This summer we’re attempting to summit as many 14,000+ ft mountains in CO as possible, and we’re reaching the trailheads by bike! Join us on our Summer of Summits.
After summiting Mount Bierstadt in the morning, we cruised down Guanella Pass back into Georgetown. Our next summits were pretty close. We had some lunch and resupplied for the next day’s climb up Grays Peak (14,270′) and Torreys Peak (14,267′).
The trailhead was just 8 miles away with about 1500 ft of climbing most of which was on a bike path just on the other side of the barrier for I-70. It took us just about an hour to reach the “2 wheel drive” trailhead. The “4 wheel drive” trailhead is an additional 3 miles down a rocky dirt road with 1500 more feet of elevation gain. We checked out the road and quickly realized it might be more work to push the bikes up than to just walk up. We found a campsite near the 2 wheel drive trailhead and got ready for our climb in the morning.
We took off from our campsite just before 5 with about an hour to walk down the road until we reached the actual trailhead. Car after car passed us as we walked by the light of our headlamps. As we arrived, the parking area was packed and large groups were making their way towards Grays and Torreys. This was on a Wednesday – I’d hate to see it on a weekend.
Soon, we were on our way up and up the incredibly nice trail. Just over an hour from Denver, Grays and Torreys are some of the most popular 14ers. The trail is nicely graded, well maintained, and the summits require no scrambling. We saw families, children, and plenty of dogs out peak bagging along with us.
The valley leading to the peaks was absolutely stunning dotted with thousands of wildflowers. The trail eventually came to a fork, right for Torreys and left for Grays. We chose to do Torreys first.
As we neared the saddle between the peaks, the icy wind picked up and cut through us. It took us just about 3 hours from the actual trailhead to reach our first summit of the day. We meandered our way to the top and took in the incredible views of the Front Range to the east and the Ten Mile Range to the west. We found a spot just below the summit blocked from the wind and took a quick break.
Shortly, we started our descent from Torreys Peak and headed back to the saddle to ascend Grays. It was a bit steeper but probably took less than 45 minutes from the top of one summit to the other. We took our pics quickly as the icy wind continued to berate us and then began our long downward hike.
With the sun illuminating our surroundings, the valley looked even more magnificent as we headed down. We took our time making our way back to camp happy to have peaks #4 and #5 in the bag.
If you’re keeping track…
266 Miles by Bike / +25,800 ft elevation gain
37 Miles Hiking / +12,500 ft elevation gain
5 – 14,000+ ft Summits
We are Bekah and Sean, out on an adventure to summit as many CO 14ers as possible this summer and reaching them via bicycle! Follow along here, on Instagram, or Facebook as we complete our Summer of Summits.