Pikes Peak Elevation 14,115ft. (Aug. 2, 2003) "Crags" trail from Crags Campground TH. From this TH, this class 2 trail runs (11.5 miles rt. with 4,100ft. gain). TH directions are as follows, take I-25 South to Colorado Springs and the Woodland Park Exit 141, go 18.4 miles on C24 Northwest to the C67 and C24 junction, go West on C67 to Divide another 6.8 mile, stay on C67 at Divide which is a turn to the South, next go 4.3 mile to a Rocky Mountain Camp sign and turn left on Teller Co 62, go up to Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp and then stay right to the Crags Campground. The hiking trail out of the Crags is nice, however once you get to Pike Peak road with the noise of traffic and the less then interesting trail, you begin saying to yourself, "let's just get this over with".
|Saturday||4:00AM||-left the house.|
|6:10AM||-left the TH at the Crags Campground.|
|8:25AM||-summit Pikes Peak.|
|8:45AM||-left the summit.|
|10:30AM||-back at TH|
The Crags is a beautiful area, and the trail is really well maintained, the only key is to see the three pipes on the left side of the trail and then go to the right about 30 feet after them. The trail is marked with an ###A and there is a sign not too far up the trail indicating that it is the trail to Devils Playground. During the first part of the hike I did a lot of turning around and looking back at the trail I was coming up, this is because there were really nice views behind me. The parking lot at Devil's Playground is a mess, erosion has really taken hold there. The trail from the parking lot to the summit follows next to the road. The trail is at times closer then the 50ft. minimum. the first and last parts of the trail along the road are well marked, however the center section is a mess of misplaced cairns that worn paths.
The summit ranks right up there with Mount Bross....ugly. Pikes Peak summit is a mess of buildings, which includes a tourist shop. On the summit I found numerous bicyclist that had ridden up in the comfort of a van and were going to ride/coast down the mountain. This particular day, I summited and the visibility was about 15 miles, so the views out to the plains were not as good as they could have been. With the not so great views and masses of non-sweaty people (those who didn't climb the peak in one fashion or another) made me feel the need to trail run most of the top section of this hike. I didn't see any need to enjoy the summit and roadside trail anymore then I had to. For a scenic hike I think that the Barr Trail is probably the better choice of trails for climbing Pikes Peak.
One thing to mention is that the parking lot at the Crags Campground was really full when I made it back to the TH, and I also had to pay 4 dollars to park at the TH. My last comment is this, the best climb starting from the Crags TH is either the first 2 miles of the Pikes Pike Trail, or the Crags Trail. The rock formations along the Crags trail are spectacular.