Trailhead:  Mt. Princeton Road
Sawatch Range
 Posted By:  RJansen77
 Date of Info:  04/29/2012
 Date Posted:  04/29/2012
The road is snow free and driveable to the radio towers by any 4wd with decent clearance. For this section I‘d be more concerned about meeting an oncoming car than I would be about the possibility of bottoming out. We met someone who took a Honda Accord and said it was "too aggressive," so maybe don‘t bring one of those. You can drive a bit past the radio towers to some spots (room for ~2-3 cars) on the right hand side of the road, or even further to a prominent switchback if you want. Beyond this switchback the road has snowdrifts and is impassable. Where the trail branches off the road is completely snow-covered, so it‘ll be at least a few weeks before you can drive to here. My Honda CRV (stock, AWD 2007) could have made the radio towers easily.

Photo 1: Dillon standing across the road from where the trail branches off, the stairs and cairn are completely buried but you should be able to spot footprints in the snow pretty easily.

Photo 2: A poor shot of the parking just past (~.25 miles) the radio towers. Space for 2, maybe 3 cars here.

Photo 3: Typical road conditions. I wouldn‘t worry about bottoming out in an SUV, but running into an oncoming car could be a real problem (you can forget about passing anyone on this road, or turning around for that matter. Unless you like 5000 point turns).

Photos (click for slideshow):
Image #1Image #2Image #3

 Comments or Questions

05/02/2012 01:31
How do people usually pass one another on the way up to the radio towers?


Re: Passing
05/02/2012 01:47
It would be impossible to pass an oncoming car virtually anywhere on this road except at a switchback, and even some of those may be tough. I think most people just drive up early in the day, as the cars are generally on their way down the road in the afternoon. If you do run into someone, one of you will have to back up until the road is wide enough to pass, which could be several tenths of a mile. I tend to move a bit faster than average, and it took me about an hour to get from the lower trailhead to the radio towers. A very easy roadwalk.


You aren't kidding
05/02/2012 02:38
I just got back from Mt Princeton and that road really is horrible, there is nowhere to pass. Luckily I barely saw anybody, let alone driving on the road. Question because I forgot, which car has right of way in that situation?


Re: Right of way
05/02/2012 02:43
I could be wrong, but what I've generally heard regarding the Princeton road is if two cars meet each other, and the car going up passed a wide spot 0.5 miles back, and the car going down passed one 0.2 miles back, the car going downhill has to back up (because they are closer to a ”passable spot”). I think people count the mileage after every potential passing spot so they know what to do if they meet an oncoming car. It would not be fun!

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