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Great hike with lots of good stopping points! Mostly shaded which I can appreciate! Dogs were all on leash which was impressive. The view from the top was amazing & the stairs were not bad at all!! Coming from a 6 month pregnant lady!!

This is my favorite spot. Hiking up to the top is work but once you get there the view from the lookout tower is amazing and worth it. If you are not use to the altitude make sure to take many stops and bring lots of water. You will never regret doing this hike.

Really cool trail! Especially if you’re looking for a hike that isn’t going to take all day. The fire tower was amazing, the views were insane! My boyfriend discovered that he was terrified of heights but definitely worth the climb! Haha.

A perfect hike for a time period of about 2 hours! Amazing views at the top! Have hiked this trail multiple times and it never disappoints!

Quick and fun. Did it with my nephews - both 7 years old. They enjoyed the Tower and talking with the Ranger at the top. The views are fantastic.

Checked this one off 8/11/18. We left the trailhead at 5:20 and hit the summit at 9:20. The bike race up the Peak was today. I don’t know if they delayed opening the road to vehicle traffic because of that, but when we hit the top, the only folks there were the cyclists (including two unicyclists, you maniacs), and a couple other hikers who got there before us. But the tour busses started showing up while we were milling about the summit house (note: I ate a donut because I think you have to the first time, but it’s kind of a garbage donut). As others have said, you have to understand there are going to be a lot of people in the summit, but it was certainly a lot more pleasant before the Devil’s Playground parking lot filled up. So, I guess I’m saying that if you take off early enough, and move at a decent pace, you can avoid most or all of the crowds. The downshot there is you’ll be waking through a gorgeous pine forest in the dark when you first set out. But you’ll see it on the way back.

I made a mistake regarding the weather. I expected temps to stay steady in the mid-40s all the way up, which is what I dressed for (shorts and a pullover). I would have been fine, except I didn’t account for how long it would take the sun to get over the top of the mountain. We were well above tree line before the sun finally appeared, and I was freezing my ass off. But, I’m a pretty cool moment, the sun topped the mountain, the trail leveled out a little, and the summit came into view, all within seconds of each other. I should note, I had more layers in my bag, but I was being stubborn and didn’t want everyone to stop so I could put some pants on.

It’s an easy route to follow. We had (almost) no trouble with wayfinding. Right before treeline, we somehow started following a social path that switchbacked through some gravelly scree, but it led us right back to the main trail. Probably no more than 3 minutes off trail. We had no trouble with route finding coming down. The steepest sections below Devil’s Playground and above tree line was a bit loose in spots. Trekking poles would have probably come in handy, but it was fine.

All in all, a good hike. Good physical challenge, great views looking west, with the Sawatch at the far end of the horizon.

Saturday Aug 4th. Great trail. Started at 4:30 am. Heard a mountain lion scream around 5 am...super scary but we pressed on. Made it to the summit at 10:30 am...the last section with scrambling was difficult but fun. enjoyed a donut at the top. We took the free shuttle to devils playground and then hiked the rest of the way down. Glad we took the shuttle because we got to the car just in time before it started storming! My tip for others is start early, bring headlamps, proper gear, cash for tips if you take the shuttle down and watch the skys.

Started at Pine Valley Ranch Park took Buck Gulch out to connect to The Skipper, then connected to the Homestead Trail/Charles Cutoff loop, and made my way back via Strawberry Jack Trail and Park View Trail. Gorgeous views! Quite a bit of the hike is through the burn area from the Buffalo Creek Fire of 1996, so very warm-lots of sun exposure due to minimal tree cover. Bring more water than you normally do if you do the full 2 loops. Also, if you have a pup, bring double water for them as there is only 1 small stream. Did find a random water tank on the Strawberry Trail that was there courtesy ‘neighborly equestrians’. Very thankful as I could scoop water to cool off my dog! Also found huge bunches of raspberry bushes after turning onto The Skipper Trail. Lastly, I don’t think the ‘Getting There’ directions quite match the GPS coordinates and the map of the trail route on the app? I followed the GPS and that led me to Pine Valley Ranch Park which is a nice JCOS Park.

Easy trail for sure. Good portion of it shaded. Great for kids or for trail running. Well marked trail with nice views. Good place to take out of Townes not used to the elevation.

This was a great 5.5 miles venture, 2.3 miles was the upper loop. There was a couple other out and back trails, not included in the 5.5 miles. Took two moderately active people an hour and 45 minutes. Saw a coyote.

Ok for kids? Have twin 9 y/o’s not in climbing shape yet from move

hiking
10 days ago

Great hike with tremendous views at the top. Difficult for the first half mile and the last half mile but pretty easy in between.

One of my favorites. This can feel longer than it actually is. Lots of hikers today, and climbing to the fire tower is worth it!

Hiked this trail on a Sunday afternoon and didn’t think it was too busy. Well maintained trail, though the gravel can be a little loose in areas. Great view at the top where you can see 100 miles in any direction. We did the hike in about 2 hours, not counting the time we hung out at the top enjoying the view. Be prepared to drive on some bumpy roads to get to the trailhead.

nice view from there.

Backpacked 5 miles into the trail. The first mile or so is burn scar, but after that is exquisite. I've never seen more beautiful scenery anywhere. Plenty of good campgrounds and water sources.

Checked this one off on 08-04-18. Yep to all the previous postings, so I’ll save you that. A great trail to get some beautiful views to the south and west of Pikes Peak that you won’t necessarily get from the summit/Barr Trail.

You have to go into this one just knowing you are going to encounter a lot of visitors and be next to the toll road once you hit Devil’s Playground. With that said, this approach is less crowded than from the east, and the toll road doesn’t open until 7:30AM, so if you get an early enough start and get after it, no cars. This will also help with parking at Crags TH, as there was plenty of parking around 5AM but it was packed when we returned around noon.

Last thing, based off two different GPSs, it was respectively 14 miles round trip to/from the Crags TH and summit. Oh, and the doughnuts at the summit are worth it...

Have to drive on a rough road to get there, but it's worth it at the top. Make sure you stop in and talk to Billy Ellis!

I hiked this on a Wednesday (8/1/18): no problems parking and not too crowded. The fire lookout and stairs make for an exhilarating and unique payoff for the relatively short but steady climb. It was 3 hours round-trip for us. Really nice.

hiking
15 days ago

Amazing!! Can be a bit strenuous at times as it is all uphill but it’s so worth it! If you can, go for sunset!!

Loved it, great weather!

The lookout house is very cool, and the views are a great payoff for the moderate hike. Pretty heavily trafficked, though I went on July fourth.

hiking
18 days ago

Picked a beautiful day to hike up to the Crags! It is an easy trail as long as you stop to catch some air & enjoy the views of the amazing rock formations. The view at the end is well worth it & plus meeting new folks from other places! You will not be disappointed!!

Great easy trail with scenic views. Some nice shade along the way

The view from the top is spectacular and well worth the effort. Take plenty of water and enjoy the beautiful scenery!

Great trail, very scenic. The service road going to the top nearly killed me

Great views. Get there early and avoid the traffic.

Beautiful. Well kept trail.

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