Explore the most popular forest trails near Montezuma with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

If you want to avoid the crowds, this route is awesome. Empty parking lot and we didn't see anyone until we were at the top of Grays. But its not easy! The AllTrails app shows the hike as a loop. We followed the ascent as shown on the apps map. The trail is easy to follow for the first couple miles, but once you get to the small lake, the trail is less obvious and you have to rely on cairns as trail markers. Once you start your ascent up the back of Grays, its steep. From the top of Grays, you join the crowds and its obvious how to get to Torreys. After you come down Torreys you have to go back up in order to then start your descent down to the little lake. The map on the app is either incorrect - or we couldn't find the trail even when we were spot on where the app said we should be. So...I don't know the actual descent. It was not fun coming down to the little lake. Once you get back to the lake its smooth sailing back to the parking lot. Lots of wildlife (moose, deer and marmot) and wildflowers. If I did this again, I'd get dropped off at the empty parking lot, then go back down the main trail with the masses and get picked up (so two different trailheads). The other option is after you summit Torrey's to go back the way you came - i.e. summit Grays again. ***Some of the reviews for this hike are for the main trailhead***

hiking
14 days ago

Great hike! Got up super early to be the first one on the trail! Amazing views I took my time and still only saw 4 people on the way down. Not bad! Would totally do this one again! So beautiful!

hiking
19 days ago

One of my all time favorite hikes that I started when I was 35. Now at 67 it's a bit tougher but still able to hike and fish the lake. Horrible road going in but other than that perfect hiking conditions and unbelievable wild flowers. Very clear water at the lake and brilliant red cutthroats

Gorgeous trail. Flowers were indeed exploding. 20 yrs in Colorado and never seen so many columbines. Not just bunches but am entire field. Road is in pretty bad shape but navigable in a car. However, I do not recommend it. The hike elevation profile is a bit deceptive. It is not a steady climb. You get about 40% of the elevation gain in about three quarters of a mile of travel. The two steep sections are really steep. A very fit person can go out and back in about three and a half hours. The rest of us will need over four. However, to really enjoy it, go slow to enjoy the scenery plan to spend five.

hiking
23 days ago

Nice hike but misleading description. The new trailhead adds considerable distance to the stated mileage. I would say it’s at least 9 RT. First part very steep and rocky then gradual incline but still rocky along the valley through the trees until the final steep part up to the lake. At timberline the wild flowers exploded. This was the highlight of the hike in my opinion. Yes there is a lake and it’s clear but the flowers—wow! Oh and the road is terrible the whole way. There were 2wd cars and vans and even camping trailers all along the way but I wouldn’t do that road without higher ground clearance.

hiking
29 days ago

great hike. Did the first week of June 2018, last water mile had to walk around/through some snow wasn't bad just make sure to not lose the trail. very lightly trafficked. we started at 730am and were the first ones up and saw three groups on the way down. would deffinetly do again.

hiking
1 month ago

Just got back from this pretty hike , lots and lots of wildflowers . The first mile had me so out of breath I couldn’t enjoy the views !! LOL when you cross the boulder field there is a huge flat one to take in the first of many scenic views ! The upper stretches are very scenic with the clear lake. A must for the avid mountain hiker

hiking
1 month ago

A pretty gradual incline the whole way to the lake. A couple spots are steeper than others, but pretty moderate overall. There are some standing water areas near the creek, which are home to swarms of mosquitos and other bugs. Just keep moving and you’ll get through them pretty quick. The lake was gorgeous. Above the tree line, crystal clear water with plenty of fish to see. Clouds build in the afternoon (during the summer months) so be aware of potential thunderstorms when you’re above the tree line. Otherwise, enjoy this hike!

(If you’re in it for the potential fitness aspect, I burned about 1300 kcals in 3.5 hours doing this hike.)

This was one of the fun places to hike but definitely need a map/GPS!! My phone battery died about a mile before we got back to the trail head but had a long exciting day. Not much of shades, so make sure you have a hat and sunglasses for your protection and plenty of water. You can also trail run there but pretty challenging.

An insane mental challenge completing this one! Be prepared and know before you go! The first summit on Bierstadt is easy, especially for a 14'er; I made it up from below the parking lot in just under 2 hours. Approx 7-9am.

