Friday, August 26, 2011

OUTINGS - Greyrock Trail, Colorado

Greyrock Trail is 19.4 miles from Fort Collins. The parking area is on the left side of the road and will hold about two dozen vehicles. The parking area is for day use only with the exception of backpackers. The trail starts on the other side of the Poudre River across a wooden foot bridge. It climbs gently west for about .6 miles to a junction where it splits into the Meadow and Summit trails. The trails take different routes and rejoin near the summit of Greyrock Mountain. You can make a loop by taking one trail up and the other trail back.

click on any of the images to enlarge

The Meadow Trail travels up a narrow valley that was recently burned and then switchbacks up a south-facing ridge and down to Greyrock Meadow. The hike down to thavehe meadow is a pleasant walk through a dense fir stand. The meadow is a large grassy area just to the west and below Greyrock Mountain.

On the way you can see Hewlett Gulch to the west. The trail is well defined as it crosses the south end of the meadow. On the other side of the meadow the trail climbs the ridge, going south a little ways and then north and east until it joins the Summit Trail on a saddle near the summit of Greyrock Mountain. This trail is about 3.5 miles long.

It is about .9 miles from the junction to the summit of Greyrock Mountain. About 2/3 of the trail is very difficult. It climbs over and around large rocks and at times is difficult to find. Rock cairns mark the way in some spots. At the top there is a small pond occupied by frogs. The view here is spectacular.

From the junction, the Summit Trail travels for about 2.2 miles down the east side of a deep gulch with a flowing stream in its bottom. At a point about .4 miles from the junction it switchbacks down into the gulch and follows the stream. The trail along the stream becomes quite rocky and crosses the stream once before rejoining the main trail.

The total length of the loop (Meadow and Summit trails) is about 5.7 miles. The trails are of moderate difficulty. Gorgeous views can be seen at many points along the way.

LR - Ted Manahan, David Bye, Will Walters, Lauren Walters

Trail Features:

Length (to top): Meadow Loop - 4.47 mi (7.2 km)
Summit Loop - 3.16 mi (5.1 km)
Elevation Range: 5,577' - 7,540'
Elevation change: Meadow Loop - 2,685 feet
Summit Loop - 1,997 feet
Season: All year round
Difficulty: Moderate to difficult
Use: High
USGS maps: Poudre Park
Trailheads: Greyrock
Restrictions: Pets must be on a leash
Suitable for mountain bikes: No
Suitable for horses: No

John Gascoyne
Life in Colorado is a constant unfolding of sensory delights: Greyrock graced us with a 360-degree view of majestic beauty, the eternal sounds of the river and the birds, the warmth of fading summer, and the camaraderie of like-minded friends.

 For me, this was the third fairly serious hike in a five-day period; didn't and couldn't set any records, but that isn't what hiking is supposed to be all about.

Some impressions: we talked to a few younger hikers, none of whom had any knowledge of Sierra Club - our distinguished history or our present environmental objectives. At our lunch break site, one young man borrowed some tape to bind his left little toe, injured while kicking his bro's ankle in a vigorous soccer match. We talked up our organization; the young man seemed to get it; when he left, however, the old tape was found - abandoned on the ground where he had been sitting. Much work still to be done.

It was better than great to be with PCG comrades. Almost all of us were members of ExCom or closely affiliated with ExCom members. There has to be a way to extend our message and our mission to many more of the 1,200 group members in Larimer/Weld. I can think of no more important task than to solve this apparent dilemma. - John

John Gascoyne

Shane Davis & David Bye

Two lbs granola -check, 2 quarts H20 -check, eco-friends -check, ready to climb...  Early morning hike is a must in the summer to avoid extensive heat.  Numerous shady spots for water breaks. Loads of astringent chokecherries -dig em'. However, the expression on Will's face after I gave him chokecherries was worth him never eating them again. :-) 

If you think you have enough water, take another quart.

The hike down Greyrock Trail was very technical at high speeds. Quite dangerous really, and heats up the knees fast. The Poudre River was a chilly treat to my burning feet and legs. It further reminds me just how important the Poudre River is to protect!

Great hike!  - Shane
Richard Kommrusch & Chuchang Chiu

Will Walters

Great hike - Lauren and I enjoyed it very much and look forward to the next one. The 360 degree views on top were spectacular. The company was superb -- I am reminded how great it is to hang out with fellow Sierra Clubbers, especially in the wild. Soaking my feet in the pond below the summit and in the Poudre at the end of the hike was a nice treat. I learned with certainty that I do not like chokecherries but do like wild currants, however, if Ted will flavor with chokecherries some beer or other concoction he brews, I will still try it. - Will

Ted Manahan

Definitely a good hike with a great group. I'm glad everyone got the chance to make the last climb to the summit! The scramble to the top is a bit technical and has some exposure, so not everyone is comfortable with it.

The cheese pretzels were surprisingly addictive. My learning from this outing is to bring a salty snack for breaks! - Ted 

Lauren Walters & Shane Davis

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