Pikes Peak

Condition Updates  
Route: Northwest Slopes
Posted On: 2023-06-01, By: teox
Info: Snow above treeline, microspikes suffice in the morning when frozen. Switched to snowshoes after devil's playground and on the way down until treeline. Saw people using microspikes only and just potholed the entire way. 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2023-05-30, By: bribaker2001
Info: Left Barr TH at 2:40am, made it to Barr Camp by 4:40am and first light, summited by 9:15am, made it back to Barr TH by 3:30pm. Wore summer clothes below Barr Camp, wore a couple clothing layers for above. Late Spring conditions treeline and above; snow on trail starting from the 7.5 mile marker to the summit. Bring spikes and poles for the way up; snowshoes didn't help. Be prepared to posthole down; again, snowshoes didn't help. Snow was frozen until about 9:00am; very soft after 10:00am. 
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2023-05-28, By: Awesomezach89
Info: Skied the east face of pikes and hiked down barr trail yesterday. About 2k of good skiing and another couple hundred feet of skiable terrain. Switched out of our ski/snowboard boots at A-frame. Snow on barr trail off and on for another mile or so below A-frame and completely dry by barr camp. If hiking up barr be prepared for deep snow above treeline. Floatation is a must! 
Route: Devils Playground -> Crags Trail(ish) and ski
Posted On: 2023-05-22, By: HikesInGeologicTime
Info: This might not be the most fun or efficient ski descent on Pikes, but it is 1100 feet of continuous snow from summit to car. Skinned more or less along Crags Trail; the next to do so will likely want to follow either that or my descent track, weird as they may look, because even though the road was closed past Devils but plowed, walking the road is not permitted. Followed more or less the same path down (until the very end - more on that later) as I started down late enough to be concerned about making it down the road before the 5 PM gate closure and figured I should stick with the devil(s playground) I know. Rocks were, for the most part, surprisingly easy to avoid with just one brief (10-15 feet) segment along the upper ridge that necessitated some awkward sideslip/step action. The real hazards were the three times where the route brushes right up against the road; for the highest of these, the switchback just below the summit, I deemed it safest to drop briefly down onto the very edge of the road, which happily had just enough snow to keep the skis from deserved griping. To get around the first hump or two on the way up, Id headed close to the ridge because it looked more exciting than the road. On the way down, due to the time concerns as well as a desire to avoid any more uphill than was absolutely necessary, I stuck as close to the road as possible. I am not sure doing so saved any time - at least if I had gone back up, I would have been able to get a last set of easy turns instead of a seemingly interminable stretch of traversing. I did wind up popping the skis off approximately 50 feet from the parking area and carrying them the rest of the way because a very kind safety patroller making last sweeps who had talked to me minutes before to make sure I could drive down the road before the gate closure had me feeling pretty confident I wasnt going to get chastised for cheating via road-walking. 
Route: Northwest Slopes
Posted On: 2023-05-09, By: Eagle Eye
Info: From ~1 mile lower than Crags TH at the gate closure, I hiked up to the summit starting early Sunday morning. There is a well-traveled mixture of snow, dirt, and ice. I found the micro spikes helpful and had carried snowshoes but didn't use them. Leaving tree line there are various ways to go onward/upward through snow that all had hard pressed snowshoe/boot tracks. I got started around 4:30 in the morning so I was still in a lot of solid terrain while going up -and it stayed overcast/windy and cold enough to be similar coming down too. I only used the road for a few (3) short stretches connecting trail segments. As mentioned in the previous PC especially the upper maybe mile has a lot of powder and snow pressed into the rocks. This would normally be a fairly inset path connected by big cairns. Other than at Devils Playground /in the summit house I never saw anyone hiking up or coming down the NW route, all day. I posted a Crags Campground TH update too. 
Route: Northwest Slopes
Posted On: 2023-05-06, By: Xeroxly
Info: For some reason the gate to the summer trailhead is still locked even though there is no snow to be found that low on the mountain. Expect to add a mile each way to account for that. Left my car at 4:30 got back just after 2. I didn't have any issues with the snow on the way up because the sun hadn't gotten a chance yet. The way down was very slushy above treeline. The last mile to the summit is absolutely brutally slippery and unstable. Be prepared for that to take quite a while! 
Route: From Crags Trailhead
Posted On: 2023-05-06, By: jkneil97
Info: Started out at about 5:45 AM finished at 4:50 PM. Took the actual route up on the way back took the road some. Conditions are iffy I would bring both snowshoes and spikes and I interchanged quite a bit. A very fun day though. My total trip distance was 16.6 miles. 
