The Greyrock Trail (off Poudre Canyon Road aka Highway 14) is a slightly challenging and very rewarding hiking trail up to Greyrock Mountain in the Laramie Mountains Range of the Rocky Mountains.
To cover the 2,040 feet of elevation to the 7,600-feet summit of Greyrock Mountain, you can choose between two trails: Greyrock Meadows Trail (3.79 miles) and Greyrock Summit Trail (2.80 miles). Greyrock Summit Trail is the steeper and more interesting trail that I took while shooting this video.
Both trails meet again at the base of Greyrock, after which the remaining 1/2 mile is a more rocky terrain that may require your hands to help you get up to the summit, discover the small lake at the top and enjoy the view of snow-covered peaks of the Rocky Mountains and the High Plains.
The day I hiked up there was appropriately grey with a constant threat of thunderstorms. Everyone who had passed me while I was stopping to shoot my video along the way, eventually passed me again as they descended, including the two very kind Park Rangers. So when Whiskey and I had made it onto Greyrock itself and I believed to be only about 10 or 15 minutes from the summit, the rain, sudden big wind gusts, and thunder above, convinced me to turn back around and try to get us to a safer spot quickly. I decided I would just come back on another, clearer day to explore and record the summit and the view.
It wasn't until today, as I was doing some research to write this post, that I realized (via a post on summitpost.org) I most likely had taken a wrong turn on the rock where the trail is not very visible anymore and had ended up on the dead-end ledge, which conveniently overlooks Laporte, Fort Collins and part of Horsetooth Reservoir (as you can see in the end of the video). Now I'm even more convinced I made the right choice to turn back around and make another attempt to reach the summit in the near future.
In the video you will see my dog Whiskey cooling off in the stream that runs along a good portion of the Summit Trail. However, it is advised to not let your dog drink that water due to possible presence of Giardia bacteria. Please bring your own source of water for your dog as I did. And hopefully your dog isn't as much of a nature snob that she insists on drinking the local mountain water.
Another thing I'd like to point out that may already be obvious from the video: these forests seem to catch fire easily because Colorado is usually rather dry. So please be very aware of not doing anything that might cause a fire.
Last but not least, I highly recommend hiking this very popular trail at this time of year because of all the wildflowers! Just get there early so you can claim one of the parking spots.
The song in this video is called “Acoustic Blues” and was written and performed by Jason Shaw, who made this song available via the CC BY 3.0 license. Thank you, Jason!
|Wildflower along the Greyrock Trail with Greyrock Mountain in the background|
|Greyrock Trail Map|
Rocky Mountains, Colorado