Peak(s):  Pikes Peak  -  14,110 feet
Date Posted:  02/08/2010
Date Climbed:   02/06/2010
Author:  TennesseeDave

 Pikes Peak- Crags Trailhead  

I scribble these notes (my inaugural on this site) so you and those you love avoid the parking/towing disaster I landed myself in a month prior.

January 5th, 2010 a friend and I attempted to hike Pikes Peak from the Crags Trailhead. Driving all the way to the back of the Crags Campground turned out to qualify as a "bad decision."

Long story short, we didn't summit, I got my Toyota 4 Runner stuck in the snow, nay to drive out again. The subsequent day I hired a wrecker to winch my biscuits out. After 500 dollars, a broken shovel, a lost floor mat and a drop in testosterone, I was on my way.

Fast forward to February 6th 2010, same friend and I attempt to git-er-done uh-gain. We park well below the trailhead, laugh about the ridiculousness of that day a month prior, and shimmy up to the summit in 5 hours.

On our way up this time, we meet another chap who got HIS truck stuck
at the same spot. Ergo, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO PARK AT THE TRAILHEAD OF CRAGS. Instead, there is a lower lot off to the right that you'll see before you make a left into the campground. Safe bet, park there. At best it only adds a fifth of a mile to the hike.

Other pearls of wisdom from our hike:
1) The cog railway is indeed open in the winter with limited hours. Thus don't be surprised to see camera/donut wielding tourists at the summit. You can take the railway down if you desire, but best make sure you are there before the 1 car departs. Times vary so check their website.

2) Caution when crossing the large slab of ice across the trail about 50 minutes into the hike. It ate my friend's foot and beat me across the head.

3) Never shake a baby.

4) The road to the summit is open...though only part way. We ran into a few people who drove up to within 4 miles of the summit and were backcountry skiing. The snow however seemed a bit bulletproof to be much fun to ski on.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to fire them my way.


Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

I think I met you on Saturday
02/08/2010 23:05
I bet that‘s me you‘re referring to. Not only was I able to winch myself out, but I ended up winching out a Jeep Liberty near the first campsite and two more cars closer to the Mennonite Camp. How did you get up to Devil‘s Playground? The trail we were on was way north of the normal trail....


I got stuck too!
02/09/2010 04:40
Went for Pikes this route some week in January, got my car stuck(stupidly) trying to drive to trailhead past gate. Hiked for a while then returned to my car for my family member to tow me out with their 4x4 truck. They pulled my car a short way then got stuck. Tried EVERYTHING but their truck got a final stuck and we went down to the Mennonite camp and called a tow. Kinda killed the day but did get some fun hiking in.

Basically, avoid the last bit of road, it‘s a doozy and I highly doubt it will improve any time soon.

Nice trip report.


More fun had by me.
02/09/2010 05:42
I was there a few days earlier in January in a 4wd Ford Escape. There was a truck parked in the trailhead parking lot but, fortunately did not pull down in. I did about a twenty six point turn around and still got the car stuck but, dug it out many times and made it back to the lower parking lot in 2 hours. By that point was exhausted and called it a day.

James Scott

Good report
02/10/2010 04:44
Is the second picture of the ice that eats feet and boots? Don‘t you have a picture to illustrate the danger of shaking a baby?
Enjoyed the write up!


Ice Capades
02/10/2010 19:15
Thanks for including the shot of my graceful ice crossing in your report...easily the best pic of the day! Sheesh...


Thanks for the report!
02/10/2010 23:01
When did you guys start out and how long did it take you round trip?


02/10/2010 23:36
We started from the trailhead around 8:30, summited in 5 hours, and made it back to the car just before 6:30. Granted, we took a break and warmed up inside the summit hut for awhile, so we could‘ve shaved some time off there, but we still had just enough daylight to get back without using our headlamps.

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