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Colorado Springs Area Hiking--2 weeks

Colorado 14er peak questions, condition requests and other info. 14er Trip Reports, Condition Reports
Posts: 96
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:51 am
Location: Divide, CO

Re: Colorado Springs Area Hiking--2 weeks

Postby johnF » Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:39 am

KentonB wrote:Actually, the back (West) side of Pikes Peak often has enough snow for some good snowshoeing. I'm not sure most of the standard trails would require an Ice Axe, but I'm sure there are areas up there you could practice using one.

That said, I have not been "over the mountain" yet this year... Other's may be able to report on conditions.

Generally though, the Crags, Horsethief Park, and the west end of Gold Camp Road have a number of great hiking options with plenty of snow.


The back side of Pikes has lots of fresh snow. It had been quite dry up through January, but saw some snow earlier this month, and then probably a foot and a half or more just in the past week (mostly Sun. and Tue.).

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Re: Colorado Springs Area Hiking--2 weeks

Postby steelfrog » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:40 am

OK; prepare yuorselves for a series of DUMB questions;or at least just one--how do I get to the back of Pike's Peak ina rental car this coming weekend?

Again, not looking to bag anything, just for a good place to putter around and try out new snow shoes and other cold weather gear...

Many thanks!

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Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2007 9:51 am
Location: Divide, CO

Re: Colorado Springs Area Hiking--2 weeks

Postby johnF » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:38 am

steelfrog wrote:OK; prepare yuorselves for a series of DUMB questions;or at least just one--how do I get to the back of Pike's Peak ina rental car this coming weekend?

Again, not looking to bag anything, just for a good place to putter around and try out new snow shoes and other cold weather gear...

Many thanks!


Not dumb at all. I'm guessing the rental car isn't high clearance or 4WD?

The Crags Trailhead that gives access to the peak may be inaccessible -- someone else probably has more recent info on the condition of that dirt road than I do. But one option is to drive up that road as far as you're comfortable, then just park off the side of the road and start snowshoeing up it.

Another option is to keep driving down Highway 67 S toward Cripple Creek, past the turn-off to the Crags. Measure 9 miles from the light in Divide, and just after a left curve in the road, you'll see an open parking area on the left with a gated off entrance to an old tunnel. That's the trail head to Pancake Rocks and Horsethief Falls (search this site or Google for either). It's a nice area for snowshoeing, and you'll have no problem getting there since it's plowed highways right to the trailhead. You can also find you're way from that trailhead to the top of the peak (ask if you want more details), but it requires going off trail and may be avalanche-prone right now.

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Re: Colorado Springs Area Hiking--2 weeks

Postby Jim Davies » Mon Mar 04, 2013 8:39 am

Try Horsethief Park.
That site ("Happy Trails") has descriptions and trailhead directions for lots of other hikes in the area. Mueller State Park is across the highway from the Crags turnoff and is a favorite for snowshoers (but has a day-use fee).
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of white blood cells.

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Re: Colorado Springs Area Hiking--2 weeks

Postby steelfrog » Fri Mar 08, 2013 12:02 am

Ok. One more question: would we be better off taking a slight detour to one of my favorite areas over there by Westcliffe and the eastern Sangres? Roads open?

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Re: Colorado Springs Area Hiking--2 weeks

Postby mattpayne11 » Fri Mar 08, 2013 4:00 pm

Just throwing my 2 cents in here - there's going to be some snow to contend with this weekend, so not sure how good the roads will be. If I had my choice though, I'd head for the Sangres for sure, but be sure to check avy conditions too. The Sangres are the best, and not really all that far from here if you leave early.

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Re: Colorado Springs Area Hiking--2 weeks

Postby MuchosPixels » Sat Mar 09, 2013 1:15 am

I have been to C Springs twice and really enjoyed the Barr Trail past the sometimes crowded lower section (incline users use it to head down). Its one of the best trails around. I used Barr Camp as a base and from there headed to the summit but there are other options. I went in March 2011 (last week into april 1st) and there was snow above Barr Camp but almost none below. I just used microspikes above camp at all times. From there there are several trail options, its not only about the summit of Pikes. The above treeline terrain is amazing and there are some awesome views.

For a much more isolated and wilderness experience the Sangres are an unreal place but require much more detailed planning.

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