Torreys Peak Kelso Ridge Loop via Gray's Peak Trail

HARD 93 reviews
#15 of 134 trails in

Torreys Peak Kelso Ridge Loop via Gray's Peak Trail is a 7.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Idaho Springs, Colorado that features a river and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until October.

7.6 miles
3549 feet



mountain biking

nature trips

rock climbing




wild flowers





no dogs

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.

5 months ago

My first 14er. Follow if you want to stay on trail and not get yourself into crazy scrambles with lots of exposure (oops). A life changing experience for me. Do Grays and Torreys this way if you have the physical ability.

6 months ago

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

rock climbing
6 months ago

Kelso Ridge is no joke. The exposure is dramatic and a fall in most areas would likely result in serious injury or fatality. The class 3 climbs were fun and kind of easy but don't look down (gut-wrenching) and don't make an error (death)! There was a lot of loose rock so check each foot and hand hold before you weight it. Stay on the standard route, we got off track some how (even with maps) and made some insane class 4 climb up the left side instead of simple trail on the right side. This was my first class 3 route and me and two other inexperienced climbers managed to make it all the way up to Torrey's summit alive (Congrats to Caleb & Kelsi). The knife edge crux wasn't so bad but still subject to serious exposure.

Other notes: Road is rough from 70 exit all the way to TH (~3 miles), need high clearance vehicle and recommend 4x4. Got to TH around 5:30AM and it was dark as hell, lot was full but parked on side of road not too far from the parking lot. Didn't make it to Gray's peak due to altitude sickness and massive fatigue from not being able to eat anything all day so will summit at a later time.

6 months ago

I've been hiking Colorado for about a year now. And this was my favorite experience so far.

6 months ago

amazing hard climb. take your time, at the end it is worth it. goats pop out from everywhere, it's amazing.

7 months ago

Loved this hike but "Hard" is an understatement, there needs to be an "Extreme" rating.

The knife edge isn't that bad. Not bad at all, really, and not the scariest exposure on the route by far. Plenty of hand and foot holds, me and my climbing partner straight blasted across it.

Another reviewer commented about the importance of knowing the route - I second that. Print off the route description from and refer to it often. I forgot my copy and I think we may have gotten off route into some dangerous Class 4 stuff with iffy hand/foot holds and gut-wrenching exposure. Would not recommend that.

7 months ago

Excellent hike today. I cannot emphasize enough the requirement to know the route. Tons of class 3 scrambling!
It should not say that it is a dog friendly route. It's barely human friendly haha.

8 months ago

One of my all-time favorite hikes in Colorado. Amazing views as long as you're ok with heights and exposure

8 months ago

Awesome Class 3 scramble. Tack on Grays afterwards via the saddle. Definitely need a car with high clearance to get to the trailhead. Not much snow left except on the Knife's Edge which actually aids in crossing.

9 months ago

Kelso Ridge is one of my favorite climbs. Lots of exposed scrambling and amazing views. This route is certainly not dog friendly though as the description claims.

10 months ago

I did this a few last year and I loved it! Torrey's was my first 14er!!

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Just recently returned from climbing Grays Pick it was awesome.Great place to train for big mountains, we left late in a day around 8:45 am the parking lot at the I 70.
My friend was much slower than I expected and by the base of Grays around 3:40 pm he was done. From there I climb in my own to the top ridge of Grays it was almost dark. It was around 10:25 pm by the time we got back. I enjoy it very much... be in shape if not you will pay for like my friend. Never underestimate the mountain.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

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.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Did anyone have climb Grays in the winter....?

Monday, October 03, 2016

During August, the wildflowers are gorgeous.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

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.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

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.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

My wife and I got married on top! 9/10/11

Monday, August 22, 2016

fun scramble with a short knife edge ridge near the summit

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

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

Sunday, July 24, 2016

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!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

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.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

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.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Amazing views. Challenging and long. Gotta do both peaks (Torrey's) the same day!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Second 14er that day, so it was rather tough! Well worth it though! Save time to do Greys in the same day!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

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.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Via Kelso Ridge. Pretty difficult with lots of exposure.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Great starter 14 er , perfect weather in mid September , almost all ice pack had melted ,

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Easy and beautiful 14er pair close to I70.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Excellent hiking trail with Grays Peak right next to it. The East ridge is quite exposed and involves more scrambling. Using the Grays/Torrey's saddle is a simple hike with access to two 14ers.

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