Greyrock Mountain is a fun and challenging Fort Collins area hike. The trail is located in the lower Poudre Canyon along Colorado Highway 14 West and is just a 25 minute drive from Old Town Fort Collins.
Greyrock Mountain: Quick Facts
- One-way distance via Greyrock Trail – 3.1 miles
- One-way distance via Greyrock Meadows Trail – 4.0 miles
- Elevation gain – 2,043 feet
- Dogs – Allowed with leash
- Bikes or Horses – No
- Type of hike – Climb to a lookout point; scrambling & route finding near top
- Parking – At trailhead (limited) and along road
- Restroom – Pit toilets at trailhead parking lot
- Fee – Free
- Directions from Fort Collins – Go North on Highway 287 for about 10 miles before turning onto Colorado Highway 14 West. Take Colorado Highway 14 West for a little over 8 miles.
- Other activities along trail – Trad climbing
Greyrock Mountain: The Hike
The Poudre Canyon is a beautiful area near Fort Collins that follows the winding Poudre River through canyon walls and rock formations. This area is the perfect playground for rafters, kayakers, climbers and hikers. While many pristine hikes can be found in the upper part of the canyon, Greyrock Mountain is the closest to Fort Collins and is my personal favorite out of the lower canyon hikes.
The parking lot for this hike appears on the left shortly after seeing a sign for Greyrock Mountain along the road (driving in from the south end of the canyon). The lot is paved but it’s small and only features on entry/exit point. If the lot is filled, parking is allowed along the canyon road near the trailhead.
From the parking lot, hikers can follow stairs near the bathroom to a crosswalk leading to the trailhead on the other side of the canyon road.
Follow a bridge across the Poudre River to reach the official trailhead.
A short path leads to the river if you are looking for a spot to relax, eat a snack or cool down once you’ve completed this out-and-back.
Greyrock Trail and Greyrock Meadows start at the same trailhead. If you’d like to experience both trails, you can easily create a loop by taking one trail up and following the other down. The first portion of the hike travels slightly uphill and features a few simple stream crossings. After about 0.5 miles you will reach the Greyrock Trail and Greyrock Meadows split. Head right to follow Greyrock Trail or veer left to follow the longer — but not as steep — Greyrock Meadows Trail.
From this junction Greyrock Trail begins to climb more steadily along a series of switchbacks. The trail meanders through flora, which can be dense in spots, so pants or long socks are recommended. Parts of the trail overlooks a large burn area that resulted from the High Park Fire in the summer of 2012.
After about two miles along the trail you will finally see Greyrock.
As you get closer to the summit, the trail becomes more rocky can can be tricky to follow. Wear hiking shoes with good lugs for gripping rock and be prepared for a bit of scrambling. Keep an eye out for cairns and trail signs to help you stay on track.
As you continue, you will come across a very small lake nestled in the giant surrounding rock. You can enjoy the views here or continue a bit further to reach the summit of Greyrock.
I won’t spoil the views with final photos, but you can expect to see snow-capped peaks from Rocky Mountain National Park along with views of the Poudre Canyon and the Comanche Peak Wilderness Area.
The Greyrock area features a number of trad climbing routes — both single and multi-pitch. The approach to these routes requires climbers to hike nearly the entire trail, which can be strenuous with gear. These climbing routes are relatively untouched compared to other local climbing areas, making them well worth the trek. Head to Mountain Project for more route details.