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Summit Handies Peak via Grouse Gulch

San Juan County, Colorado



9 miles

Elevation Gain

3258 ft

Route Type



Added by Justin Weise

Allows those coming from Silverton, CO and/or without a 4WD vehicle access to Handies Peak.

From Silverton, CO.  take 110 to County Road 2.  County Road 2 is a dirt road that will lead you to the Alpine Loop beginning at the Eureka site.  From there, the road is technically a 4WD road, however, it's well maintained and a 2WD high clearance vehicle should get you there just fine. You can find parking at the Picayne Gulch campsite just south of the Animas Forks site on the Alpine Loop.  

The trail begins with a series of switchbacks and continues through Grouse Gulch with a 2,200 ft. gain over 2 miles to get you to the top of a 13,000 ft. pass.  The trail will then drop you down about 560 ft. over another mile to intercept the American Basin Trail.  From there, you begin the ascent of Handies Peak rising another 1,500 ft.  

The trail offers amazing views of the San Juans along the entire trail.  Please be weather aware, as you have to not only summit Handies safely, but also get back through the 13,000 ft. pass.  Afternoon thunderstorms are common in the summer so early ascents is your safest bet.  

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