Garfield Peak's East Ridge and Traverse to Grizzly Peak

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Colorado, United States, North America
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Spring, Summer, Fall
Time Required:
Most of a day
Class 2+

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Garfield Peak's East Ridge and Traverse to Grizzly Peak
Created On: Jul 26, 2006
Last Edited On: Sep 7, 2007


Grizzly Peak is one of the most rugged peaks in the Sawatch Range. It is the highest of all six Colorado peaks named Grizzly. Grizzly Peak is 4.9 miles south-southwest of Independence Pass and difficult to see from paved roads. The East Ridge is Grizzly Peak's standard route, but climbing the South Ridge allows you to climb Garfield Peak. Garfield Peak is ranked 116 in Colorado and sits at 13,780 feet. In addition, Garfield is on the Continental Divide. Climbing the South Ridge also allows you to complete a loop by descending the East Ridge or East Face.
Grizzly Peak s South RidgePoint 13,740, Grizzly's South Ridge and Grizzly Peak from McNasser Gulch

Getting There

Travel 14.5 miles west on Colorado 82 from US 24 or 9.2 miles east from Independence Pass. Turn south onto South Fork Lake Creek Rd. (FS 371). Go straight at 2.7 miles. The roadhead (FS 394) is at 3.3 miles and 10,740'. High clearance vehicles can travel up FS 394 an additional 1.2 miles to road closure at 11,360'.
 Red-standard East Ridge...Grizzly Peak's Routes. Submitted by Kane
Follow the old road west-southwest for 1.2 miles. The road deteriorates at 12,000' near an abandoned mine.

Route Description

Continue up McNasser Gulch to a small lake at 12,700'. Climb up a steep scree slope to the 13,540' saddle between Point 13,740 and Garfield Peak.
Garfield PeakGarfield Peak and the Point 13,740-Garfield Saddle
From the saddle continue up the summit. Alternatively, climb directly up to the summit to stay on more solid rock. From Garfield descend to the 13,420' Garfield-Grizzly saddle. Climb north to Grizzly's summit. Descending the East Ridge or East Face allows for a loop tour and saves 480' of climbing and 1.1 miles of hiking compared to returning the ascent route.
Grizzly Peak and South RidgeGrizzly Peak and its South Ridge

From McNasser Gulch Trailhead at 10,740'

Roundtrip Distance: 10.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 4,208'

With East Ridge Descent:

Roundtrip Distance: 9.3 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,728

From McNasser Gulch Trailhead at 11,360'

Roundtrip Distance: 8.0 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,588'

With East Ridge Descent:

Roundtrip Distance: 6.9 miles
Elevation Gain: 3,108'

Essential Gear



Colorado's Thirteeners from Hikes to Climbs

Garfield Peak's East Ridge and Traverse to Grizzly Peak

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