I agree that the trails are popular, but the peaks really are not.
I hate to disagree with my friend Mike, but I’ll have to on this one.
Compared to the 14ers, maybe they are not extremely popular, but for a “secret” range they sure are popular. I haven’t climbed as many peaks in the Gores as Mike or some others, but I have run into people or seen people from the summits of at least four of them.
It is certainly common to climb a peak in the Gores and not run into anyone, but I would guess that they are climbed a lot more frequently than people realize.
Even on some of the more “remote peaks” I’ve been to, some the summit registers had half a dozen signatures a year. On most (obviously not all) areas of the Rockies, that would definitely be considered to be quite popular. I don’t know if it’s really fair to refer to a peak as secret or unpopular if it doesn’t at least have a chance of going through the summer without an ascent. I wonder how many ranked peaks (I’m guessing very few, but I could be wrong) in the Gores actually do make it through the summer without an ascent? Obviously, not all have resisters and not everyone signs, and I could be wrong on this, but I still doubt that many ranked peaks make it through even one summer without being climbed.
Colorado is the most populated state in the Rockies. Even in Moffat County, for example, there are 156 ranked peaks. It’s impossible to tell I guess, but as far as I can tell, only 5 of them receive more than one ascent per year. That’s in a county that is the most populated state in the Rockies, so other areas of the Rockies are far more remote.
The term "popular" could be debated, but I would bet that most of the Gores are climbed more frequently than people realize; probably several times each summer. Since they are very beautiful and a few hours from major population centers, this is not surprising. To me it is unfair to refer to the Gores as not popular or a secret. I would bet that most everyone on 14ers.com has heard of them and most probably know at least something about them and could name a few peaks in them. The Gores are wonderful and are meant to be shared (as long as you tread lightly).
Buffalo Mtn is the most popular and the only one with a class 1 trail to its summit.
Meridian Peak has a class 1 trail to the summit as well.