Onward across Sawtooth Ridge, where it was a very serious class 3 scramble. They are not kidding when they say that part is a challenge. Rock climbing experience of some kind comes highly recommended, even then it was still a lengthy climb across.
Approx 9-11:30am.

Then to the summit of Evans, we had slowed our pace significantly by this point but summited before 1pm for a running total of approx 6 hours so far.

We then went back down the ridge of Evans and out via the trail that meets back up at the creek from Bierstadt. This part was my nightmare. Straight down for about half the return and then trudging through mid-shin muddy bog the rest of it. Would not recommend wearing shorts and would definitely wear waterproof shoes.

Total mileage was about 16.1 miles.

hiking
1 month ago

A very beautiful trail. Starts off in some dense trees and then opens up to a beautiful bowl above tree line. There were so many different kinds of wild flowers that just made you notice them and they were along most of the trail the whole day. When we got to the top the lake is so clear I could see 12 trout just hovering near the shoreline. Will definitely hike again. It is a bit rocky and probably should have worn my boots, but I got by with just some trail runners but use your own judgment. Some steep loose rock incline sections that can be a bit on the slippery side.

This hike was absolutely beautiful, but, this is NOT the standard route up Grays and Torreys!! Most of the comments on this listing are not accurate. They are referring to the main route up these peaks. We hiked this route on a Saturday morning at 630 am and saw only 6 people on the way to the summit of Grays. The summit, of course, was busy with people that had used the main route.

There is a very tricky scramble about midway to the summit of Grays that required some very careful and thought out movement, so be careful!

The road to the trailhead is pretty rough, so a 4 wheel drive is recommended but we did see some cars that handled it.

The solitude on the way was priceless for a peak that has been called the Disneyland of 14ers, so it’s definitely worth a try if you want a little bit more of a challenge than the main route.

Wild flowers were beautiful. Lots of people and you definitely need 4 wheel drive to make it to the trailhead. Otherwise there is a parking lot at the bottom a few miles from the trailhead.

backpacking
1 month ago

Overall great hike, great view and decent camping for backpacking. Road was a little rough to get there and the trail had a little bit of water from the snow melt but no water shoes required. Absolutely sick

hiking
2 months ago

Completed this trail 10 June 2018. I do this trail once or twice a year and always love it. Because we had a dry winter there isn’t as much snowpack as previous years.

The trailhead used to start next to a mound of black rocks, but they have opened a parking lot that you pass before this.

No snow until after the large river crossing. Nothing too bad until the top, near the summit.

Your feet will get wet, be prepared.

Follow footsteps in snowpack to reach the Lake.

Another beautiful hike, will be beautiful in about a month when wildflowers are in full bloom.

The traverse across sawtooth is surprisingly difficult, and can be more so coming down from Bierstadt if the snow field on the east is large and can't be walked on (e.g. early summer conditions). I found ~ 1 mile of the lower part of the return near Scott Gomer Creek to be almost entirely a swamp. You'll fight your way through willows and then mud pits where you'll sink into ~1ft of heavy black mud. Not a route for trail-runner type shoes: wear your goretex full support boots. The descent through the ravine leading up to Scott Gomer is also a challenge - very steep and lots of scree. Watch for hikers below if you're moving rocks around!

Great trail up along a running creek. I Love hikes that you can hear rushing water. It was very busy, but if you don’t let that bother you and just look at the beautiful flowers and water and mountains surrounding you, it’s pretty easy to forget. It’s also pretty cool to hit two 14,000 mountains in one hike. The views at the top are really great. This is a great hike for those of you trying to get into hiking and climbing 14,000ft mountains.

