Grays Peak Loop via Kelso Ridge

1 review #118 hike out of 642 in
11.2 mi
5 hrs 13 min
3,904 ft
Elev Gain


This is a moderate/hard loop trail to Torreys Peak via Kelso Ridge that continues to Grays Peak in Arapaho National Forest.

Kelso Ridge is considered a class 3 and it is recommended that you have proper safety gear. The rock all along this trail is chausie and footing can be difficult. Kelso Ridge does not have any cairns along the trail so taking your time and finding the trail will save you from being too exposed, it can be helpful to look for scoring/scratching on rocks from crampons to help find the route. It also includes crossing a knife edge, so if you have issues with heights sticking with the main trail is recommended.

The remainder of the route is well defined and marked, the biggest challenge is the crowds and loose rock. Remember it is exposed so weather can change quickly and the temperature and winds at the top call for layers.

Getting Started

This trail is insanely popular, if you are starting after 6:30 am anticipate lot of people and parking far from the trailhead. The trailhead has decent parking, but getting there is not easy, a 4wheel drive or all-wheel drive vehicle with good ground clearance is needed. The road is fairly rough, but the main issue is one steep and very rutted out area. There is a lower parking lot with ample parking and people park on the road, but be aware to pull as far off the road as possible and not to block private drives.

    Rate this Hike

    user_profile stars
    1 year, 9 months ago
    Kelso Ridge is really fun and challenging as long as you are comfortable with heights. Along the ridge you are exposed, have to do a few moves, and the rock is loose all over this trail and I would imagine it would be freaky if you were already nervous. We got started at 4:30am and I am thankful for that, the amount of people on the main trail is obscene. I was glad to be passing them on the way down opposed to fighting with them at the top. The road to the trailhead is not that bad (not great by any means) but there is one section that stops most from getting to the top, it's steep, rocky, and rutted out. You need a car with decent clearance and 4wheel/all wheel drive to get to the trailhead, I managed to get my all wheel drive VW Toureg to the top. There is plenty of parking at the lower lot and along the road, but I did see some tools park basically in the road and another turd in front of a private driveway, so don't be that guy.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Public Tracks

rebeccarick 6 years, 10 months ago
Grays and Torreys Peaks (6/28/15)
Drove up the fm road just a bit and ended up parking next to a couple of cars and walking to trailhead. Cost me 36 min and 800'. Would recommend taking a 4wd and parking in trailhead lot! Bit of snow on parts (must cross snow on descent from Torreys to get back to main trail). Brought microspikes but didn't need to use them. Snow was really slushing up as the day progressed! Woke= 4:30am, drank ~12-16 oz water and left ~5am UCAN with protein (8oz)= 5:40am Started up fm road= ~6:15am Started trail= 6:54am First water= ~7:55am UCAN with ~8oz water= 8:25am 2nd water= summit of Torreys ~9:30am Nothing else until car ~11:35am
reenowlin 9 months, 4 weeks ago
john.volent 1 year, 9 months ago
kaveman909 2 years, 8 months ago
Dave Ball 2 years, 10 months ago