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Walked this on the way down from the Incline. A bit steep in spots with beautiful scenery.

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.

backpacking
2 days ago

My SO and I planned to do this loop over 2 nights but were cut short due to weather. We hiked up to venable lake, it was 6.5-7 miles. The aspen groves were beautiful and the view before making the final climb amazing. The lake area was open and rocky, but good for setting up a tent. Unfortunately we got all settled in and the predicted light rain turned into a pretty bad storm and we had to throw everything in our packs and make a run for the trailhead. I’ll definitely be back to finish the loop another time.

I like to do the Peak at least once a year. It’s a nice challenge and worth it. The ascent took me 6 hours but I have done it in 4 1/2. Not my best time, obviously. I believe the average time for ascent is 8 hours. I did the ascent and descent for a total time of 11 hours. The last couple of miles are the hardest and my brain always says, “why am I doing this”! But, you just push through it and are happy to get to the top.

Make sure to dress in layers. The weather can change quickly. I like to take a camelback and I don’t bring much food. I’m just not real hungry.

The change in the terrain is always interesting It’s beautiful country. Thankful to have it as my backyard.

Total miles my app recorded was 23.85 miles.

This is a heavily trafficked trail over steep rocks to a really fun swimming hole.

DO NOT TAKE TRAIL 626!! There is a trail before the Mt Rosa trail head called 626. This trail is extremely dangerous for hikers. We were shot at multiple times during this hike. The area leading up to the trail is also dangerous because people have makeshift shooting ranges along the road. The whole place has a bad vibe and there is a disrespect for hikers and the environment around this area. This place is not for people looking for a peaceful hike. AVOID THIS TRAIL!

backpacking
6 days ago

Went backpacking up the Venable part of the loop in a group of four of us over the weekend. We measured it as a 7 mile hike from the lot to the largest Venable Lake on a Fitbit and an Apple Watch, which is different that the map. I am new to utilizing the app so not sure what happened but it took us by surprise as the sign notes that the hike to Venable Lakes is 4.75 miles. The last section to the largest lake was very challenging with significant elevation gain. It is straight up the side of the hill/mountain to a small plateau. There is a great camp site near the first lakes. The hike itself is very beautiful, with wildflowers and groves of aspen. The views are incredible as you can see across the valley to the Wet Mountains in several spots. Most of the hike was in the forest until the last section. We camped just off the trail near the largest lake. The fishing was incredible. There are some big cutthroats in that lake and each of us caught at least one. The trail is very rocky and coming down was more of a challenge and it was hard on the feet. I didn't notice it as much on the hike up. Perhaps a recent washout with the storm that blew through. We were visited by a few deer bucks at our camp site each night. They were very tame and curious and were content to be 30 yards away and watch us cook dinner.

Great hike. Very beautiful. it was a little hard to find the right path to the trailhead, but once we found it it was great from there. Most of it is shaded. Lots of little streams and waterfalls. Just be sure to bring lots of water!

hiking
6 days ago

While the trail is beautiful, winding through the woods up to a arid clearing and then into the woods again to the summit for a 360 degree view, I would recommend approaching the trail from Cheyenne Canyon instead. As mentioned by previous reviewers, there are many people using the area (esp along the 379 road that you add to your hike if you don't have a high clearance vehicle) as impromptu shooting ranges, destroying trees and leaving an incredibly disheartening amount of trash. Shots fired can be heard throughout the hike. While some of the people out shooting looked to be responsibly enjoying the sport, there were just as many groups who looked shady: teenagers smoking weed, drinking, and firing semi automatic weapons level shady. While we did see a sheriff drive by on old stage twice, the sheriff does not drive on 379. It was to the point where we saw multiple other hikers with their own side arms making my dad comment that he wish he had a side arm for the hike as the amount of unruly people along 379 was to the point of discomfort (case in point poor Zach's review below!).

Shooting ranges aside, the hike was 8.2 miles total starting from the lot on the left of old stage, up 379, turn off on 672 about 1.8 miles in (we missed the frosty park trailhead as it is not marked), and then heading up to the summit. In total it took my dad and I 4 hours and 26 min including 35 minutes picnicking at the summit. I would suggest bringing hiking poles if you have them for the descent. Personally, I found the hike a bit more rigorous than anticipated on the uphill but it sure made for a great workout! My dog loved it as well but the top can be pretty exposed in the heat so bring extra water for your pup!

