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"Aiguille du Greyrock"
Mountain/Rock

"Aiguille du Greyrock"

 
"Aiguille du Greyrock"

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Colorado, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 40.71581°N / 105.30567°W

Object Title: "Aiguille du Greyrock"

County: Larimer

Activities: Hiking

Elevation: 7456 ft / 2273 m

 

Page By: DeanM

Created/Edited: Mar 6, 2012 / Mar 6, 2012

Object ID: 779801

Hits: 1032 

Page Score: 79.61%  - 11 Votes 

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Overview

 
 Aiguille du Greyrock
The southern ridge and needle point 7456 feet.
"Aiguille du Greyrock" is an obscure bantam peak northwest of Fort Collins, Colorado. It is overshadowed by the highly popular Greyrock Mountain. For those with a more adventurous spirit, and willing to do a little exposed Class 4 scrambling, "Aiguille du Greyrock" is a more secluded and satisfying climb. Rising up from the meadow west of Greyrock, it is guarded from the south by a ridge of steep rock outcrops. Aiguille means needle in French, and from most perspectives the 80+ foot finger of granite lives up to its name. But on the north west side it relents to scrambling with some good route-finding.

Greyrock Trailhead

Greyrock Trail is a National Recreation Trail built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). President Roosevelt created the CCC during the Great Depression to employ men as a peacetime army to work on enhancing forest and recreational resources. The Greyrock trails have a number of special regulations, reflecting their very heavy use. All camping and wood-burning fires are prohibited within 200 feet of any water, or of the trail. All mechanized and motorized vehicles are prohibited, including bikes. All dogs must be on hand-held leash. All stock (including horses) are prohibited.

One way distance: Approximately 4.0 miles
Elevation gain: 2,262 ft.
Elevation loss: ~350 ft.

Directions  
 Aiguille du Greyrock
The Class 4 Route

From Fort Collins take Highway 287 north to Ted's Place. Turn left onto Highway 14 and go west approximately 7.5 miles to the Greyrock Mountain parking area on the south side of the road. Cross a footbridge over the Cache La Poudre River on the north side of the road. Poison Ivy is prevalent along the lower portions of the Greyrock trail.

Route
Hike west approximately 0.5 mile following the Poudre River before turning north. Just after crossing a small stream the trail branches. From here you take the Greyrock Meadows Trail. This trail has great views of Hewlett Gulch and the Snowy Range to the northwest. Top out on an overlook after about three miles, before descending down to Greyrock Meadows. Greyrock looms to the northeast, but you will also see the rocky crest of the “Aiguille du Greyrock” ridge nearly 700 feet above you and 0.5 miles away. Start to ascend this ridge taking time to scramble up any of the fun rocks along the way. The path of least resistance is on the east side (right) when you come across difficulties. By staying high you’ll reach an initial craggy highpoint about 0.2 of a mile from the summit finger. This is when you get the first good view of the actual top, and it is daunting. Drop about 80 feet and work your way on the east side (right) of the dramatic finger of granite still north of you. Circle around until you are on the north side of “Aiguille du Greyrock” then climb west (left). This is where you will find that the steep rock relents enough to climb. Initially it is easy scrambling on the NW side of the rock. The crux is a Class 4 section about twelve feet high. It’s a little easier on the right side of the boulder, but exposed to a substantial fall. The left side has a crack that is climbable as well. Once this difficulty is surmounted, it’s 20 feet or so of scrambling to the flat-topped summit.

 Aiguille du Greyrock
The "climbable" NW side

Hewlett Gulch Trailhead

The Hewlett Gulch trail leads north along an old roadbed following Gordon Creek. After hiking about 0.5 mile there are old building foundations scattered along the gulch. This is what is left of old Poudre Park. Most of the homesteads were built between 1911 and 1925. Hewlett Gulch was named after Horace Huleatt, one of the first settlers in the area during the 1870’s. Look out for mine tailings and some closed mine shafts in the gulch as well. It the spring time there are beautiful fields of poppies and lilac bushes that were planted here by homesteaders. There are many steam crossings on the lower Hewlett Gulch Trail, so be prepared for some wading during the spring runoff.

One way distance: Approximately 3.5 miles
Elevation gain: 1,789 ft.
Elevation loss: 0 ft.

Directions
Hewlett Gulch trail is located 22 miles northwest of Fort Collins, Colorado in the Poudre River Canyon. Specifically, it is on the north side of the highway, 10.5 miles west of the Highway 14 and US-287 intersection . On the west end of Poudre Park, you’ll see the signs for Hewlett Gulch. Cross a bridge over the river, then drive up the hill to the trailhead. Bikes, leashed dogs, and horse are allowed on the Hewlett Gulch Trail


Route
After about two miles of hiking, you will see the rocky face of “Aiguille du Greyrock” ridge (although the “needle” is blocked from view). It is located high above the gulch on the north east side (right), and to the north of the saddle between it and the prominent 7180 ft mountain directly east. This saddle is the first destination. When you are roughly parallel to the saddle, leave the trail, and walk up an open forest toward it. There is a drainage here that may or may not have water. There are a lot of fire damaged trees through this area too. As you get higher you will likely find an unofficial social trail that winds its way up to the saddle. This is where you will get your first view of Greyrock looming to the northeast, but you will also see the rocky crest of the “Aiguille du Greyrock” ridge nearly 700 feet above you and 0.5 miles away. Start to ascend this ridge taking time to scramble up any of the fun rocks along the way. The path of least resistance is on the east side (right) when you come across difficulties. By staying high you’ll reach an initial craggy highpoint about 0.2 of a mile from the summit finger. This is when you get the first good view of the actual top, and it is daunting. Drop about 80 feet and work your way on the east side (right) of the dramatic finger of granite still north of you. Circle around until you are on the north side of “Aiguille du Greyrock” then climb west (left). This is where you will find that the steep rock relents enough to climb. Initially it is easy scrambling on the NW side of the rock. The crux is a Class 4 section about twelve feet high. It’s a little easier on the right side of the boulder, but exposed to a substantial fall. The left side has a crack that is climbable as well. Once this difficulty is surmounted, it’s 20 feet or so of scrambling to the flat-topped summit.

 Aiguille du Greyrock
Sunset descending into Hewlett Gulch

Maps

Trails Illustrated: #101 Cache La Poudre, Big Thompson
Quadrangle: Poudre Park

External Links

Canyon Lakes Ranger District

www.fs.fed.us/arnf/districts/clrd

Images

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