Grays Peak Trailhead


Range: Front Range
Coordinates: 39.66087, -105.78462
14ers: Grays Peak, Torreys Peak
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Road Difficulty

2WD, rough dirt road 2   (0=Paved, 6=Very Difficult 4WD)
Normally it's Rough 2WD to the TH but some years it gets rough and might require 4WD. It always requires good-clearance.

Driving Directions

NOTICE: In summer, 2021, the Clear Creek County Sheriff stopped allowing parking along the road to the trailhead. They have said they will ticket people who do so and you will see "No Parking" signs along the road. So, get up there very early and if the parking is full, you'll have to drive back down to the bottom of the road and walk up. Awful, I know.

Take I-70 to the Bakerville exit (#221). Leave the highway and drive south over to the dirt parking area near the start of Forest Road 189. This is the winter trailhead and even if the upper road is open, low-clearance passenger cars should park here. It's almost 3 miles to the summer trailhead. Continue up the Grays Peak (189) road. After 1 mile, stay straight at a junction. Continue another 2 miles to the trailhead, at 11,280'. There are restrooms and a few dispersed camping spots near the parking area.

Winter Access

Closed at the start of the 189 road, near I-70.
Status Updates 
Posted By: fancyco
Info: The road up is just as bad as ever, some sections have been improved since last year but others are just as bad if not worse

It is doable with a 2 wheel drive, but only if it has decent clearance
Posted By: Carl
Info: A good bit of snow has melted in the last few days. Trailhead is now easily accessible by crossover SUVs (we saw a few) and anything with more clearance. One remaining snow drift .2 miles from the trailhead. Road likely entirely melted out within a week.
Posted By: daway8
Info: Echoing earlier cautions. Some have succeeded in driving to the 4WD trailhead, actually only one that we saw today which was a Taco, but another vehicle got stuck and 5 rescue vehicles were sent to extract since he was phenomenally stuck. I even managed somehow to rip off the front skid plate on my Jeep Renegade Trailhawk, 8.7inch clearance, while going over a hardened patch of snow, despite stopping 0.4mi from the trailhead (I think the skid plate was already walking wounded). I’ll add a couple photos of the upper road. Lots of people parking along the road. After today’s 5 vehicle rescue team it probably won’t be long before they start issuing heavy fines again for parking along the road.
Posted By: Thevirtualsherpa
Info: Disagree with other posts about access to upper TH. Could you? Sure. Is it a good idea in these temps? Probably not.

Owner of Red Truck - your car is melted out, might as well go snag it.

No other cars across road but deep (6+ inches) of freeze/melt snow tiretracks still are the only way to drive up close to upper TH. Snow warms very quickly and the drive down is probably not going to be a good time, especially if you can just walk it.
Posted By: aholle88
Info: Ive seen a few reports of people parking at the Grizzly Gulch turnoff recently. This is just a reminder that they were ticketing folks parked there around this time last year.
Posted By: kwhit24
Info: We parked 2 miles from the trailhead with a few other vehicles but we might’ve been able to get another .5 miles (a few vehicles made it). 2 other vehicles go stuck trying to get higher. Snow is continuous to about a mile below the trailhead and then patchy/icy/rutted after that.
Posted By: amneal27
Info: Drove a 2021 stock Tacoma to around 10,500’. Road is a combination of dry areas and snow/icy ruts in spots. It was snowing when we left so could be a different story this weekend. There was a Tundra stuck sideways in the road around 11k. Watched a grand Cherokee with snow tires get around it, only to get stuck a couple hundred yards below the trailhead. Noticed a couple other stuck vehicles on the way in, on the way out one had gotten out with the assistance of a towing company’s Bobcat which we saw at the Bakerville exit.
Posted By: SkaredShtles
Info: Skiable snow basically from the I-70 lot. Do not try to drive up the road - there were currently two vehicles stuck and blocking the road on Sunday, April 17th.

Snow on the road is thin and rutted for about a mile, then coverage is good for the most part (except the 1st avy path) up to the summer trailhead.
Posted By: Skimo95
Info: Cat track to private property, short skin track/sled to summer TH
Posted By: Bean
Info: The road is completely snow covered and impassable by cars and trucks. Snowcat and snowmobile traffic has groomed the road making for very fast travel on skis.

