8.0 Miles roundtrip
3,650' Elevation gain
We started our second day at the Grizzly Gulch trailhead at 7:00 am. There had actually been talk around the previous night's campfire about a midnight excursion up Handies. Sensibility eventually won out. The shelf road to the trailhead truly is spectacular. However, the driver should be comfortable with some exposure! As happens on most 14ers, we met a lot of nice people and spent most of the day with a couple from Denver (Hi to Nick and Kathy - nice hiking with you). There isn't a lot of new information that can be provided about this route so I have just attached a few pictures. The trail is great and the views are absolutely awesome. The San Juans are truly a remarkable place.
Handies shows itself early
Very easy to follow trail
Make your way through the rock moraine
Hikers spread out on the trail - crux is the steep section in the center left of photo
Looking back to Whitecross with Uncompahgre and Wetterhorn visible
Looking down at the American Basin trailhead
Finishing the steep and loose area. It is now an easy walk to the summit.
Great views on the return trip
Smell the pine trees
Soaking swollen feet and replacing carbs near the trailhead
Fried Chicken and cold beer at Southern Vittles - it just doesn't get any better!
Up next - Wetterhorn, oh yeah!