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A ridgeline hike entirely above treeline (mostly around 13,00 ft elevation) to a tough 13er.


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Map Key

5.6

Miles

9.0

KM

Out and Back

13,359' 4,072 m

High

12,003' 3,658 m

Low

2,381' 726 m

Up

2,379' 725 m

Down

16%

Avg Grade (9°)

86%

Max Grade (41°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Views · Wildflowers

Overview

Parking is just off the Continental Divide at Loveland Pass. This is not as crowded as the popular 14er trails but still takes you to nearly 13,500 feet, with views the entire time. There are open grassy ridgelines at or above 13,000 feet that have wildflowers in the early summer. This is a good warmup for those looking to get into hiking 14ers.

Need to Know

Start early. As always, aim to be heading back down the trail by or before noon to avoid the summer thunderstorms. If you see storm clouds coming and you have not summited yet, seriously consider heading back. Safety first.

Description

Park at the parking lot on top of Loveland Pass (US 6). Immediately head up/east. The first mile or so is deceptively steep without switchbacks, but will take you to the ridgeline very quickly. Take your time ascending this section and warming up to the high altitude. Note: About 3/4 of the way up, there is an option to turn right and take a shortcut around the first peak. You may opt for that if you'd like, however, I prefer to just save it for the way down as a way to break up the out-and-back (see map).

Once at the top of the first hill, head right towards Grizzly Peak (heading left would take you to Mt. Sniktau Trail). This section provides multiple miles of enjoyable rolling ridge traversing with incredible views along the Continental Divide.

The remaining 0.4 miles up Grizzly Peak are pretty steep and on loose rock. Be careful of your footing and take your time up. Once at the summit, the trail continues on to Torreys Peak (Torreys West Ridge Trail), a 14er, and then on to Grays Peak (another 14er). Take in the views of these 14ers as well as a bright blue lake just south of the Grizzly Peak summit below.

Head back the way you came. Before ascending the last peak (the first one you climbed today), there is a side trail to the left (west) that will skirt around this peak and shave off some time/distance on your descent. In mid-July, this trail was full of wildflowers. Once back on the wider trail, head down to the parking lot to finish up the route.

Contacts

Shared By:

Cam Morton with improvements by Neal Harkner

Trail Ratings

  4.6 from 16 votes

#700

Overall
  4.6 from 16 votes
5 Star
63%
4 Star
38%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#142

in Colorado

#700

Overall
33 Views Last Month
6,280 Since Jul 18, 2018
Difficult Difficult

0%
0%
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7%
87%
7%

Photos

Loveland Pass. with permission from algill
Apr 29, 2016 near Keystone, CO
Approaching the low point. Torrey's peak looms ahead, Grizzly Peak D is behind.
Dec 27, 2017 near Keystone, CO
Grizzly Peak with Cornice
Apr 8, 2019 near Keystone, CO
Loose rock and slushy snow.
Apr 8, 2019 near Keystone, CO
By this point, this snowfield is all that's between you and the false summit/windbreak shelters.
Jun 5, 2017 near Keystone, CO
Markers and Mountains
Jul 17, 2019 near Keystone, CO

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Check-Ins

Jul 30, 2023
Matt Culpepper
Another splendid Divide hike. Best front porch views of Torreys and the Lewaunee Ridge. Strong grauple on the way back! (6.8/2760) 6.8mi
Jul 3, 2022
Dakota Rowehl
Way, way harder than anticipated. Well worth it.
Jun 27, 2022
Calvin Kean
Trail was overall in good condition. Snow only covered the trail in a couple places but there were ways around it. 6mi — 3h 50m
Jun 12, 2022
Andrew N
6mi
Jun 13, 2021
Jeff S
Very difficult ; started at 5:29 — 4h 55m
Sep 22, 2020
Jennifer Viveros
Sep 4, 2020
Erin Andersen
6.2mi — 5h 08m
Jul 31, 2020
Ryan William
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