hiking
2 months ago

Went up yesterday (28May2018) Trail was mostly clear until about quarter mile to the lake. From there on it was pretty much a snow field up to the knees. Love this hike and look forward to doing it again in a few weeks.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike

hiking
2 months ago

So we tried to hike this on 5-16-18. We didn't make it because the TH was bone dry, but about a mile from the lake, you definitely need snowshoes and route finding skills. Both of which we have, just didn't bring snowshoes....so instead, we climbed up to a high point along the trail that was higher than the lake and the view was amazing! Probably even better than the lake would have been. It felt like I could touch Squartop from where we were. The trail and area are very lovely and quiet. There were zero others on the trail the whole day and one other person was fishing near the start of the road. Driving: Once you get off of Guanella pass road, there will be a fork eventually, keep right. You go past about 30 campsites then it's still down a ways. I wouldn't drive a sedan down the road unless you don't care about it. Higher clearance (jeep and 4runner are excessive) vehicles are highly recommended for parts. If it had rained hard the day before, there will be pits of water across 80% of the width of the road to the TH that are 1-1.5ft deep. The issue with a sedan would be high centering if you're bad at navigating or smashing your front end in a time or two and only slightly, otherwise it's not terrible by any means. Definitely an awesome area!

snowshoeing
4 months ago

We thoroughly enjoyed our snowshoe hike along the mining road, but we only went as far as tree line due to weather coming in. We were the only ones on snowshoes, all other tracks were from skis and boards, winding off the trail through the woods. Beautiful views. Protected from the wind while below tree line. Parking was a bit difficult as the trail head is off a residential street. Moderate difficulty is accurate. Slow steady uphill climb.

hiking
7 months ago

This is one of my favorite hikes in Colorado!!! It is rarely busy and offers a wide range of environments to trek through from forest, to boulder fields to tundra. In July the fields above tree line are covered in a wide variety of wild flowers, and there are giant patches of columbines.

The climb begins quickly. You'll accumulate a big chunck of elevation gain through the first 2 miles. The trail leads to an incredible view down the valley from a pretty exposed overlook. The next couple of miles are a more gradual uphill. It is a beautiful hike through boulder fields and forest with the sound of the stream ever present. The last third of the trip is the most grueling. It is a sustained climb to the lake.

In past years I have camped along the trail then tackled Square Top the next day.

Things to note - County Road 1038 is not well taken care of and has boulders that you will have to get over or around. There is almost always standing water a few inches thick somewhere on the road. I have seen a Prius make it to the trail head, but have been on trips where the driver of a Subaru didn't feel comfortable and parked two miles from the trial head. Be aware before you try and get there and don't be afraid to park before the road becomes brutal.

Also, the trail head isn't extremely well marked when you are heading up the road. I needed my GPS to make sure I was headed the right direction and find the trail. But, there is a very large boulder with a sign that guides you, it is just easier to see if you are looking back down the road toward the entrance from Geneva Road.

Bring bug spray or permethrin clothing. This trail is along a creek and bugs become unbearable without it. You may also want to make sure your hiking boots or shoes are waterproof. The trail has standing water sporadically and there aren't ways around the soupy parts. Lastly, once you get above tree line 7-foot-tall shrubs are grown right up along the trail and can feel like they are attacking you. Long sleeves offer a fair bit of protection.

hiking
8 months ago

So beautiful. When you think your not going to get there, that is when you are so close. Was a little erie as we spent 7 hours on this trail and did not see one human. Mountain playground all to ourselves. Went in middle of September when all the colors were beautiful below tree line. Lake see through blue, chilly but worth it.

Great day! Saw a mountain goat and missed most of the weather moving in! Pro is if my girls who also made it up both peaks 15,12, and 10!

Busy, gorgeous and well worth the hike to bag two fourteeners. It was my second and third one - they are MUCH easier than Bierstadt. Great way to earn a burger and beer.

Very difficult class3/4 across saw tooth. Only attempt if very comfortable.

Okay, all trails has this jacked up

A great climb! If you're looking to try your first 14er(s), this is the way to go! Not too tough because of the steady uphill climb, but of course, difficult nonetheless. Be sure to bring layers - Gray's was super chilly and windy and Torrey's was HOT and not windy, weird! Only downside to this hike... SUPER trafficked. It felt like the Disneyland of 14ers with the long lines and groups of people.

Absolutely beautiful hike!!! The views are stunning, very trafficked but if you start before the sun comes up its not too bad. :)

hiking
11 months ago

Great hike, but as others have stated there are a couple places that are no joke. Beautiful views with a lot of wild flowers still in bloom.

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