| Perfect October day on Pikes! -- From crag‘s
Up early, drove down from Denver, and hit the trailhead at about 7:00....just in time for the sun to come up and shed a little light on us.
We were happy to see there was absolutely no snow by the trailhead, and it was a cool but pleasant 28 degrees. Started hiking and warmed up fast. Powered up to the treeeline and then the top of a steep ridge, getting our first view of the summit. Again, a lot less snow than I was expecting - guess the last week of sun melted most of what came down last weekend. No need whatsoever for gaiters, yak trax, nothing but trail runners!
Sunny all day, not a cloud in the sky! Made for some great views on the way up, and of course on top. Very little wind until the summit, which made for perfect hiking weather.
Crossing the road was a little sad -- feels weird to hear cars droning past you while you‘re hiking. I guess that‘s probably the biggest sacrifice we made by choosing Crag‘s instead of Barr - the road and cars. Oh well.
The last little push was a little more snowy, but it made it easy to follow the trail - just step in the footprints some others were nice enough to leave behind.
This was our first trip up Pikes (13th 14er climbed), and it very surreal to walk to the summit, which is of course just a big parking lot, then into a little store and smell frying donuts and look at overpriced t-shirts and stuffed bears. However, it was nice to get out of the wind for a few minutes. Most of the people in there gave us funny looks, with our muddy shoes and hiking poles.
We hung around on top for about half an hour or so, then trudged down. The last mile is always the longest -- I was thinking, "Gosh, i don‘t remember this long through trees!!"
Anyway --- Hit the trail at 7:15, summit at 11:00 (3 hrs 45 min), then back down at 11:40, reaching the car at about 2:20 (2 hrs 40 min) Overall, this hike was a lot easier than I was expecting, given the length and elevation gain.
While it‘s always a bit of a bummer when you hike up and don‘t get either a bit of hard earned isolation, or at least share the summit with others who had to earn it the same way you did, the hike was very pretty, the weather great, and the views superb. We really enjoyed the hike, and I would do it again, probably.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):