Chihuahua Gulch

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 39.64280°N / 105.8208°W
Additional Information Route Type: Hike/Scramble
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Difficulty: Class 2+
Sign the Climber's Log


Start via US 6 at the Keystone Resort. At the east end of town, take Ski Valley Road south from US 6, which almost immediately becomes CR 6, which turns into CR 5. After 4 miles, turn left onto CR 260 BEFORE you hit the tiny town of Montezuma Follow 260 for 2 miles - a parking area for the Chihuahua Gulch trailhead is on the left - there is a fenced/bermed gate. You are at 10,500 feet.

Route Description

This is an alternative to the crowds usually encountered on the northern route, but it is much longer and more work. Follow a well marked trail north into Chihuahua Gulch, ascending gradually for 2 miles. The trail will curve to the right - leave the trail at this point, and continue to head north in the gulch. The left most high point is Grizzly Peak - begin climbing to the left of Grizzly Peak, following the route to Chihuahua Lake, but leave that route and begin curving to the right along the steep slope - you need to climb to the top of the saddle that's between Grizzly Peak on your left, and Torreys on your right. Once at the saddle, at 12,550', follow the trail up to the top of Torreys, heading due east. After conquering Torreys, follow the trail south and pick of Gray's. The way pack will test your boots and your legs - head southwest straight down Gray's on the talus slope towards the old mining cabin you will distantly see on the bottom - curve to the left to avoid the steepest part of the descent, and plunge on down. You will hike forever, and still that cabin will not appear to be closer. Your toes will curl, and your legs will scream, and still that cabin is off in the distance. Finally, when your legs quiver like freshly made jello, you will pass the cabin and head west, following a small stream. Finally, at mile 7 you will pick up a more visible trail, and head northwest, until you have made a loop back to where you left the trail earlier in the day. Turn left and head south back to your car. This is about a 10 mile round trip with 4,400' of climbing gain.

Essential Gear

Boots, boots, boots. They better fit well. Trim those toenails, and bring along moleskins - you're going to do some downhill. Other than that, nothing special - just a hike. Of course, bring clothes for any type of weather - you never know what you'll get. There is water in the Gulch, so if you bring a pump you won't need to carry as much. Once you climb out of the gulch you won't find any water.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.



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