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Part on trail, part easy off trail, the Grizzly Gulch route up this 14,048-foot summit puts you high amid what many consider Colorado’s finest mountain range, the San Juans (which boast the state’s most 14ers). It’s 7.6 miles round-trip and a 3,650-foot climb from the Grizzly Gulch trailhead at 11,600 feet on Lake Fork Gunnison River road off CO 149. Acclimate beforehand, and start early to avoid afternoon thunderstorms.
drive time: Durango: 2 hours
guides:Colorado’s Fourteeners: From Hikes to Climbs, by Gerry Roach ($19). USGS map Handies Peak (888-ASK-USGS; www.backpacker.com/mapstore; $10).
contact: Gunnison Resource Area, Bureau of Land Management, (970) 641-0471; www.co.blm.gov/gra/index.html