Handies Peak
(Grizzly Gulch Trail)

5 Jun 2003 - by Layne Bracy

My first look at the San Juan range! Drove from Denver the night before and camped at the Silver Creek-Grizzly Gulch TH at 10400'. Perfectly clear skies greeted me. Two other hikers were also camped but heading to Sunshine/Redcloud, so I had the mountain to myself! Started hiking at 5:30am. The trail wound up through forest along the stream to a meadow, soggy from the snowmelt. The main basin and slope below the ridge had snow, still solid at the early hour. Crampons might have helped but an axe was adequate to get up to the summit ridge. A final steep trail up dirt and I reached the summit at 8am, with views for miles around. Glissaded down several hundred feet on snow just starting to melt. A cool sunny perfect day to hike!

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