With the advent of a number of forest fires in or near the Sawtooth range and a road rally on Highway 75 north of town, Kyle and I decided that a change in itinerary was needed in order to summit a peak in the region.
Grays Peak (10,563′) in the Pioneer Mountain Range is located nearby as the summit is less than 12.5 miles from the front door of my house. The ascent involves about 4,650 vertical gain in less than 3.5 miles from the Federal Gulch Campground to the summit. The ascent is not highly difficult from a technical perspective but does involve a lengthy section of class II from the saddle of the Federal Gulch Trail (#169) to the summit. The trail bed of #169 from campground to the saddle is very good and the surrounding terrain and features are varied and interesting. By July the wild flowers and tall native grasses have the trail at certain points looking like a jungle – which is not common for this area.
We decided to take the girls (Merry [Christmas] and Shae dog) with us for their 2nd summiting of the season. We we comfortable the shade, creek water all the way to the saddle and mostly overcast skies would keep them from getting overheated.Merry [Christmas] Dog