Route: Northwest Slopes
Posted On: 2023-04-29, By: EJHannah
Info: Beautiful day today. I got started around 5:30 am. The trail was booted in until the Four Mile Creek fork (~2 miles in). There was another 1.5 miles of ski tracks to follow, though they disappeared and I was left to my subpar trail finding skills to get out of tree line. Unfortunately I didn't manage to stick exactly to the route towards the end of tree line, or from treeline to the road, but it would've been tedious to keep checking the map every few feet. I used spikes from the parking lot to the fork, and then switched to snowshoes until the road at 12.8k feet. At this point I was tired from breaking trial and basically walked along the road until summit. I saw some friendly plowers doing good work and managed to summit at 12:30 pm. Judging by the snow tracks, I was the first person to summit today! Of the dozen or so people I encountered using this trailhead, nobody else made it past the start of the road as the winds began to pick up. About 10 minutes into my descent I saw the first train arrive. The snow in the morning was loose, crusty powder and was no fun to walk in. My trail breaking sacrifice did earn me the name of Steve, which I will be eternally grateful for. By the time I descended it was a muddy mush. The trail should be very well packed to treeline if you're looking for an early start tomorrow. Also, I made it back to base at 5 pm making it a little shy of a 12 hour day. I got lost at some points trail finding and the road added some mileage. Alltrails says 19.6 miles and 5,000 vert If anyone who reads this was on the trail today and wants to hike, reach out!  
Route: Y Couloir - left branch
Posted On: 2023-04-24, By: bmcqueen
Info: I did Pikes yesterday from Manitou. Light snow on the trail up until the turn off for Bottomless Pit, then quite a bit more snow. I went in up past my knees a few too many times and had to put the snowshoes on. Took the high crossing into the pit. Snow was crappy and unsupportive at the bottom until I got up a few hundred feet. Before the railroad and Y split, the snow was finally good for cramponing. Railroad didnt appear to have as much snow as the Y. I took the left branch and climbed through the exposed rock band. Some sloughing of the fresh couple inches on top, but good axe placements. There is a booter now. Descended east slopes snow field back to Barr and down. 
12 2
Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2023-04-16, By: Foxfulness
Info: Started on the Incline, which is clear. Above No Name Creek, intermittent patchy ice, but spikes were fine. Above Barr Camp, the trail became more and more snowpacked. It was trekked in to almost Bottomless Pit junction. After that, I was breaking trail since our last big snow just a couple days ago. It was fine until A-frame, where snow patches began to cover the trail in certain areas. The drifts are huge in parts. I lost the trail multiple times, and even once I found it, it was so snowpacked that it was useless. I ended up crossing multiple snowfields. Several times, I fell into drifts up to my thigh. I regret not climbing the central gully instead, which looked way more clear than the route I took, once I looked down from the summit. Overall good conditions until treeline, after which they are winter conditions. The main concern is navigating around the big snow patches and staying on trail when it's buried. 
Route: Northwest Slopes
Posted On: 2023-04-08, By: AndrewJCraigie
Info: Long day, but nice weather and wind wasn't too bad. Had to bail 1 mile from the summit when I attempted this in January so it was nice to come back and finish. Speaking of the last mile - was not a fan of making my way up the piles of rocks. I could make out the path via cairns, but the space between rocks were full of powder and it was hard to make out what was a rock / snow. Was also pretty wiped at that point so it was a bit of a slog. I saw a few other folks making their way up from Crags on my way down - not sure if anyone else summited I brought snowshoes on my pack for the first few miles, but dropped them after I realized I wouldn't need them. Carried microspikes, but never put them on. Started just before 6am, back 4:45pm. 
Route: Northwest Slopes
Posted On: 2023-03-19, By: madmattd
Info: The road beyond the gate is completely snow-covered but has had plenty of traffic that any footwear is fine to the summer TH - even skis though it is thin in a few places. The trail from TH to the Crags split is a mix of a few inches of packed snow, a little ice, and bare trail - I booted both ways without issue. From there to treeline hadn't been touched in a day or two, and even then only by a skier or two, but it was generally a deeper but firm base with a few inches of loose powder from the snow earlier in the week - boots were fine both ways, and there was a fair bit of boot traffic during the day too, so it's well-tracked now. I put snowshoes on at treeline and trudged up to the ridge - I missed a turn just below treeline and took an awful scramble route to climber's left to treeline. Others behind me turned around just past treeline but broke out a much better line that I eventually found on my descent - bear right on the ascent here! Snow depth ranged from a couple inches to a couple feet up to the saddle, I stayed roughly near the summer route but a bit to climber's left - sort of on the mini-ridge as previous reports have suggested - still lots of snow in places! Devil's Playground to the road switchback near 13,400 is a mixed bag of shallow snow, deeper drifts, and everything in between. I changed between snowshoes and bare boots a few times in here on the ascent, but on the descent just stuck with snowshoes all the way. There's enough drifts and such that it worked better for me to use the snowshoes. The final ascent from 13,400 to the summit is probably best done in boots as I did, possibly microspikes could be handy but I never used them myself. The lower bit is a mix of dirt, shallow wind-packed snow, bare rocks, and minor snowdrifts. The upper section is an awful stretch of trapdoors and 12" deep snow fields - tedious but doable. The summit area itself is fairly well-broken out by the train crowds. I saw no one on the trail all day - just the tourists at the summit. My wandering tracks (which were partially drifted by afternoon anyway) are all there is above treeline right now - there was hardly any trace of prior traffic above treeline. -4F at the start, but around 20 when I finished, and in the 5F range at the summit. 5-10mph winds with some 15-20mph gusts. Manageable conditions but a long day (15.8mi, 5000' gain recorded). 
