Peak(s):  Handies Peak  -  14,058 feet
Date Posted:  07/07/2010
Date Climbed:   07/03/2010
Author:  madbuck
 Handies Peak Loop - Grizzly Gulch Up, American Basin Down   

Pictures and more details x-posted:
Handies Peak: Grizzly Gulch Up, American Basin Down

Grizzly Gulch Basin and American Basin are two of the prettiest places in the state, with a gorgeous but laid back mountain, Handies Peak, separating them. While the easy way is to drive a car up to the American Basin TH, the most scenery-packed way is to hike up Grizzly Gulch, and down American Basin. I would also suggest going in this exact direction, for several reasons.

First, the view of Handies from Grizzly Gulch is more splendid.
That is, the East Face presents itself as more impressive, while the western route sneaks through a blocked view that doesn't properly present a 14000 foot mountain.

Also, the route along the East Face takes a nifty direction onto a grassy bench before the summit ridge, before rising up along talus to the ridge itself. This exploitation of the surrounding area is better appreciated when going up, and the only touch of Class 2 on this route -- the summit ridge -- is certainly easier when going up.

Finally, this clockwise direction puts the Cinammon Pass road section at the end of your journey, where you're sufficiently protected below treeline and with some vehicle traffic in case of a weather emergency.

In sum, I hope I have sold this route as a fun loop alternative to the more common standard peakbagging route from the American Basin TH, which involves more driving, misses the beauty of the Grizzly Gulch side, and doesn't even yield a minimally satisfying 3000 feet of climbing.

Comments or Questions
07/08/2010 11:14
Thanks for this suggestion, the nice report and the great photos.
Happy trails.

Doin' the loop!!
08/16/2010 20:06
Me and my son and older daughter did the loop, ascending GG and descending AB. It was well worth the extra mileage and time. So much beauty around that area and we didn't want to miss the great view of Handies from GG but we also wanted to experience the awe inspiring beauty of the basin. Great report, now I'm in the mood for a LaBatt's Blue!

   Not registered?

Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

Please respect private property: supports the rights of private landowners to determine how and by whom their land will be used. In Colorado, it is your responsibility to determine if land is private and to obtain the appropriate permission before entering the property.

© 2023®, 14ers Inc.