Hiking Grays and Torreys: Colorado Fourteeners in Photos

Looking to climb two fourteeners in one day? Grays and Torreys offers a good option close to Summit County.

Looking to climb two fourteeners in one day? Grays and Torreys offers a good option close to Summit County.

Route: Standard Grays and Torreys routes, the east slopes of Grays and south slopes of Torreys
Start/End: Grays and Torreys trailhead, accessed via FR189 off the Bakerville exit of I-70
Season: While some people tackle winter ascents of Grays and Torreys, we fit in with the majority of folks and climb late summer and early fall to avoid major snow. If winter temperatures arrive early, even fall can get hairy up high on Grays and Torreys.

I’d be lying if I said I’m sad to see snow capping the Peaks of the Tenmile and Gore Ranges. In fact, I’m quite excited for winter in Colorado. But it doesn’t mean we’ve been letting the amazing Colorado weather go to waste. Just a few weeks ago, Eric and I took advantage of warm temperatures and made our first trip up Grays and Torreys, arguably two of Colorado’s most popular fourteeners (14-thousand-foot-plus mountains).

The drive to the Grays / Torreys trailhead (from the I-70 exit) was pretty stunning. Back-lit by the morning sun, golden aspen stood on either side of the narrow, dusty road. Not a surprise on a Saturday, the parking lot was nearly full by our 8:45 a.m. arrival. Deep shadows made for cool weather starting out.

Below are photos, mostly thanks to Eric, of our travels up and down Grays and Torreys.

Eric smiles for a photo at the trailhead for the Grays and Torreys standard route.

Eric smiles for a photo at the trailhead for the standard route.

The shadows made for a cool start to the Grays and Torreys hike.

Shadows made for a cool start.

The blue-sky day was perfect for hiking Grays and Torreys.

The blue-sky day was perfect for a high alpine hike.

A harsh-looking drainage on Torreys

A harsh-looking drainage on Torreys

Working our way up (and down) Grays and Torreys

Working our way up (and down)

The only snow we encountered was on the north-facing side of Grays Peak.

The only snow we encountered was on the east- and north-facing sides of Grays Peak.

Eric poses near an outcropping on Grays Peak.

Eric poses near an outcropping on the trail up Grays Peak.

Snow seen from afar is sitting on the trail up Grays, despite days of record heat on the Front Range.

Snow sits on the trail up Grays, despite record heat on the Front Range.

Other hikers make their way up and down the Grays and Torreys standard route.

Other hikers make their way up and down the Grays and Torreys standard route.

With no clouds in the sky, we easily saw peaks far beyond Grays and Torreys.

With no clouds in the sky, we easily saw peaks far beyond Grays and Torreys.

Making my way down the saddle trail from Grays (to Torreys), shortly before I fell on my butt

Making my way down the saddle trail from Grays (to Torreys), shortly before I fell on my butt

We had to smile for a photo before we made our way down Torreys.

All smiles for summit photos

We were both all smiles at the top of Grays Peak.

Lunch time

After taking time with lunch on top of Torreys, we were happy to have down jackets.

Down jackets or other warm layers are essential on high alpine hikes

Route information and other details are available in books and throughout the Web. We scoured 14ers.com, which had amazing info, photos, trail updates, road conditions and more.

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