Idaho Springs: Grays and Torreys Trail Maintenance Trip
Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet

Idaho Springs: Grays and Torreys Trail Maintenance Trip Register

Date and Time:
Sun, Jul 23, 2017  6:00 AM  - 6:00 PM  (Local Time)

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07/23/2017 6:00 AM 07/23/2017 6:00 PM Idaho Springs: Grays and Torreys Trail Maintenance Trip We need a trail crew, we need you. 39.63360500,-105.81716400 David Guilfoyle MM/DD/YYYY amOUuwqNAzpGSXwtHmnd12740

Organized By: Rocky Mountain Chapter

Location: Continental Divide Trail, Dillon, CO 80435, USA
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Event Organizer:
David Guilfoyle
(315) 876-9520

We need Trail Crew, we need you! 

On July 23rd 2017 The Sierra Club’s Colorado Outings Group will be partnering with the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative (CFI) for a trail reconstruction project on Grays and Torreys Mountains. 

When:  July 22nd-23rd 2017 

Where:  We’ll drive out to the trailhead of Grays and Torreys late Saturday morning where we can set up camp and discuss roles, tools and timelines. Please bring your own food and camping supplies. We’ll get an early start on the trail project, (below you’ll find a link to supplies to bring and how to dress for the day). We’ll finish early before the afternoon storms and head back to Denver with an expected arrival before 6:00 pm. Below you will find links to documents and videos that will help to explain what to expect on a day of trail maintenance and how fit you need to be. 


At 14,270-feet Grays Peak is the tenth-highest summit of the North American Rockies and the highest point on the Southern Continental Divide. It is commonly mentioned in conjunction with adjacent Torreys Peak- only three feet shorter. The unique twin summits were called ant hills by the local Ute tribes, but from either of the summits, you can see south to Pike's Peak, north to Longs Peak, east to the Great Plains, and West to Silverthorne. The first recorded first recorded ascent of the mountains was made by Botanist Charles C. Parry in 1861, who named the peaks in honor of his botanist colleagues Asa Gray and John Torrey. Both John Torrey and Asa Gray were renowned in their field; with Torrey, the appointed botanist to the state of New York, publishing an extensive study of the Flora of North America. His student Asa Gray would later publish a Manual of the Botany of the Northern United States, commonly called Gray’s Manual, which is still the standard work in this subject. The two men did not climb the mountains that bore their names until 1872, when Torrey was seventy-six. 

There is a genus of evergreen trees named for John Torrey, Torreya. And all over the world, Gray concluded in his memoir, Torreya trees, as well as his own important contributions to botany, keep John Torrey's memory green. 

The work done by these Botanists helped us to understand and highlight the importance of biodiversity. Biodiversity boosts ecosystem productivity where each species, no matter how small, all have an important role to play in the greater whole of ecosystem health: A larger number of plant species means a greater variety of crops. Greater species diversity ensures natural sustainability for all life forms. 

You will find, on the mountains for our project, a unique microclimate: the Fauna (Wildlife) include mountain goat, pika, mule deer, elk, marmot, coyote, ptarmigan, American red squirrel, and gray jay or Canada jay. While the Flora (Plants) that bloom in the tundra area includes moss campion, alpine forget-me-not, sky pilots, dwarf columbine, and old-man-of-the-mountain (those yellow flowers that predominantly color the mountain landscapes). The protection of these fragile alpine environments is the primary reason for both our project and why the work of the CFI is so important.

 Below you’ll find a series of links to videos created by the CFI that explains the micro climates and how the CFI is protecting them.

The Colorado Fourteeners Initiative:

Outdoor recreation is the second-largest segment of Colorado’s tourism industry with over 40% of visitors stopping in the mountains. This puts an increasing pressure on these unique and fragile ecosystems. The CFI was formed after a 1993 study identified significant environmental impacts due to rapidly expanding recreational use. Headquartered in Golden, the CFI partners with nonprofit organisations, concerned individuals, and public agencies working to preserve and protect the natural integrity of Colorado’s Fourteeners. 

Colorado Fourteeners Initiative protects and preserves the natural integrity of Colorado’s 54 14,000–foot peaks—the “Fourteeners”—through active stewardship and public education. The rare and fragile native alpine tundra ecosystems that are uniquely adapted to living on these high peaks–some of which exist nowhere else on earth–are ill-adapted to being trampled by the estimated quarter-million people who climb these peaks every year. In many places, resource damage is past the point of natural recovery. 

CFI partners with the US Forest Service, Bureau of Land management, passionate volunteer partners and donors nationwide to: 
• Build and maintain sustainable hiking routes. 
• Close, stabilise and restore trampled and eroded areas to protect sensitive alpine plant and animal communities 
• Educate Fourteener hikers about Leave No Trace principles and sustainable recreational practices designed to lessen ecosystem impacts. 

Through this unique, voluntary partnership, Colorado’s Fourteener ecosystems are protected from harm while continuing to make the peaks accessible to hikers without burdensome restrictions and fees. 


To better understand what the impact we all have on these unique landscapes, and how much it will cost to maintain and preserve the mountains, the CFI has produced report cards from surveyed data to identify where trail maintenance and preservation is most needed. In 2016 the CFI’s invested $150,000on 62 volunteer projects across the state. They held 7 projects on Grays and Torreys with a total of roughly $17,000 of maintenance costs (actual) and an additional $19,000 of in-kind labor (taken from $25.96/hour via Independent Sector stats). With staff and volunteers the estimated annual maintenance on these peaks alone budget between $30,000-40,000. 



The Our Wild America campaign carries on the Sierra Club's long legacy of protecting America's beautiful wildlands. We believe that America's public lands are held in "public trust" for and by all Americans, providing opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors, and come together to share experiences. 

With the Our Wild America campaign, the Sierra Club is doubling down in the fight to preserve our wild heritage in the face of threats from mining, drilling, and climate disruption. 

This partnership project is a great opportunity to demonstrate our group’s commitment to the stewardship and preservation of two of Colorado’s most spectacular mountains. Two mountains that bear the namesakes of pioneers in the science of conservation and that, that helped us to understand the importance of the very biodiversity we are trying to protect. And due to their proximity to an urban centre, these two mountains are under more stress than ever before. 

Thank You for your time and interest.  Due to the commitment of resources required for this project, I'll need to confirm your attendance via messaging before adding you to the crew list, unless you attended the planning meeting.  Please reach out to me if you have any further questions or would like more details, and I look forward to seeing you out on the trail. 

Our outings are open and free to the public and we welcome anyone and all abilities. It does not what your income, religion, race, disability, sexual orientation, gender, age or political beliefs. Please contact the outing leader if you have questions or need accommodations.

Level: Strenuous

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