Pikes Peak

  • Pikes Peak
  • 4301 m
  • Primary factor 1686 m
  • 30th in Colorado
  • Climbed May 13, 2001.


How to get there: We travelled via Colrado Springs then west on US 24 to Woodland Park (where we stayed the night before the hike), continue from Woodland Park (on US 24) for about 11 km to Divide. Turn left onto Colorado 67 at the traffic light on the top of the hill. Drive about 6.9 km, then turn left across a small bridge on a dirt road. There is a sign saying Rocky Mountain Camp and Crag Campground. Follow this road (which is OK for ordinary cars) to Rocky Mountain Camp, turn right here and proceed for about 2.5 km to Crag Campground. There is a small road going left with numbered camp sites, at the very end of this short road there is a parking lot with a sign saying trailhead parking.
Route description: The route follows the Crag trail for about 200 meter. At this point, where the trail widens and starts heading uphill, look for a two-log bridge across the creek slightly below the trail on your right hand side. This is the route, cross the small bridge and continue along a trail that climbs gently with one creek on either side initially. The trail proceeds to cross the second creek and heads into its drainage. Just as the creek is crossed again, the trail is near some nice rocks on your left and you can see the next challenge. The route shall climb the mountain ridge ahead through the main saddle that can be identified sort of in the middle of the horizon. From this saddle, contour slightly left in order to maintain the elevation and get on to an old mountain road that is easily noticed. This road will connect with the main Pikes Peak automobile road. It may be preferable to leave the old road just after it passes through a distinct rock formation. Head right and cross the small basin (losing a bit of elevation) before crossing the main road. From here on the route stays on the left hand side of the automobile road, touching it perhaps twice where the road makes a couple of big right curves that leaves little room for a trail. The last part of the hike takes you up Pike's north west ridge, quite close to the steeper drop facing north east.
Comments: Pikes Peak is so isolated that all other mountains are seen in the distance, perhaps a bit obscured by haze. The summit itself is quite a disappointment, the ugliest summit of any fourteener. In any case, I went shopping, bought an indian rug, just in order to have a good load in my pack also for the return hike. I did this hike with my son Pål Jørgen, age 12. We started hiking at 0530, two hours to the saddle and two more to the summit. We spent a full hour on the summit in gorgeous weather. Then three hours back allowing for some long rests, just sitting in the sun and enjoying the views. We hit the car at 1330 after yet another very nice spring climb. We carried skis up to the second crossing of the creek, in order to make sure we had the option of skiing up to the saddle. However, there was little snow and good supporting crust so the skis were left at this point. We arrived at the summit together with the very first "tourists" that had driven their cars to the summit. Overall, the road was not a big issue, the route from the Crags Campground is hereby endorsed.