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Pikes Peak from the Crags

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The shortest free hiking route up Pikes Peak
Near:Divide, CO
Distance:12.5 miles round trip
Elevation Gain:4200 ft
Hike Time:7.5 hours
Trail Condition:OK, but a few difficult spots
HikeType:Out and Back

Summary: From the parking lot you will see the sign for the Crags trailhead. Begin hiking down this trail. After a tenth of a mile you will see a sign on the right labeling trail 664A take this trail across a log bridge and begin your ascent. This trail will take you into a basin at the base of the peak, then it will aggressively gain elevation up to Devil's Playground. As you reach Devil's Playground the rest of the route to the summit comes into view. The ridge is a long and gradual hike. As you hike the ridge you must cross the Pikes Peak Tollway and stay on the Northeast side of the road. The road is regularly patrolled and you will be fined if caught hiking on it. The last bit of trail to the summit is a steep rocky section. Keep your eyes open for cairns that mark the trail. If you stay on the trial this section isn't bad, but if you lose the trail you're in for some tough rock scrambling. At the summit rest in the summit house and return the way you came.
Trailhead: From Colorado Springs take Highway 24 West to the town of Divide. In Divide turn South on highway 67 and go south for 4.3 miles. Look for a sign on the left for the turn to the Crags Campground. Follow this road for 3.5 miles to the Crags Campground. Turn into the campground and follow the road all the way to the loop at the end. There is no fee to park here for access to the trailhead, however if you use any of the Day-use or camping facilities you must pay a fee back at the entry gate. (Lat:38.87135 Lon:-105.11966)
Trail Guides for Pikes Peak from the Crags:
Colorados Fourteeners
by Gerry Roach (Fulcrum Publishing)

Dawsons Guide to Colorados Fourteeners Southern Peaks
by Louis Dawson (Independent)

Best Seasons: Fall, Spring, Summer,
User Groups: Hikers, Dogs, Bikes, Horses,
Ranger Contact: Pikes Peak Ranger District (719) 636-1602
Localhikes Reporter: This hike was submitted by Joshua Friesema, who has posted  97 other hikes on this site. To visit this reporters web site, click here.
Trail Reviews  Page 1 of 3   Submit your own review
Reviewed by Jon and Rachel on 10/6/2012
We hiked for the first time on 5 Oct 2012. The weather was treacherous past the treeline. Winds blowing at 70 or greater miles an hour it seemed. The cairns were most helpful for staying on track past the devil's playground. Treking poles are "knee savers"especially for the return hike, we highly recommend it. For a day like ours definitely bring a balaclava to avoid wind burn from snow blasting your face. For the women highly recommend a FUD. We probably would not try this again in winter.

Reviewed by CSFamily on 8/8/2011
My wife and I finished this hike in 6:20. We only spent 20 mins. at the top. We did this as a speed hike but no running. Both of us are competitive endurance athletes, so this time might be a little fast for the average person. Great trail, great views. Some pitches are steep, so if you're not used to long hikes the shock will affect knees, hip flexors, etc. Definitely recommend using hiking poles. Great trail.

Reviewed by BWK on 7/12/2011
I haven't hiked this yet, but hopefully soon. That's why I was looking at the sight. However, I did hike the crags trail recently and wanted to mention here that the trailhead has changed. Just before the campground is a parking lot for the trailhead (there are also restrooms). You can't miss it. The new trailhead adds about 1/4 mile or so to the trail, I'm guessing.

Reviewed by JLM on 9/29/2010
Hiked on a beautiful day September 26, 2010. On the trail at 0710, back in the truck at 1600 (5 hours up, 1/2hr pit stop, 3 1/2 hours down). Our first 14er, so I don't know how the difficulty level compares with others, but I would give this a moderate-plus. The last push is the "plus" part for me, but it is very rewarding, and the cairns are very helpful along the way. I would hesitate to hike the last part with any moisture on the rocks, going up would be one thing but coming down on tired legs is another thing all together. We saw marmots, chipmunks, mountain bluebirds and two mountain goats. Next 14er will not have a tourist trap at the top . . . it was very disconcerting to pop out in the middle of all of those people!

Reviewed by RF on 8/3/2010
Have been up to Devils Playground, and got chased back down off the top by thunderstorms. Scary but also kinda exciting. I think this can be done in 3 hrs up and 1.5 hrs down if you put some effort into it. Bring food, waterproof top, LOTS o WATER, and you should be fine.

Reviewed by KK on 10/9/2009
We hiked this trail on Saturday the 3rd of October.The trail was snowy above tree line. The snow was pretty crusty and didn't cover the whole trail. If you've never done the Peak from the Crags, it is alot steeper than Barr Trail. It is a good pitch up when you get above treeline. The saddle is absolutely stunning but also demoralizing. You hit the crest and can see the Peak in the distance and then you realize how much farther you have to go. The trail is hard to find above Devil's Playground, snow and lack of knowlegde were factors. The return trip involved a full moon and headlamps. The snow and rocks/boulders made for a rough trip down. Very hard on the knees and the toes from being mashed into the boots.

Reviewed by HK on 8/28/2009
For scenery, this is one of the best. For doability, anyone whose activity level is moderate, I'd suggest to either get into better shape before attempting this trail or get a ride down. 12.5 miles is a long way. I hurt everywhere by the time I was done. Round trip hiking time was 9.5 hours 5 up, 4.5 down. Right below the summit, there actually is a trail that we discovered when we came down. Going up, we lost it and did more bouldering than we would have had to. Going down, everything went well until we got to the steep part right after crossing the meadow. From there until well past timber line, it's a steep trail full of grape nuts. My husband handled it fine, but it was a lot tougher for me. It was also hard on my knees.

Reviewed by R.H. on 7/16/2009
Awesome Trail. I am from 5000ft so the altitude was a slightly challenging near the summit. I would advise to start hiking before 10am if you plan on hiking back down. You can take a train down. The way down was steep and hard on the knees. I hiked back down the road instead of the rocks, didn't get fined. Bring a windbreaker, sunscreen, water, and snacks.

Notice: Traveling in the backcountry can be hazardous. You are responsible for informing yourself about these hazards and taking necessary precautions. Information on this web site comes from volunteer reporters and may contain errors or omissions. A current guidebook and proper equipment are essential for safe enjoyment of the hikes posted on this site.
Keys: Colorado Hiking, Colorado Trails, Colorado Hikes, Teller County Hiking, Teller County Trails, Teller County Hikes

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