For vertical gain and challenging terrain, Greyrock is one of the best trails in Northern Colorado. The majority of the trail is south facing so it’s usually a good option for early spring and winter training while many other mountain trails are still snowed in. And it’s only about 30 minutes outside of Fort Collins up the Poudre Canyon.

There are two routes to the top which split about 3/4 mile from the trail head and then rejoin a little over a mile from the summit. The Summit trail is the most direct route straight up. It’s about 3 miles with 2,100ft to the top via the Summit Trail. The Meadow trail swings around to the north and goes up an open meadow and then dips down a few hundred feet before climbing up to the junction with the Summit trail. The Meadow trail is about 4.5 miles to the top with 2,540ft of climbing. The Summit trail is rockier with some very steep, straight climbs following a creek bed up the middle of the mountain. The Meadow trail is still fairly steep but has a lot of very nice, long runnable switchbacks. The final mile after the junction at the top is very steep and rocky with a few stretches that require some hiking and scrambling to get to the top.

Here’s the map of the full loop up Meadow and down Summit.

(Click here for a larger map.)

Full Loop Route: 7.5 Miles round trip

Approximately 2,560ft ascent
High point: 7,540ft, Low point: 5,577ft

Elevation profile starting up the Meadow trail and coming down the Summit trail.

There are bathrooms at the trail head but no water. And there isn’t any cell service (at least from Verizon) until you get back down the canyon near Ted’s place.

Dogs are allowed on leash. The trail is fairly rough so I recommend bringing boots if you have a heavier dog.

Directions: Take 287 north from Fort Collins. Turn left onto 14 at Ted’s Place and drive up the Poudre Canyon about 7 miles. The parking lot is on the left. Parking fills up early on the weekends and usually overflows down the road on the side of 14.

The Summit trail goes directly up a gully with some really rocky steep grunts.

The Meadow trail has some nice long switchbacks up the open hillside.

The junction of the Meadow and Summit trails a little over a mile below the summit.

After the Meadow junction, the last mile to the summit gets a little rough.

The final approach to the Greyrock summit.

The trail is very rocky and technical. I don't think I've fallen and bled this much on any other trail.

The Poudre River at the base of Greyrock is perfect for soaking tired legs.

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