Kelso Mountain is a 5.9 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Idaho Springs, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is best used from June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

5.9 miles
2,322 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly




wild flowers

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Mount Kelso does not have an easily definable trail, but is a fun, challenging class 2 bushwhack which will keep you away from the crowds while in the Grays/Torreys area. It is fantastic to sit at the summit and watch people do the saddle between Grays and Torreys via bionculars. We had the summit all to ourselves and saw no one else on our mountain specific, though you see plenty of people on the main path. We went on a beautiful Sunday, were on our way up around 8, and were off the trail around 1pm, and this included having to figure out a route up the mountain and considering giving up ourselves due to the lack of trail. There were mountain goats on the top!

Because there is no main route up Kelso, I will briefly describe the route which we took. We took the Grays/Torreys trail to Kelso' Ridge area. From there, we walk across a Boulder Field (Class 2) and into what was a semi-steep open mountain field. You can take this carefully and diagonally up back towards the way you came, all the while heading slowly higher. Eventually you will see the summit. There is a pile of rocks to mark the summit and there is some great cliff hangs with a beautiful view of Gray, Torreys, Sniktau and many other awesome climbs. We followed the summit ridge back towards Kelso Ridge, but came down sooner as we saw the main path below us. Be sure to bring hiking poles, they really help!