Torreys Peak - South Slopes
Climbing mountains is dangerous! Please read the Mountaineering Safety Page and make sure you have a map+compass and can use them effectively. A GPS or cell phone can be very helpful with navigation but you should still be able to use a map+compass in case your device stops working.
(WINTER) HOLD ON! If you don't have much high-elevation, winter climbing experience, be careful in your planning and take a partner. Even the "easy" 14ers (Quandary, Sherman, Grays & Torreys) can be deadly in winter.
In the winter months, the southeast side of Kelso Mountain is prone to avalanche activity which may run over the summer Grays Peak trail. Unless you're confident that the snow in this area is stable, it's best to leave the trail near 11,600' and take a more direct line up through Stevens Gulch before re-joining the Grays Peak trail near 12,100'.
|Difficulty:|| Class 2 |
Ski: Intermediate, D4 / R2 / II
|Total Gain:||3,000 feet|
|RT Length:||8.00 miles|
|USGS Quad.:||Grays Peak|
|County Sheriff:||Clear Creek: 303-679-2376
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. Reach a junction after one mile - stay straight and follow the sign for the Grays Peak trailhead. Continue another 2 miles to the trailhead at 11,280'. There are restrooms and a few dispersed camping spots near the parking area.
From the trailhead parking area, cross the large bridge that spans the stream in Stevens Gulch. Continue up the road-like trail to get your first good look at Grays and Torreys (Photo #1). Continue up into the basin to reach an information sign ( 39.64814° N, -105.7994° W) about half way into the hike - Photo #2 and Photo #3. Shortly after this point, hike through some bushes and across a rocky area near 12,300' - Photo #4. The trail gradually turns left as it climbs behind a small ridge that runs south up to the east side of Grays. As you hike around this area and past a basin, Torreys is to your right (Photo #5) and Grays is ahead to the southwest - Photo #6.
Continue to a trail junction ( 39.63789° N, -105.81327° W) above 13,200'. Leave the Grays trail and traverse (Photo #7 and Photo #8) southwest to reach the Grays-Torreys saddle ( 39.63728° N, -105.81872° W), above 13,700' - Photo #9, Photo #10 and Photo #11.
Turn right and follow a trail less than 1/2 mile up the ridge to the summit ( 39.642742° N, -105.821259° W) - Photo #12. Photo #13 is another look at the approach to the Grays-Torreys saddle. Photo #14 looks northeast from the top.
The road to the trailhead is somewhat rough, so a good clearance vehicle is recommended. If you miss the new trail (to Torreys) at 13,200', you can also turn right off of the corner of the large switchback (at 13,800') on the Grays trail.
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