Kelso Mountain Hike

This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
9.5 km
This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
708 m
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Directions to Trailhead

The Kelso Mountain Hike is an awesome introductory summit hike in the Front Range. Short, sweet, but steep, this path is a real leg-burner. Leave the city and its stressors in the rear-view mirror and head out into the wilderness. Explore the quintessential Colorado terrain and revel in the stunning vistas.

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Route Description for Kelso Mountain Hike

Satisfy your inner adventurer and travel up the primitive Kelso Mountain Trail. If you don’t mind off-roading, then we would recommend trekking the Kelso Mountain Hike. Bring the trail GPS along to mitigate the chances of taking a wrong turn in the Arapaho National Forest. This primitive trail is a secluded adventure in the otherwise trafficked trails of the Front Range. Note that parking for this path is limited. If you want to secure a parking spot, we recommend arriving early. Additionally, check the weather prior to setting out to avoid inclement weather at the summit and wear plenty of layers to keep warm.

Embark on your adventure from the path signposted: Grays Peak Trail. Hike this path past several historic mines and along Quayle Creek. The trail will then divert you under tree coverage and away from the creek. Hike up the rocky terrain through the woodlands. Eventually, you will meet back up with the creek and encounter a junction. At this point, the route will be exposed and windy. At the intersection, take a hard right up the primitive, unmarked, Kelso summit trail. Hike up the path along the rocky ridge.

Track northeast and you will summit Kelso Mountain. From the summit, enjoy the awe-inspiring views of the encompassing snow-capped peaks. Appreciate the scenery and take a break prior to beginning your descent. When you are ready to return to the trailhead, retrace your steps along the route.

Getting to the Kelso Mountain Hike Trailhead

The Kelso Mountain Hike is located at the end of Stevens Gulch Road.

Route Information

  • Backcountry Campground

    Dispersed Backcountry Camping, restrictions apply.

  • When to do


  • Pets allowed

    Yes - On Leash

  • Family friendly

    Older Children only

  • Route Signage


  • Crowd Levels


  • Route Type

    Out and back

Kelso Mountain Hike Elevation Graph

Weather Forecast

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Kelso Mountain Hike Reviews

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