Peak(s):  Grays Peak  -  14,270 feet
Post Date:  09/12/2011
Modified:  09/13/2011
Date Climbed:   08/27/2011
Posted By:  mc24337

 Grays and Torreys Combo   

The Grays and Torreys combo was our second stage in a two-weeks hiking trip that took us to the summits of Bierstadt, Grays/Torreys, Elbert, and Massive.
We spent the previous night in Georgetown and left the hotel at around 6:45 AM.
Gorgeous, clear, sunny morning! We took I-70 West, and then took exit 221. We then followed the indications for Co Rd 321. The road is unpaved, but in good conditions. Pretty soon we realized that - on weekends - this is a very, very popular hiking destination. We had to park way below the trail head - at around 10,400 ft, about a mile away. Lots of cars, and lots of people from all the "walks of life".
The trail - initially - is flat, but not boring at all. You will be funneled through a valley sided by impressive rocky peaks, until - after not long - Grays and Torreys appear.
Here's the view from the trail head:

View from the trail head.

And here's when Grays and Torreys become clearly visible:

Grays and Torreys finally appear.

As you go up, the view becomes impressive:

Ascending Grays and looking back.

During weekends, Grays and Torreys can become very crowded....

Crowds on Torreys Peak.

But the view from the top is still priceless:

Rosa and Maurizio on Grays.

Some family pride:

Maurizio (my son) and I on Grays.

Even on a crowded weekend, the "combo" option weeds out the vast majority of the crowds. I really recommend the traversal to Torreys:

Snowbanks on the way to Torreys.

We are on Torreys!

Maurizio on Torreys!

Looking at Grays from Torreys, you can appreciate the full extent of the trail towards Grays' peak:

Grays from Torreys.

Torreys looks like some serious peak from this angle:

Descending Torreys.

Overall, the Grays and Torreys combo is a very enjoyable, and not too demanding, hiking experience.
The trails are very obvious and easy to follow - the hardest part being the ascent to Torreys from Grays.
Besides the obvious advice (get acclimated, wear proper boots, wear proper clothing, use sunscreen, start early, etc.).... I would add: avoid weekends if you can. Crowds can somehow detract from the experience - the trail to Grays can become very congested and "chatty"....

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

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