32. Hike the Grey Rock Trail

If you haven’t done it yet it’s time! Grab your hiking shoes and the dog and head to the Grey Rock trail. This six mile loop can be completed in about 5 hours (this includes plenty of time at the top soaking in the views) but is also a fun overnight trip if you feel like taking your time. The trail starts at the canyon floor and climbs about 2,000 ft in elevation to the summit of Grey Rock Mountain. About a mile into your hike you’ll see a fork in trail and you have the option of taking the summit trail or the meadow trail, the trails re-connect near the summit so take either one. I find that most people take the summit trail as it’s a more direct route to the top so if you’re looking for a bit more solitude try the meadow trail. Make sure you pay close attention to the trail and the rock cairns (man made stacks of rock), it’s easier than you think to lose your way. The first time I hiked the summit trail I missed a switchback and followed a path that must have been worn by mule deer, after following it for 15 minutes or so it disapeared and I had to re-trace my steps back to the trail. Think it can’t happen to you? Each year an average of 2 grey rock trail hikers return to their car with the help of search and rescue! Don’t let that deter you, just pay attention and if you lose the trail, backtrack insead of continuing forward. If you choose to summit Grey Rock mountain know that the last part of the trail is fairly difficult and is more of a rock scramble than a hike but the views at the top will blow your mind!

Thanks to Doug for the killer pics!

The trailhead is in the Poudre Canyon, 7 miles west of Ted’s Place (the intersection of hwy 287 and 14). Parking is on the left (south)side of the road, trailhead starts on a footbridge which crosses the Poudre river, just across the road from the parking lot.

6 Comments to “32. Hike the Grey Rock Trail”

  1. Beth 2 May 2010 at 3:22 pm #

    Do you have to make any reservations to camp over night on the trail?

  2. Doug VW 3 May 2010 at 7:57 am #

    It’s in Roosevelt National Forest and reservations are not required for backcountry camping. The meadows just west of the peak (along the meadows branch of the trail) is a great spot to camp. See camping information in this visitor guide: http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/arnf/recreation/visitorsguide.shtml

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