The big reflective sign advising against trying to drive the road is not just trying to make people walk farther. No matter how rad you think your taco is, youre not going to make it past the first turn.
Posted By: Skimo95
Info: As expected, everyone is parking at the lower lot. The lower lot is very sloppy right now and I would think a 2wd sedan wouldnt find somewhere to park. AWD/4WD/Snow Tires recommend for the lower lot, for a couple days. Snowshoes useful on ascent from lower
Posted By: Misi197
Info: Even less snow/ice on the road than in November. Easily accessible for the right type of vehicles until the next storm. A few Subarus, 4-runners and Tacomas in the lot by noon today.
Posted By: angry
Info: Not much snow; most vehicles can make it to upper th.
Posted By: Misi197
Info: Summer conditions minus a few patches of snow/ice which actually make the trip easier as they smooth off some of the bumpiness. A few trucks and a few Subarus in the lot this afternoon, including an Impreza with about 2 inches of clearance.
Posted By: Vacas Valley
Info: Quite bumpy, with some significant ruts, good clearance 2WD will make it no problem. Cars were already parked in the no parking areas by Of the road by 4 AM this morning, lot was busting at the seams.
Posted By: Misi197
Info: Rockier trip up than I remember from previous travels to this trailhead. Maybe it is just the end of season wear and tear? Regardless, it is bumpy, but Subaruable. The "Yolo of the Day" award went to some guy in a Hyundai sedan, which I can only hope was not his car. The giant pit at the house has been repaired. It is still rocky there, but nowhere near as tricky as previous years.
Posted By: chassis
Info: Poor road as always. Maybe worse than last year.

Many smaller cars can make the trip to the TH, just need to choose your line. I saw Tiguan, CR-V, RAV4, Corolla up there today. Plus the usual Jeeps, pickup trucks and larger SUVs.

50% filled upper parking lot at 6am on a Tuesday.
Posted By: naomiel23
Info: Went to hike up Grays and Torreys with some friends and arrived at the lower parking lot by 3:40 am to see the lot already 25% full. The road to the upper lot has some serious potholes and does require a high clearance vehicle. Those that went up in low clearance vehicles had issues with bottoming out and many turned around and went back down (had two friends walk up from the bottom lot that witnessed this happen). It takes a lot of maneuvering around the pot holes and unfortunately after our hike we found that there were lots of cars parked along the road were it is no longer allowed and made it difficult to get around large pot holes on our drive down from the upper lot.

Drove to the upper lot to find absolute chaos at 4am, the parking lot was full and people were still coming up the road. We were able to fine a spot past the main lot up on a steep hill and out of the way next to 4 other cars. Last time I attempted Grays on the weekend the last spot was taken by myself at around 5:15 am and that was in the actual upper lot back in 2018.

I would highly suggest avoiding Grays and Torreys on the weekend and attempt it on a week day. The weekend is crawling with people and there is no parking.

We also started hiking around 5 am when our friends arrived from the lower lot and we picked up tons of trash on the way up. Starbucks wrappers and napkins, tissues all over the place, different wrappers. Very disappointing to see the trail littered. If you do go please pack out what you pack in.
Posted By: Alan Arnette
Info: Hiked Grays today with some friends and I camped at the TH on Friday night. Arriving at 8:00 pm, the parking lot was almost empty but there were a dozen or more camps in the upper parking area (the old mine road). When I went to meet my friends arriving at 3 am, the entire lot was 100% full and the small area by the TH sign was filled with cars parked horizontally, in other words, not head in thus they reduced the capacity by at least 50%. Hard to understand. When we left at 11 am today, Saturday, the road was packed with cars on the West side of the road everywhere there was not a specific "no parking sign" Also almost every pull-in/off spot along the road had a car.
Posted By: Lville
Info: For those who wish to park in the upper lot but don’t want to arrive at 3am - we intentionally drove up on Sunday nite 8.22 and pitched a tent because we did not know what to expect on a Monday after most schools were in session. Very few cars at 7p when we arrived and only a few tents. We easily found a nice space for vehicle and tent. Then, even when we started our hike at 7:15a on Monday 8.23, the upper lot was no more than 75% full. So a decent shot at nabbing a space at 7:30a or even 8a - but I wouldn’t push it.
Posted By: CommanderDawn
Info: Monday 5:00am, very bright full moon, the main parking area of the upper lot was about half full. Road to TH made in a stock Forester without issue.
Posted By: constipated_pete
Info: Arrived at 4:30 on Sunday 8/22, got one of the last spots at the upper trailhead. Get there early!
Posted By: JonHandshake
Info: Arrived at the trailhead at 5am on a Saturday and it was completely full. The lower lot was about 75% full when we passed it on our way down (~ 5:45am). It is now 6:45am and I am back home
Posted By: Alan Arnette
Info: Arrived at 6:00 AM on Wednesday, August 18, 2021, and found about 40% available spots in the main area, with the upper section completely empty.
Posted By: sankshah
Info: Trailhead as expected. No blockers. Dry condition. Parking hard to find after 7:45 AM. So please have an alpine start.
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