Pikes Peak

Front Range

the Crags Trailhead
The trailhead at Crags Campground
Pikes Peak summit sign

Pikes Peak was a worthy challenge. It was someone's last 14er in Colorado and there was a lot of participation in the hike. We started out on the Crags Trail from the Crags Campground on the west side of the mountain. This is a very popular area among hiking enthusiasts and at sunrise, the views were just gorgeous. Only problem we had was in determining where the mountain climbing trail diverged from the Crags Trail. Once we found that, our hike became a direct frontal assault on the mountain. Up and up, and then up some more, and then we crossed a rock rib and found flat ground, sort of.

the Crags
The Crags
looking west
Looking west, just above the Crags
Pikes Peak
One of the rock ribs
Pikes Peak
Looking west from higher up

Pikes Peak is a large mountain mass. Once we came up over the shoulder of the mountain onto the flat area, we still had a couple of miles of hiking (above treeline) to get to the bottom of the summit dome. A lot of this stretch was along the toll road going to the top of the mountain. There were some great views off to the north and then we started up the summit dome (or should I say rockpile?). The wind was howling and the nearest escape was in the buildings at the top. We moved quickly.

Pikes Peak
Looking north
America the Beautiful Memorial
The "America the Beautiful" Memorial
cog railway
Manitou and Pikes Peak Railway
Pikes Peak
Along the toll road to the top of Pikes Peak

Inside the concession stand at the top of the peak was total pandemonium. About the same time that 20 or so of our group arrived, a fully-loaded train arrived on the cog railway: they didn't have that kind of room inside the building. We hung around long enough to get some photos, drink a champagne toast and hit the can. Then we were off back down the mountain and out of that breeze.

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Pikes Peak
The summit block is still ahead
looking south on Pikes Peak
Looking south
looking north
Looking north
the trail
Along the trail
along the road
Along the road
the summit in the distance
The summit is in the distance
looking north
Looking northwest
looking northeast
Looking northeast
Pikes Peak
The summit block, finally
looking west at the summit
Looking west at the summit
looking south at the summit
Looking south at the summit
looking north at the summit
Looking north at the summit
Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs, to the east
cog railroad
The Cog Railway
cog railway
The cog railway
Pikes Peak area map
Pikes Peak area map logo
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Map courtesy of National Geographic Topo!
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