Peak(s):  Mt. Princeton  -  14,197 feet
Date Posted:  09/24/2013
Date Climbed:   09/21/2013
Author:  tatitot
 My 12th 14er Conquered!  

We climbed Mt Princeton on Saturday morning and after reading other's trip reports, I can't believe people disliked this hike so much. This is probably my most favorite out of the 12 I have done. Gorgeous views from the top!

We left our cabin in Jefferson around 4:45 am, and got to the radio tower parking area around 6:30am. There were 2 cars up there already with their tents set up. We were in an Nissan Xterra - which had plenty of clearance to make it up to the radio towers. You can even continue up this road past the radio towers for a few more parking options around each curve (maybe 2 vehicles could fit at each curve). Driving up and down, we never ran into another car going the opposite direction, which would have caused me severe anxiety on that road! There are very few areas that can squeeze two cars passed one another - luckily that wasn't an issue. Parking at the radio towers probably fit could fit around 10 cars or so.

At 6:45am we began our hike as the sun began to rise in the east. Gorgeous sunrise, and even more gorgeous were the changing leaves of the aspen trees! You begin the hike on the dirt road and take a right up the side of the mountain at the rocky stairs set up, There is a cairn there to point you in the right direction.
When you get to the rock with an orange piece tied around it, turn left! We were oblivious to this and kept going straight on the trail - oops, had to scramble a little extra over the rocks, but made it to the ridge anyways. When in doubt, go up! Haha. Once on the ridge, it was a little windy but not too much longer to the summit.

We were the first people to summit that day, so we had the summit to ourselves for a few minutes, unless we missed someone coming up from the south side. The view were nothing short of extraordinary and the best I've seen from the 14ers I have climbed. We summited probably around 10am (just a guess, because I don't remember looking at the time when we got up there). Weather was gorgeous, no snow, just windy and chilly, too be expected. Very light clouds present.

The hike down, we took the "right way" this time, and a bunch more folks were just making their way up the switchbacks to the ridge. My walking stick came in handy down over those rocks. We tend to run a portion of the end back to the car, and getting out of my hiking boots at the end of the day felt amazing! MapMyRun app put us at 6.87 miles roundtrip.

Top the day off with lunch at Eddyline in Buena Vista, and you've got yourself a great day!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Congratulations on #12!
09/25/2013 14:26
Glad you enjoyed the peak. Such an impressive looking peak from Hwy 24/285.

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