to go up through the snow, straight to the saddle and go up Torreys (to the right) first. Then go down the saddle and up to Grays. There's a trail on the far end of the summit that's much more shallow switchbacks. It'll take you quite far down and you'll be able to avoid going back down the snowy ledge. Torreys trail is pretty straight up, steep and a bit slippery. From saddle to summit though, it's only maybe 30 minutes. I preferred this hike. Love to see exactly where I'm headed. Grays has more switchbacks from the saddle and felt more tiring to me. Plus there's a false summit. I'd guess probably the same, 30ish minutes. Both summits, lunch, and coming back took me exactly 7 hours. I'm an avid hiker but consider I myself a middle of the road as fair as fitness goes! Good luck!

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