Hike Difficulty: very challenging
Hike Length: 3.89 mi
Elevation Gain: 1473 ft
Highest Point Reached: 5676 ft (almost 1400 ft short of the summit…)
Time: 2 hr 32 grueling mins
My Rating (out of 5): 4.5 – Grayback Mountain has been one of those unconquerable hikes that repeatedly puts me in my place. I think this is the fourth time I have attempted to summit Grayback and, though the farthest I’ve made it, it was still only about halfway.
First, I will repeat what I’ve said on other Grayback posts: you have to tackle the mountain from the O’Brien Creek trailheads. The other one is really well-marked, but it makes it for even more challenging of a hike in the long run. With O’Brien Creek road, you have some options. I always drive past the lower trailhead and make it as far as my low passenger car can make it, then hike up the rest of the way. I ended up parking only about .6 miles from the upper trailhead, which saved us a lot of energy for the trail itself.
I had forgotten how grueling Grayback is. It has a lot of really steep climbs and very sparsely-spaced flat areas. We got to the cabin and decided to make our way to the top through the meadow. We gave it a valiant effort, but it didn’t result in us getting to the top. Once more, Grayback knocks me down. Until next time. I am going to make it.