Bill Hammons: Writing and Running in Boulder, Colorado


Handies Peak, Colorado

Handies Peak's Elevation: 14,048 Feet

Handies Peak's Rank Among Colorado's Fourteeners in Terms of Elevation: #40

Handies Peak is located in the San Juan Mountains

Handies Peak is considered walkable

Best months for climbing Handies Peak are June through September

Click here for a Mapquest map of Handies Peak

Handies Peak, with an elevation of 14,048 feet, is Colorado's 40th highest Fourteener. It's considered a relatively easy peak to climb - the two most popular hikes are from the west via American Basin and from the east via Grizzly Gulch. The views from the summit, taking in the San Juans from every direction, are said to be the most spectacular in the state of Colorado.

Note that reaching the Grizzly Gulch and Silver Creek trailhead (the standard starting point) involves some hairy driving; see the Sunshine Peak page for an alternative route to Handies' summit. Grizzly Gulch is a longer climb than American Basin, but it's considered more scenic and can be used to climb nearby Redcloud and Sunshine Peaks. To reach the Grizzly Gulch trailhead, head south 2.2 miles from the bridge crossing Henson Creek in Lake City. At the Lake San Cristobal Road turn right and head up the Lake Fork of the Gunnison River. Take a right where the road forks 14.3 miles into your drive from Lake City and head up Cinnamon Pass Road to mile 18.3, at which point you'll see the Silver Creek - Grizzly Gulch Trailhead parking lot.

There is some boulder hopping required near the summit.

Sources:,,, Dawson's Guide to Colorado's Fourteeners, Volume 2: The Southern Peaks

This page last updated 8/15/06

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