Mt. Princeton  
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2016-03-20  Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2016-03-20, By: Count40
Info: Just in case you are going up before next week's snow and wind. Usual long walk for our dear underappreciated Princeton, but with a touch. Barebooted from TH to radio towers. Stretches of snow, but nothing more than couple of inches. No need for spikes or gaiters. At towers, snowshoes on, though spikes could do for some before it all softens. About quarter mile from towers, snowdrifts buried the road. That is the touch. Awkward (at least) walking all the way to timberline. And some sections just do not look right, safety-wise. See the photo. Today, it was about 4 inches of powder on top of old frosted layers. If with snowshoes, bushwhack shortcut straight up may seem like better and even safer option. One such shortcut is easy to spot about 200 yards after second switchback going up(counting from towers). Seems that on the way down, somebody (just one set of boot tracks) also continued from that point down to the first switchback, in order to avoid that section shown in photo. Which means that some could as well bushwhack up even from that first switchback, through brush. At timberline, instead of continuing to summer turn-off up the same drifts covered road, see if it is better to go right up the hill (red line) to meet the summer trail on the ridge (see photo). After that, you can see the dry option up the Tigger (which, remember, has a bunch of false summits, so be patient, photo). Just barebooting. Could have taken my summer boots today. Ridge also dry all the way to summit (photo). Alternative is to continue the summer trail, through patches of snow etc. Your choice. 
2016-02-21  Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2016-02-22, By: quinnwolf
Info: Left the lower parking lot around 7am. A snowcat packed down the snow all the way to the radio towers. After that traction is necessary. Snowshoes or at least crampons are necessary. We only had crampons and postholed a little, but if it were much warmer, we would have postholed a lot more. There is no packed down trail above the radio towers. We shortcut one switchback on the road where the road looked unsafe to travel. We left the road for the ridge at tree line. The ridge up Tigger is snow free. We summited Tigger then down to the saddle and rejoined the summer trail. The ridge up to Princeton has a few snow fields that can be avoided by going off trail to steeper and less stable sections of the face, but was easier to putting on and taking off crampons every 200 feet. Absolutely beautiful at the top. We summited at 1:30pm. Sunny, low 30s, only a few high clouds, a calm breeze, and amazing views. We took the summer route on the way down. Do not attempt the summer route without crampons, an ice ax, and avalanche experience as there are about 8 steep snow field crossings. Nice hike down from the ridge and along the road. We got back to the parking lot at 6pm. 
2016-02-10  Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2016-02-10, By: RWSchaffer
Info: The road is closed at the parking lot. There is bootpack trench to the radio towers and snowshoe trench to timberline. I climbed the east ridge, which is sufficiently wind-scoured that snow can be avoided (Photo 1). It was also very windy, so I descended the summer route which looks clean from the summit ridge (Photo 2) but actually crosses several fresh windslabs (ex. Photo 3). 
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2015-12-31  Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2016-01-01, By: SarahT
Info: Mt. Princeton road is tracked. We did the winter variation up and over Tigger, used snowshoes a bit but probably could have done without. Standard route looks safe at the moment as well. 
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2015-10-25  Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2015-10-25, By: dirtbagdame
Info: The access road is now closed to cars. The trail has lots of snow. The snow starts well before the radio tower. From the towers it‘s fairly manageable, but when you cut off onto the actual Princeton trail it gets significantly deeper. I post holed my way up the last mile / mile and a half and don‘t think I would have made it had it not been for my microspikes. I was able to follow footprints most of the way, but lost the trail about .5 mi away from the summit. Slow going. 
2015-10-18  Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2015-10-20, By: lostparts
Info: The drive to the upper trail head in my stock Honda Element was trying. We clipped more than a few rocks as there are sections of the road that are potholed and rugged. The trail itself was dry, and no snow had stuck despite random flurries throughout the day. With these good conditions the trail was strenuous. 
2015-10-18  Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2015-10-19, By: Kaydubs17
Info: Started on the trail at 11,600ft just before 8am. The road to get to the top trailhead is pretty brutal if you don‘t have high clearance. We heard some rocks hitting metal far too many times so be cautious. It was snowing once we were at about 12,500ft onward and the peak was completely engulfed in clouds. Passing the sign where the woman was struck and killed by lightening was quite humbling and scary. Made it to the summit around 11:30am (though everyone else on the trail was far faster than us) and back at the car around 3pm. Long day for weak knees and scrambling over boulders the majority of the time. Snow is not yet sticking so may have a little more time to hike without extra gear. 
