| Pikes Peak- Crags Trailhead
I scribble these notes (my inaugural on this site) so you and those you love avoid the parking/towing disaster I landed myself in a month prior.
January 5th, 2010 a friend and I attempted to hike Pikes Peak from the Crags Trailhead. Driving all the way to the back of the Crags Campground turned out to qualify as a "bad decision."
Long story short, we didn't summit, I got my Toyota 4 Runner stuck in the snow, nay to drive out again. The subsequent day I hired a wrecker to winch my biscuits out. After 500 dollars, a broken shovel, a lost floor mat and a drop in testosterone, I was on my way.
Fast forward to February 6th 2010, same friend and I attempt to git-er-done uh-gain. We park well below the trailhead, laugh about the ridiculousness of that day a month prior, and shimmy up to the summit in 5 hours.
On our way up this time, we meet another chap who got HIS truck stuck
at the same spot. Ergo, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO PARK AT THE TRAILHEAD OF CRAGS. Instead, there is a lower lot off to the right that you'll see before you make a left into the campground. Safe bet, park there. At best it only adds a fifth of a mile to the hike.
Other pearls of wisdom from our hike:
1) The cog railway is indeed open in the winter with limited hours. Thus don't be surprised to see camera/donut wielding tourists at the summit. You can take the railway down if you desire, but best make sure you are there before the 1 car departs. Times vary so check their website.
2) Caution when crossing the large slab of ice across the trail about 50 minutes into the hike. It ate my friend's foot and beat me across the head.
3) Never shake a baby.
4) The road to the summit is open...though only part way. We ran into a few people who drove up to within 4 miles of the summit and were backcountry skiing. The snow however seemed a bit bulletproof to be much fun to ski on.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to fire them my way.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):