Grays Peak is located in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains near Frisco. Grays ranks 9th highest in elevation of the Colorado 14ers. It's proximity to Denver makes this a very popular mountain to hike. Grays is often climbed in combination with Torreys Peak.
May 31, 2002
After being too tired to summit Grays from the epic snow climb on Torreys Peak the weekend previous, I returned to the Steven's Gulch trailhead to climb Grays Peak. The snow that stopped my car the week prior was completely gone and the road wasn't too bad for a car, although I did hit bottom in a couple spots. I arrived at the trailhead around 1 p.m. getting a very late start on the mountain.
The trail crosses and bridge and begins a gentle ascent of towards Grays and Torreys Peak. The trail flattens out for a small section and then becomes rock the rest of the way to the summit. There are some nice views of Grays and Torreys on the approach like in the photo below. Grays is on the left with Torreys on the right.
I got a couple strange looks from the people coming off the mountain, and yes, I know you shouldn't be hiking 14ers in the afternoon. There were some threatening clouds south of the summit as I approached but watching the storm it seemed to be staying south of the peak. With my eye on the storm I continued onward and upward.
I was able to snap the pic below about halfway up Grays Peak. It was the first mountain goat I had ever seen hiking so I was pretty excited.
Pressing onward and nearing the summit, a little snow began to fall in the picture below.
The summit was so close I hurried and got to the top, took some quick pictures, and very quickly began my descent.
At one point I decided to head straight down some snowfields to lose elevation as quickly as possible.
After getting down low enough out of harm's way, it was a casual stroll back to the car. There were marmots scampering around everywhere. I arrived back at the car a little before 4 p.m. so my hiking time was about 3 hours roundtrip. Much better than the 9 hours it took to trudge through the snow on Torreys Peak the week before. If you are planning to climb Torreys as well I would add an hour or two to the hiking time.