Route: Northwest Slopes
Posted On: 2023-03-12, By: nrobsaihttam
Info: Started hike in the morning and most of the trail was packed snow. There were patches of ice on the trail and microspikes were very useful. The trailhead is still closed and you have to add an extra mile each way down the road to park by the gate. Cold and windy above treeline but conditions were okay with the right gear. We ended up turning back with about 1.5 miles and 1000ft elevation gain because we got a bit of a late start. Another hiker mentioned some sketchier terrain right before the top like 100ft. On the way back down we got a little bit off trail and the snow there was waist deep. We had to struggle to make it back to the trail, so if you don't bring snowshoes make sure you can relocate the trail on the way down. 
Route: Northwest Slopes
Posted On: 2023-03-05, By: randallson
Info: Parked at the road closure just past the Mennonite camp. Saw a moose on the road walk to Crags campground. Trail is mostly snow covered to treeline with a few bare spots. No flotation or traction was needed on the ascent. Above treeline the route is very wind swept. The last rocky bit to the summit was tedious with lots of trap doors. The summit house was open. Pretty fun experience to get a hot bowl of soup at the top of a winter 14er! Traction was helpful on the descent below treeline. 
Route: Northwest Slopes
Posted On: 2023-02-12, By: sean23
Info: Echoing the previous comment, stay to the north side of the gully when ascending/descending the ridge above treeline. The standard route goes on the southern side, but the snow there is deep and unconsolidated. Otherwise, conditions are great. The trail until treeline is compact, and navigation from the ridgeline to the summit is easy. 
Route: Northwest Slopes
Posted On: 2023-02-11, By: Laxer04
Info: We carried snowshoes, didn't use them. There is a good trench to treeline and it's mostly wind blown after that. Be sure to stay left when you are getting out of treeline. There was a group that put a trench in to the right in deep, unstable snow. The left side is mostly windblown and significantly easier/safer. We added on Little Pikes Peak and Devil's Playground, some unranked 13ers. My Strava came in at 17 miles 5500 feet of vert. 7 hours 12 minutes moving time. Being able to get warm and have lunch at the visitor center was an amazing treat. Such a fun day in the mountains. 
Route: Northwest Slopes
Posted On: 2023-01-14, By: ssowalskie
Info: The trail was mostly hard packed and easy to navigate up until about 12,000', and then the trail sort of disappears while you gain the ridge until about 12,600'. You can see various footprint trails that people have left as they decided how to get up the ridge. While I brought traction, I didn't use it at all, nor did I need snowshoes. There was one brief snow field past the Bottomless Pit on a bit of an incline that was very hard packed and I had to use a trekking pole for stability. I did wear gaiters, which helped, as the snow is about knee-deep at parts as you gain the ridge. I ascended on a pretty warm day for winter, so I experienced some minor postholing on the way down. The boulder field near the summit is still pretty easy to navigate, just follow the cairns. The wind wasn't too bad, just a little gusty in the afternoon. Overall, a great hike. Left the parking lot around 8:30am and returned at around 5:00pm, with a hiking time of about 7:30 and overall mileage of 17.38 (including walking on the summit). 
Route: Northwest Slopes
Posted On: 2023-01-08, By: sarahmariekirk
Info: Echoing what others have said recently — no snowshoes needed, trench is packed and in place. Winds were brutal. An epic day on Pikes with hot chocolate at the summit.  
Route: Northwest Slopes
Posted On: 2023-01-07, By: shapovalovm
Info: The trail by now is mostly packed. No spikes were really needed, but I still wore them car to car. Gaters were useful. Either the trail or cairns are visible at almost any time, so I stayed on trail both up and down. TH is easily accessible by any car. Just be careful parking downslope on packed snow. Started at around 8am, finished by 4:30 with 7:40 walking time and donuts at the summit. Just a piece of advice: this is already a long hike on paper (I tracked 16.4 miles), but it actually is even longer, especially the part above Devil's Playground. If you find yourselves running out of daylight or are just tired, the rangers encourage hitchhiking down to Devil's Playground. It will save you 60-90 minutes (~3 miles). 
Route: Northwest Slopes
Posted On: 2023-01-06, By: the_hare
Info: Last wave of snow only put 1-4in or so on the ground between yesterday and New Years, less down below and more up high. Trail is well-packed up to just before treeline but gets blown over at around 11,900ft. From there I chose to go straight up the slope towards the flat rounded off-area at 12,700ft on the way to DP, snow was shallow there due to wind blowing upslope. And boy was it windy, incessant winds blowing all of that new loose snow from DP area all the way to the summit and back. I decided to follow the summer trail and traverse the NE side of Little Pikes as the snow wasn't too deep and I only had to posthole a few steps. I walked the road back to DP since nobody else was up there. Really pretty area, forest is lush down below and there's expansive mountain views on the approach. Didn't really need snowshoes, gaiters would be helpful for stepping in drifts. I should have insulated my stuff more, a lot of time spent above 13k made my stuff freeze and shut down more than usual. 
13 2

Return to the main Peak Conditions page
© 2023 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.