2015-10-09  Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2015-10-12, By: jwgrosser
Info: Route is dry and clear of snow from top to bottom. Saw some small patches of snow/hail/ice on the north side of Tigger but they were easy to avoid and are probably gone by this point. At least until the next storm this one is prime real estate for a beautiful fall hike. 
2015-09-12  Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2015-09-14, By: joyfulwriter
Info: Beautiful day to be out - no clouds, lots of sun and great views all along the route, including aspen changing color. Made it past the radio tower (parking there was close to full) in my RAV4 & found parking a bit up the road at a small camp site. Much of the route is over talus which made for a long day for me, but no issues on the trail and - a pleasant surprise - almost no trash, no litter, and no leftover signs at the summit. For a Saturday there were not a lot of people out - in total we saw maybe 20 - 25 all day. 
2015-08-15  Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2015-08-17, By: kristine-l
Info: Hiked Mt. Princeton on 8/15. We started from the cell-tower lot around 6 am. We missed the turn-off from the main road at 11,200‘ (we were talking and distracted - so pay attention!!) and had to backtrack when we relalized we missed it. The trail was easy to follow until we hit the rocks - in that area we just followed what we thought was a good path and probably were off-trail slightly a lot of it. There were lots of people out and on the summit when we arrived around 10 am (we were moving slowly because I wasn‘t feeling great). As always, coming down was tough on the knees - especially in some of the loose rock areas and coming down the road was a bit challenging because of the loose gravel. Great hike and we loved the views of the Buena Vista valley and of Mt. Antero. 
2015-08-12  Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2015-08-15, By: Sunshineof1985
Info: *This is my 23rd peak I‘ve climbed this summer. Read more about this hike and others I‘ve done on my blog Time started: 6:00pm End time: 10:50pm Time to Summit: 2 hours and 30 minutes Time to Descent: 2 hours and 20 minutes Overall Pace: 1.7 miles per hour *GEAR (to bring): GPS, extra socks, phone, SPOT Satellite Tracker, Map, Topo Map from, hiking boots with 2 pairs of socks on, long-sleeve, wind-guard/raincoat, light weight puffy coat (didn‘t need), lightweight gloves (didn‘t need), day pack with water sack, snacks. *Road Condition: This road would be perfect for BMX Bikes, mountain bikes, ATV‘s or anything of that sort- I just don‘t know if any of it is allowed? It‘s incredibly hilly, but despite advising only 4WD, I made it 2.5 miles up the road- taking 5 miles off my hike! *Trail Condition: The road is easy to navigate and the pictures easily show you when to turn off onto the trail. From here on, you need to watch where you‘re stepping with every step. The boulders at the beginning are fun in my opinion, but once you get past the easy boulder hopping, it gets much harder to follow the trail. There are trails EVERYWHERE! Due to rock movement, you might think you‘re on a trail, and then all of the sudden it‘ll disappear. Even some cairns are misleading. It can make it a heart pounding ascent fighting with loose scree. Just follow the directions the best you can, and slowly but surely, you‘ll get there. 
2015-08-05  Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2015-08-06, By: Bigbluecreek
Info: Left Almont, CO at 2am and drove past main trailhead up to the towers. Arrived at 4am. Parking was good as there was only 2 other cars there. Was room for 2-3 more. Started walking up road and found good parking on each of the switchbacks. We wished we had drove farther up since parking was good. Continued up road and found trail entrance on our right. Climb up steep trail from road and your on your way. Trail is easy at first and then turns to very rocky conditions, lots of climbing and stepping over rocks for the majority of the climb. To me it was a tough climb due to all the rock climbing. Trail is faint at times but you can see the summit throughout most of the climb. Wished I had cut off main trail for the ridge instead of staying on lower trail. Most people were taking high trail and I think it would have been easier. Took us about 6 hours roundtrip but we took our nice at summit we spent 30+ min. 
