Hiking Project Logo

Pikes Peak Northwest Slopes

Difficult
  4.3 ( 30 ) Favorite

Trail

6.6 mile 10.6 kilometer point to point
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 4,123' 1,257 m
Descent: -27' -8 m
High: 14,105' 4,299 m
Low: 10,010' 3,051 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 12% (7°)
Max Grade: 48% (26°)

Dogs

Unknown
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Missy Thompson

A beautiful ascent to the summit of Pikes Peak.

Missy Thompson

Features Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers

Overview

This is a great route to the summit of Pikes Peak that is shorter and less popular than the Barr Trail option. The lower sections are the steepest and most difficult. Once above timberline the grade lessens, which is welcome at the high elevation. The upper sections parallel the Pike Peak highway so there can be traffic noise, but leaving early will mean you are up before the highway opens and reduce the risk of being caught in thunderstorms.

Need to Know

Lightning can be very dangerous at these elevations, leave early to avoid afternoon thunderstorms.

Description

To reach the trailhead from Divide, go 4.1 miles south on Colorado 67. Turn left onto the dirt road to the Crags campground and follow it 3.0 miles to the trailhead.

The first part of the route follows the Crags Trail. You'll start by crossing a bridge over Fourmile Creek. After 1/2 mile, you'll pass three pipes coming up out of the ground on your right. They only stick out of the ground a few feet and are easy to miss. Approximately, 30 yards past the pipes is a trail junction - the Crags Trail goes left and your trail (#664A) goes down to the right. Turn right, cross a stream on the log bridge and continue a short distance to see a sign on the right that confirms that you're on the trail to Devils Playground. Climb 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. Turn left near 11,050' and ascend a long, straight stretch to 11,300'. Zigzag up the steep hillside and exit the trees near 11,900'. Once above tree line, the trailhead southeast and east up an easy slope.

When you reach top of the slope (12,750), the summit comes into view to the southeast. Follow the trail northeast and then east toward the Pikes road. The trail becomes significantly less steep at this point. Pass through a strip of rocks to reach the Devils Playground area. Cross to the east side of the Pikes Peak road, step over a cable, turn right and follow on the trail that parallels the Pikes road.

Descend slightly to a corner of the road at 12,900' and pass another point on your left. Continue to the left side of Point 13,363 where the remaining trail comes into full view. Head down to the road and continue up to reach a flat area below the final pitch. 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 below the northwest side of the summit. Hike up and over to the buildings, cars, and people.

History & Background

Katherine Lee Bates wrote the song "America the Beautiful" after taking in the view from the summit of Pikes Peak in 1893.

Hiked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna

Contacts

Rate This Featured Hike

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Hike

Check In

Check-Ins

Aug 2, 2019
Nathaniel Patty
Jul 25, 2019
Phil Elser
Water still flowing at 3.5 miles along side of trail above treeline well before parking lot. No need to camel at the creek.
Jun 30, 2019
Taylor Harris
Hike far exceeded expectations. 14.3mi
Jun 22, 2019
Tenzin Chuteng
8.2mi — 4h 39m
Jun 19, 2019
Sam Taylor
started too early. snow needs to melt some before climb 14.4mi — 8h 22m
Sep 22, 2018
Reece Mulhern
Sep 15, 2018
Ryan Jolivette
Sep 15, 2018
Rachael Glenister
6.6mi

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 30 votes

#1

in Divide

#294

Overall
  4.3 from 30 votes
5 Star
53%
4 Star
30%
3 Star
10%
2 Star
7%
1 Star
0%
Featured Hike Rankings

#1

in Divide

#68

in Colorado

#294

Overall
327 Views Last Month
7,547 Since Jul 8, 2015
Difficult

0%
0%
3%
31%
62%
3%

Photos

Devil's Playground
Jul 20, 2015 near Manitou…, CO
Looking back through the 'gateway' in the rocks, you get a true sense of the area's natural wonder.
Jan 22, 2017 near Manitou…, CO
Crossing the upper scree field
Jul 17, 2015 near Manitou…, CO
The Crags stand prominently in the distance on a clear day.
Jan 22, 2017 near Manitou…, CO
Portal to the Playground
Oct 14, 2017 near Manitou…, CO
Pikes Peak summit.
Jul 23, 2015 near Manitou…, CO

0 Comments

Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking