Mount Princeton Trail is a 7 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Nathrop, CO that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from March until November.
off road driving
Lots of scrambling, make sure you have tight shoes/ boots.
Tough one for sure. Got to experience a "mountain girls" photo shoot right as we summited ...must be heaven. Tough, all rock, false summits...hard but worth the views. Bring poles, high boots, aspirin, rain jacket, water, & sunscreen. Got pushed down then mountain by lightning popping off like a 1000' off the ridge. Bluebird going up and clouds came off the ridge about 15 minutes as we started descending....that was just past noon. Park up high by the tower, otherwise you are adding some hard miles to your trip. Make sure you have a 6-pack on ice in your car when you get back.
Mt Princeton isn't much more than an enormous pile of rocks.. do not look for a path in the gully, just do you best to switchback up. be prepared for lots of rock hopping and scrambling up, glissading down.
Enjoyed this hike but have to warn everyone, it took us 8 hours round trip to complete this. If you don't have a high clearance vehicle it is hard to get close to the trail head. I feel like the time estimate needs to have some sort of disclosure to it. Still enjoyed the hike just thought I would share my experience so that someone else does not make the same mistake I did.
This was my first 14er and holy hell it was difficult. I was close to summiting (300 yds left) and heard thunder so our group turned around. It was mentally and physically exhausting but I am glad I at least attempted it. I am a novice when it comes to tackling boulders so this was a bit challenging. The views were fantastic and I gained a huge sense of accomplishment from attempting this great mountain. Mother nature put me in my place! Glad I took ibuprofen before hand!! I tip my hat to everyone who attempts and summits Mt. Princeton.
Second 14er I did 6 years ago. Second time I climbed seemed harder than the first.
Great Summit! Did not enjoy the rocks. Start early.
The road up to the trailhead was extremely rough and you definitely need a 4WD vehicle to clear it. We went on a weekday and there was barely anyone there. It seemed like an eternity that we were on loose rock and it got very old very fast. We got there at about 6am and storm clouds came in at about 9am causing us to have to turn back right before summiting. The way back was even tougher due to the loose rock and the fact that we were exhausted. I wouldn't recommend this 14er to novices- go to bierstadt or quandary.
I was not impressed hiked about 3 miles in and turned around. It may have gotten prettier farther up but I wasn't willing to take the chance. Did not like walking the road up to the Colorado mountain trail. I am a photographer hiker and never pulled out my camera. But with that said maybe I didn't go far enough in.
Mt. Princeton is a great 14er to summit. A good portion of the trail is not extremely clear, as you are hiking across boulder fields. I think this makes it a fun hike. It was also nice that it isn't a very crowded trail. There is a restroom at the lower trailhead/parking lot. If one has a 4WD vehicle you can continue to drive up and find parking along the side of the road. It should be noted that this road does have some rough portions.
The rocks!! If you dislike hiking on loose rock, this trail is not for you. Once you turn off of the main trail onto the foot trail that leads to the summit, almost all of it is navigating over rocks.
Other than that, this hike is amazing, The view from the summit is breathtaking and, in my opinion, totally worth the effort. We summited on September 6th and the weather was beautiful the whole time. A few clouds, but no snow or rain.
If you want a challenging but rewarding experience, this is a great 14er.
So much to see. Beautiful views. Lots of ATVs and 4x4s. It's pretty neat to drive up to St. Elmo from Princeton and feed the chipmunks and visit the general store
Gorgeous hike, lots of amazing spots for photos. Hardest 14er in the collegiate range. Went up with a group of 8 and three had to turn back because of the difficulty. Lots of bouldering. Great workout though.
Almost the entire trail is loose rock, scree and steep loose gravel and dirt. We parked at the cell tower and i would park at the end of the road and hike back to the trail if i were to do this one again.
the rough rocky trail was unexpected and it took us considerably longer than anticipated. Others we met on the trail concurred with this assessment. The views , as with most all CO 14ners i have climbed, were spectacular. The Mt Princeton hot springs were a sight for sore legs at the end of the day.
This is a fantastic 14er! It certainly wasn't a 2 hour climb for me (as some have mentioned it was). The road up is rough and 4wd is pretty important. Parking is almost non-existent. Most of the hike is boulder scrambling - not hard but can get a little tiring. Actually probably 85% of the hiking is boulders considering you start above the tree line.
View was tremendous almost all the way up. Tons of views of BV on the way up - unlike some of the other 14ers that are close. Summit was nice and big and again, super pretty.
This is a great 14ner, but be careful about missig the left turn up the mountain. We stepped over the piled up rocks and then realizeed 2 miles later our error and had to hump it up a tough rocky incline. The Mt. Princeton Hot Sprigs is a MUST stop....OMG does the 102 deg water feel great on tired muscles.