Crash and Burn hike to Pike's Peak - Advanced Level!

  • December 16, 2012 · 7:00 AM
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So the weather has been abnormally sultry this year making Pike's Peak still tall this season--assuming it remains out of whack by the time 12/16 rolls around (and Pike's Peak hasn't moved).  The crash part of the hike is staying at my dad's mountain house the night before the trek.  He lives about 20 minutes away from the Crags campground trailhead so no need to commute down from Denver the morning of the hike way before the crack of dawn.  He can accommodate 8 people comfortably.  He has a very lovable chocolate lab that stays indoors so if you have dog allergies, please be advised. We can decide if we want to eat Saturday dinner en route to his place or buy a few groceries and cook a carb-loaded meal.









Dad's place--the back yard has some great boulders if you want to practice your scrambling skills!


We'll carpool down late Saturday afternoon/early evening.  Meeting place and time will be decided via email with those committed to going.

Post hike: While it's not a brewery there's a great BBQ joint called Rudy's, that serves beer, along the route home in Colorado Springs.  There's also BierWerks in Woodland Park for craft beer, but their food menu is minimal.  We'll decide what the group wants when the time comes.

Now for the hike details:

Start hike/snowshoe from Crags Campground TH (Elev 10,100 ft) at 7-7:30am.

ETA to Summit (Elev 14,110 ft): ~12:30pm

Have 45 minutes for a refresh break at the cafe on the summit.

Leave Summit by 1:15 pm and reach Crags Campground TH by 5:15pm

These are conservative ETAs. May finish earlier depending on collective strength of the group while maintaining a 45 minute break at the Summit. Would like to keep group together due to additional risk inherent with possible snowshoeing and length of hike as well as condition of donuts in the gift shop.

Should bring emergency headlamp, snowshoes, micro spikes, poles, extra warm gloves & clothing, and protective eyewear in case of extreme wind exposure and blowing snow. Also bring extra water, and plan for what to do in case your Camel Back Water Tube freezes up. Sun screen is also advised.


The Crags route to Pikes Peak is not as popular as the Barrrr trail from the east but since it's shorter, with less elevation gain it's a much easier way to summit this famous mountain and still brag. It also offers better views with the Continental divide to the west and it is much less crowded. Shortly after you start from the new trailhead you will reach the Fourmile creek - turn right and cross the bridge. Continue through the forest, gradually gaining elevation and then hike through few switchbacks to get above the tree line. Great views open up to the west. Next 3/4 of a mile is a steep straight climb up to the saddle at 12,750 feet. The following section is an easy walk to the Devils Playground area. Cross the Pikes Peak Highway and continue on the left side of the road. You have about 2 miles until you start the final assault up the large boulder field to the summit. Follow cairns through the maze of rocks and soon you will reach the top. Walk east to the Summit House and enjoy some 14,000' donuts (in reality, they are much shorter), pizza, burgers, marmot jerky, hot coco or coffee!

Length: Round trip distance is 12.4 miles.

Difficulty: Advanced. 6.2 miles to summit with 4200 feet in elevation gain. Some exposure.


More info/maps:

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  • Nicolas

    Cold, challenging but hell of a fun ! Do it again in summertime for sure !

    1 · December 16, 2012

  • Dahlia

    Yes call me

    1 · December 14, 2012

  • Richard B.


    December 13, 2012

  • Richard B.

    Can I get a ride with you?

    December 13, 2012

  • Jen

    Hi Elisabeth! PM sent to you with details.

    1 · December 6, 2012

  • Dahlia

    Would anyone like to go early on Sunday and carpool?

    1 · December 4, 2012

    • Sam

      Can I join you guys for Sunday early morning carpool? I don't think I can stay overnight there.

      December 5, 2012

    • Molly

      I've been moved to confirmed for the hike, so a carpool on sunday would be great. i can meet at either I-25 and colorado ave or further south near castle rock since that is my destination after the hike on Sunday night.

      December 5, 2012

  • Krista

    See....all we needed to do was post a date for Pikes Peak and the snow is now on the :)

    2 · December 4, 2012

  • Jen

    If anyone wants to drive down Sunday morning and meet us at the TH, then let me know. It'll be about a two hour drive depending on where you're coming from in Denver.

    1 · December 4, 2012

  • Rob

    I would LOVE to do this one, but I will be in Hollywood that weekend...

    Have fun, take lots of pics!


    2 · December 3, 2012

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