“The full approach, from I-70 to the summit of Torreys Peak.”
— Jacob Winey
Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry
This route shows the full approach to Torreys Peak. Since CR 321 to the Grizzly Gulch turn off and the Grays Peak trailhead is not maintained, you can't drive very far up the road until May. So, worst case is that you have to start from the parking lot at the Bakerville exit from I-70. From there, follow Stevens Gulch Road. Only about a mile up the road, you'll pass the turnoff for Grizzly Gulch which would bring you to the base of Emperor Couloir
, the Tuning Fork
, and Grizzly Couloir
, however, that's not where we're going so continue on, up 321.The road ends at the Grays Peak trailhead, where you'll find a parking area, some maps, and a bathroom.
From here, it's often best skinning to follow the creek, under the bridge. If it's later in the spring, that will be melted out, and you'll need to follow the summer trail. Either way, head up Stevens Gulch and gain views of Grays and Torreys as you come around Kelso Mountain. Once Torreys in in full view, make sure that you move right, to the gap between some moraine features and the ridge between Kelso Mountain and Torreys. You should have a wonderful view of Dead Dog Couloir
at this point. Take a left and start gaining altitude on the west side of the moraine features. Follow these up into the Grays Peak Bowl. Traverse this bowl while gaining elevation to make the saddle between Grays and Torreys (preferably, avoid the cornice that often develops on this saddle). Once there, head north to the summit of Torreys peak (it's closer than it looks).