I used to hike Greyrock Mountain a lot back in the day when my cousin went to CSU. It’s a fantastic loop, arguably one of the finest in the Front Range foothills and what Morrison is to Denver, Bear is to Boulder – Greyrock is to Fort Collins. I hadn’t been up it since 2009 at the least and figured it was time for a reunion. My toenail fungus, which I had ignored basically since college, finally got the best of me lately. After 12 straight weeks of oral Lamisil, the fungus was finally subsiding, but the nail of my right toe had become so deformed that it started to grow in to my toe (ingrown). It eventually became infected and required a minor surgical procedure. I’m usually good with novacaine, but this go around was a little different, as 2 shots of the stuff didn’t do much. Afraid he’d inject too much, the doc apologized in advance, gave me something to bite down on and basically dug out and yanked my toenail off. I hope to never experience that ever again. Anyways, the point is, I was looking for an excuse to get out of the house, but didn’t want to commit to a massive day, specially given the forecast, so Greyrock it was.
The drive up to the trailhead at 6 in the morning is notable as it was void of traffic. A nice sunrise, some Buddy Holly and not a car, cop or speed van anywhere to be seen. I thought that by missing 70, I could evade the Gaperdom that has taken over Colorado in 2015, but I would find out later that day this was not the case. Sauron’s watchful eye is keen on I-70, but it also has a tendency to span in all cardinal directions. It took me 1 hour and 34 minutes from my front door to the Greyrock trailhead and I was on the trail soon after.
The first half of the Greyrock loop is done beside a few reliable water sources that feed in to the Poudre. After crossing route 14, then a well constructed bridge, you parallel the river for a mile, before reaching a junction where you have the choice to start with either the scenic Greyrock Meadows or the most direct Greyrock Trail – it’s completely up to personal preference. I chose to take the more direct trail, but given the intense heat of the later afternoon, I would’ve done the Meadows trail first and take the more direct, shaded trail down later in the day. Side note – apparently there is “plague” in the area, transmitted by fleas or other insects. Just add that to the rapidly growing list of shit to deal with in Colorado these days (I’m not pessimistic at all!). read more