Handies Peak - East Slopes
ElevationAscent: 3,616' 1,102 m
Descent: -3,616' -1,102 m
High: 14,025' 4,275 m
Low: 10,408' 3,172 m
GradeAvg Grade: 17% (10°)
Max Grade: 62% (32°)
Current trail conditions
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“Arguably the most popular route to the top of Handies Peak, this is one of the peak's Class 2 routes”— Tom Robson
From the trailhead, follow the trail that starts behind the restroom to a bridge crossing the Lake Fork of the Gunnison River. Climbing steadily, the trail passes through spruce, fir and aspen. Through this area, the trail is clearly marked and well maintained. At timberline, the trail continues up the basin then climbs the ridge to the west. Across the open tundra, the trail may not always be clearly visible, but is marked with rock cairns for hikers to follow. The trail leads straight up valley for about 3/4 mile. A sign points to a long switchback that turns to a ridge leading to Handies Peak. Be sure to look over your shoulder on the way up for some beautiful views of the Silver Creek Valley.
If you're looking for a longer journey, once on the ridge, a hike to the northeast will lead to the top of 13,542-foot White Cross Mountain. A map may be useful as the trail is not maintained. From Handies Peak you can also return via the American Basin Trail (Handies Peak) then follow the main road or hitchhike back down to your car.
Land Manager: BLM Colorado - Gunnison Gorge NRA