Peak(s):  Pikes Peak  -  14,110 feet
Date Posted:  06/04/2006
Date Climbed:   04/23/2006
Author:  Fleischco

 Pikes Peak from Crags April 2006 with my dog Joe  

I found the directions to be excellent on this site. I thought I might add a few in the lower section when you get started through the campground. The 3 pipes Image and the log bridge Image are shown here.

I started the hike at 6am (sunrise) on April 23rd. I had checked the websites and for weather and for the panoramic camera to see the spring conditions.

The drive into and the hike out of the campground was dry-no snow on the road and very little on the lower trail. This part of the hike has some great views of the Crags. As we (I had my dog Joe with me) got out of the trees and headed for Devil's Playground we had more snow to deal with but not a problem as it was still cold and solid. Image As stated, the hardest part (not including the rock scramble) was over.

This is a photo of the "left side of the 13,363-foot point up to your right " looking back where we had just crossed with snow conditions. Image

This is where the snow made following the trail more difficult. Between the rocks providing shade for the snow and the snow and well...the rocks, keeping on trail was a bit scattered. Be careful of the cairns, as there seems to be multiple trails. We jumped from cairn to cairn only to lose the trail again.

With my dog Joe saying he would not go through this rock ascent, we backtracked down 20 minutes to the road and (illegally?) walked the last distance (500' if you can negotiate the rocks) on the road but more like a mile or so on the road. With very little traffic due to it being midweek and April, we only saw a few cars. In the summer, this wouldn't be possible.

We did summit at 10:48am. Image After basking in the sun and some snacks for both man and dog, we headed down. The trail from Devil's Playground back into the trees was now more slushy and muddy with the mid-day heat hitting 40+ degrees and the snow melt following the path. We returned to campground at 1:30pm to avoid the afternoon storms.

NOTE: This may not be a good hike for a dog as the final ascent is a rock scramble and my dog said he had enough.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

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