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Peak(s):  Pikes Peak  -  14,110 feet
Post Date:  07/19/2009
Date Climbed:   07/18/2009
Posted By:  astromwall


 Pikes from Crags   

This was a peak I really was not looking forward to hiking. I was thinking it was going to feel unrewarding because of all the people at the top. It turned out to be a beautiful day and hiking let me see the mountain in a new way. I've driven it a couple times but this was much better. We started hiking at 5:45 from the trailhead there was maybe 6 cars there at the time. The trailhead was easy to find and the start of the trail is impossible to miss.
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The early trail was very wide and not at all steep. The pipes and trail junction was very easy to see also.
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You couldn't really see to much except for trees all around. We did at some point get a nice view of the sun starting to light up the valley behind.
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You cross over two streams with log bridges early in the hike. Then you come to this third crossing just before the trail gets steeper.
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Just past the stream we came to the only short stretch of trail where we saw Columbine.
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The trail starts gaining elevation and finally narrows out. This area of the hike I thought was really pretty. This is when I started to enjoy the hike and not just want to get it over with.
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At some point they closed a portion of the trail for restoration and the new trail goes through a neat area just below treeline.
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Then you pop out of treeline with a big pile of rocks out in front of you. The rock formations all over this mountain is what made it so cool. Nothing I've hiked as of yet really has this look to it.
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From treeline we also could see the ridge we were heading towards.
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The trail was kinda steep and a little gravelly which was no issue on the way up. Coming down was a different story. I wanted nothing more than to reach the stream crossing and know that it was not slippery or steep all the way back to the car.
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As we got close to the top of the ridge the sun popped over and blinded us. Time to get out the glasses.
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At the top of the ridge you see just how far away from the summit you are. The good news is a lot of the trail is pretty flat until you get close to the summit.
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From the ridge you walk what seems to be a road over to devils playground. The path walks along some cool rock areas and through a couple too.
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Flowers were everywhere along this trail. So nice.
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When you cross the road the trail is obvious. It hugs the road for a bit and tourists look at you like why in the world would you walk when you can drive. There was a lady and son in this area when we were going back down they were hiking up. They had no gear and were headed up until some guy in a truck started yelling at them that they had like 3 more miles. They decided they had enough and ran back down to the road to get in the truck. Anyhow, here is the trail just after crossing the road.
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The trail breaks away from the road up a small ridge and you get a view of everything you still have in front of you.
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The trail descends and disappears near the road. We saw carin on the other side of the road so we crossed it. We got to the carin and didn't see another. We then hiked up and crossed the road on the switchback above us and eventually found the trail again. On the way down it was much easier to follow and we didn't have to cross. The trail stays close to the left side of the road through this area. After getting on track it wasnt long before you get to pick your own line and get to do some fun scrambling up to the summit ridge.
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Looking back from the base of the scramble you can see where you have been so far. The first ridge you come over just after treeline is just to the right of the small snow patches in the distance.
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The last climb was short but fun and it dumps you out not far below the summit which is just and easy trail in between rocks away.
We had packed some food for lunch without thinking we could just eat whatever they had up top. We had a burger, hot dog, fries, a drink, and two donuts for 15 bucks. It was good and greasy and didn't sit to well on the way down.
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It was nice to have the summit to ourselves!
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We hiked to the actual summit and took our picture by the sign before heading down.
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It took about 4 1/2 hours up and 2 3/4 hours down. A good day and pretty trail that I'm glad is finished.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
bill1958

Great day for a Hike     07/20/2009 16:13
We must have just missed you, my friend and I started at 6:00am. Took us the same amount of time (4.5 hrs up, 3.5 hrs down). Nothing like being on the Summit with 200 of your closest friends It was a great day, weather was beautiful, I also got a couple of good shots of the wildflowers, the Blue Columbines were awesome !!!!


astromwall


it was a good hike!     07/20/2009 22:47
you were not far behind at all then. It was a good day but I‘m happy I don‘t need to do that one again for a while. Back to less crowded peaks!


1FunS8

Great Trip Report!     07/22/2009 12:31
I went solo on Tuesday and lost the trail going up at the same point you did, much easier finding the route on the way down. This will no doubt be helpful for those heading up in the future. Great pics too, nice job

I tried the donuts as well, disappointing IMO


nilaoire

I can do you one worse     08/15/2009 13:22
Prior to starting the hike I hadn‘t really thought much about the jeep road on Antero, 1/2 way up thought, not so bad. The remainder of the route up and all the way down I thought get me out of here. SUV‘s/ATV‘s and dirt bike central, kept having to step off the road for vehicles. Seriously suggest skipping the dirt road and finding some other way of doing it. A total pain.



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