Pikes Peak - Northwest Slopes
Climbing mountains is dangerous! Please read the Mountaineering Safety Page and make sure you have a map+compass and can use them effectively. A GPS or cell phone can be very helpful with navigation but you should still be able to use a map+compass in case your device stops working.
(WINTER) HOLD ON! If you don't have much high-elevation, winter climbing experience, be careful in your planning and take a partner. Even the "easy" 14ers (Quandary, Sherman, Grays & Torreys) can be deadly in winter.
|Difficulty:|| Class 2 |
|Total Gain:||4,300 feet|
|RT Length:||14.00 miles|
|USGS Quad.:||Pikes Peak|
|County Sheriff:||Teller: 719-687-9652
| ||El Paso: 719-390-5555
Take U.S. 24 to Divide. Turn south onto Colorado 67 and drive 4.1 miles. Near a ranch, turn left onto a dirt road and follow it 3.0 miles to the trailhead. As of 2010, this is the new location of the trailhead. The old trailhead (0.3 miles higher) is being phased out and is not recommended unless you are camping at the Crags Campground. If you are, continue 0.1 mile farther up the road, turn left to enter the campground. At the far end of the campground there is access to the trail.
Cross Fourmile Creek on a great bridge and start up the trail - Photo #1. After 1/2 mile, pass three pipes coming up out of the ground on your right - Photo #2. They only stick out of the ground a few feet and are easy to miss. Walk 30 yards past the pipes to a trail junction - the Crags trail goes left and your trail (#664A) goes down to the right - Photo #3. Turn right, cross a stream ( 38.87165° N, -105.11696° W) on the log bridge (Photo #4) and hike a short distance to see a sign on the right that confirms that you're on the trail to Devils Playground. Hike through the forest to 10,400' and cross another small stream.
Continue east for almost 1 mile to reach a small clearing near 10,900' - Photo #5. Turn left near 11,050' and ascend a long, straight stretch to 11,300' - Photo #6. Zigzag up the steep hillside and exit the trees ( 38.86591° N, -105.08862° W) near 11,900'. Once above tree line, hike southeast and east up an easy slope - Photo #7.
When you reach top of the slope ( 38.86446° N, -105.07891° W) (12,750'), the summit comes into view to the southeast. Follow the trail northeast and then east (Photo #8) toward the Pikes road. Hike through a strip of rocks (Photo #9) to reach the Devils Playground area. Cross to the east side of the Pikes Peak road ( 38.86384° N, -105.0681° W) - Photo #10, step over a cable, turn right and hike on the trail that parallels the Pikes road. Photo #11 looks back at Devils Playground. You're more than 2.25 miles from the summit.
Continue south around a point on your left - Photo #12. Descend slightly to a corner of the road at 12,900' (Photo #13) and pass another point on your left. Continue to the left side of Point 13,363 ( 38.85127° N, -105.05897° W) (Photo #14) where the remaining hike comes into full view - Photo #15. Hike down to the road and continue up to reach a flat area below the final pitch ( 38.84547° N, -105.04972° W).
Photo #16, Photo #17 and Photo #18 are views of the remaining route. Follow cairns up through the rocks as the route swings slightly right away from the ridge. At 13,500' the slope gets a bit steeper - keep climbing up through the red rocks for 500' to reach a corner of the road ( 38.8415° N, -105.04637° W) (Photo #19) below the northwest side of the summit ( 38.840542° N, -105.044357° W). Walk up and over to the buildings, cars, and people - Photo #20.
Past Devils Playground, stay on the trail to the left of the road.
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