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Pikes Peak Northwest Slopes

Difficult
 4.3 (32) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A beautiful ascent to the summit of Pikes Peak.


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Map Key

6.6

Miles

10.6

KM

Point to Point

14,105' 4,299 m

High

10,010' 3,051 m

Low

4,123' 1,257 m

Up

27' 8 m

Down

12%

Avg Grade (7°)

48%

Max Grade (26°)

Dogs Unknown

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.

Contacts

Shared By:

Missy Thompson

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 32 votes

#1

in Divide

#324

Overall
  4.3 from 32 votes
5 Star
53%
4 Star
28%
3 Star
13%
2 Star
6%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#1

in Divide

#70

in Colorado

#324

Overall
318 Views Last Month
9,041 Since Jul 8, 2015
Difficult

0%
0%
3%
0%
94%
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

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Check-Ins

Jun 27, 2020
Chris R
Stephanie Zach and Mr grizzles
May 23, 2020
Kendrick Adams
1st 14er of the season
Mar 14, 2020
Chris R
7.7mi
Jan 26, 2020
Tenzin Chuteng
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