2015-07-23  Route: East Ridge Direct over Tigger
Posted On: 2015-07-23, By: BagginPeaks
Info: Left Leadville at 6:30am this morning, got up to the radio towers parking area at 8:30am. Thought I was a late straggler but ended up passing a ton of people on my charge up, and saw a lot of groups even headed up the road around 11 on my way down! Left the road at the 3rd switchback and went up the East Ridge direct, over Tigger and continued on the ridge proper up to the summit. Lot of talus hopping and even some class 3 scrambling in places. Fun day! 3 hours round trip, but I was movin! Full on summer conditions, travel light and watch out for those storms. Don‘t forget to stop in at the Eddyline Taproom in BV for some victory beers. 
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2015-07-09  Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2015-07-09, By: Flock14
Info: We approached from the 12,100‘ upper TH parking lot. We ended up coming around on Tigger Peak onto Mt. Princeton‘s trail - we didn‘t realize you had to hike down the OR trail to get to the 11,500‘ starting point. It was loose rocks and scree, but not much above a difficult class 2. Mt. Princeton was clear of any snow you had to cross and the trail was dry save for a few damp parts (probably just from the rain). Great trail that‘s ready for summer hiking! For pics and info, follow the link: 
2015-07-03  Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2015-07-03, By: timstich
Info: Early morning fog along 24 with low clouds in the morning from 4:00 AM to 6:00 AM. One small glancing blow from a storm immediately west at 8:00 AM, giving way to clear skies well into 1:00 PM with some scattered clouds. The trail is dry and clear with two short snowfields and one narrow mudslide approximately ten feet wide. 
2015-06-28  Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2015-06-28, By: jenkscolin
Info: Trail is nearly dry all the way to the summit. Only two small snow fields remaining. We carried traction and an axe but didn‘t use either. We hit both on the ascent around 745 and 800 am respectively. At that point they were both still solid but could be easily navigated with poles and some care. On the way down they were soft enough to easily walk across without much thought. If you are up there super early they may be icy enough for an axe. Other than that its totally dry to the top. Summer has arrived. 
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2015-06-27  Route: Southwest Ridge
Posted On: 2015-06-29, By: CarpeDM
Info: The ridge to Princeton from the Grouse Canyon approach still had one or two short sections of snow that was not avoidable (steep loose scree on either side). Should be gone soon. 
2015-06-27  Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2015-06-27, By: mmilburn
Info: A few small snowfields to cross. Along the ridge the snow is avoidable. Trekking poles or micro-spikes might be useful. Snow was already slushy around 6am, so I suspect we don‘t have too long before the trail is snow free. 
2015-06-23  Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2015-06-24, By: BillMiddlebrook
Info: The road is dry to 11,200‘ and the trail is dry until it intersects snow fields on the north side of Tigger Peak. There are 4 or 5 to cross and a fall on early-morning hard snow could be a problem, so an axe is recommended. The 12,800-foot turn-off to gain the ridge is not obvious right now because of snow and some people have been following the old trail all the way to the east face. Once you‘re near 12,800‘, look up to your left for tracks and trail segments to locate the trail so you can stay on the easier, standard route. Once on the ridge, there are only a few snow patches on the remaining hike to the summit. 
2015-06-21  Route: East Slopes
Posted On: 2015-06-23, By: patransplant
Info: The route over Tigger Peak is doable with no equipment. Just start early so the snow stays solid. Bluebird skies all day! We camped at the last available camp site .3 miles past the radio towers on mt Princeton road. You can drive up from there past the first two switchbacks before snow blocks the road, and skirting it on foot is no problem. From there the road all the way to the ridge and the hike up Tigger is snow free. You will have to walk across snow in a few spots along the ridge to Princeton but it is super easy. I brought gaiters but didn‘t use them on the way up, and only postholed 3 or 4 times. Most of the snow up the ridge to the summit is avoidable if you stay on the ridge and keep left of the snow. The final ascent is snow covered but you can follow the boot tracks and easily walk to the summit. The way down was another story entirely. We should have gone back over Tigger, but instead we descended via the standard route and spent 2 hours slogging our way through the rocks and snow until we made it out onto the tundra and the trail was finally just dirt. Definitely bring gaiters and an ice axe if you go that way. The snow is melting fast so conditions will change rapidly, but for now there is still a lot of it on the standard route. If you go up and down via tigger peak you won‘t need anything but gaiters. 

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