If you drive to Frosty's park up 379 the hike is probably closer to 4 miles however the road has portions with enough dips and rocks that I didn't want to risk scraping the bottom of my 2005 Toyota Rav4. Vehicles that I did see make it up included pickup trucks and jeeps for reference. Keep in mind that if you select the 'directions' option, google maps actually tries to take you on roads that no longer exist due to reclamation. Ignore the turns and just stick to old stage to gold camp until you get to Rosemont-Penrose Reservoir and there will be an obvious widening of the road for a lot on the left. From the time you exit the neighborhood at the base of old stage road to the parking pull off below road 379 will be about 10 miles.

Beautiful hike ... LONG hike, but beautiful. Totally worth it!

IF YOU TAKE THE TRAIL 626 shortly before the mount Rosa trail, you will be shot at. There are countless people in that area shooting rifles at the mountain tops and into the trees. After hiking for 30 minutes down trail 626, we encountered several bullets buzzing over our heads within ten feet of us. We were forced to scramble off trail and take cover because the person couldn’t hear our screams to stop shooting. Be very careful to not take any trail on the south side of Mount Rosa. You will be in immediate danger from gun fire. Also, there are extreme liter bugs in this area. It will break your heart to see all the garbage and destroyed trees. They use trees as targets. If you love nature and want a relaxing hike, DON’T attempt Mt Rosa trail and don’t approach from the Old Camp Rd. The road is in poor condition and takes an hour to drive up. FS Road 379 leads to Mt Rosa trail. Just GPS Frosty Park to find it. Be incredible carful and make sure you know where you are and what to do or you will hear gun shots and/or be shot at the entire time. EXTREMELY DANGEROUS! There are “No Shooting” signs everywhere yet they all have bullet holes in them. The people in this area have zero respect for nature or human life.

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...

fantastic view from the top, but awful time getting down. slide on my butt the whole way under the trail stayed again (about a mile) worth it. dress accordingly

Definitely worth the hike. Just be proactive about drinking water. I carried some high-energy snacks and drank about every 1/2 mile. The end of the hike was kind of chaotic because the trail isn't super visible, but the feeling of accomplishment was 10000% worth it.

hiking
13 days ago

I did this hike almost a year ago and went back yesterday with my boyfriend and our dogs. We camped about 3.2 miles up the trail, then did the rest and the decent on 7/31. There are a couple great camp sites at around 10500 ft, 0.8 miles from the fork onto the McCurdy Trail. Saw 3 people up there. Definitely less daunting of a distance and elevation gain when done in 2 days. I'm still shocked more people don't know about this place! Weather was perfect: got down to around 45 at night and 60 on the peak. It probably got to around 80 if you stayed in the sun on the way down when it starts to flatten out again, but otherwise wasn't hot.

Much more difficult than anticipated, but amazing summit. Those rock formations and views are top notch. 10/10 will be back. Limited parking but when I arrived at 7:30 am, there were still spots.

hiking
14 days ago

My daughter and I hiked the Comanche side from Alvarado Campground to Comanche Lake and back. The elevation gain was challenging for us flatlanders (from Houston area) but it was well worth it. The trail was a little rough at times with washout and rocks but just enough to keep you engaged. The forest was very peaceful, with plenty of wildlife and the views of the valley were spectacular. Comamche Lake is a jewel and worthy of the effort. An awesome experience. I am looking forward to completing the loop one day.

hiking
14 days ago

Nice hike with a pretty unrelenting uphill climb. About 4,600 ft of gain in the 4.5mi to the summit.

Slept in my car at the TH the night before. Many cars were doing the same thing, but there were plenty of spaces along the road to pull off and set up a tent. Parking lot was getting full by 6am.

Nice Trail keep your eyes on the trail markers pretty easy to lose the trail in several spots. Be prepared for weather. We hit a hail storm on the way back down took shelter in some rocks and trees. The hardest part is the hill to the trail head. You have to park at the bottom of the road and walk the dirt road. Interesting houses along the way though.

Beautiful but difficult trail. This is my first 14er& I’m a 25year old Colorado Springs native. The altitude didn’t bother me, it was the intense incline that made me wish I’d spent more time in the gym doing leg presses and on the stair master.
I overall drank and carried 4L& didn’t need a water filter. You can refill at Barr Camp, but I’d say the majority of my water I used after sunrise& after Barr Camp.
We started at 4am& summitted by noon, with longer rest stops at Barr camp, and the A frame.
We decided to have a ride pick us up and we were so glad we did! As soon as we left the summit a heavy rain storm rolled in.

The whole trail from the beginning is nothing but steep ascension and had my quads throbbing (except for about 2 miles before Barr Camp). The last 3 miles above tree line are the most grueling and took me way longer than my average MPH for the trail. I used hiking poles and they were a saving grace especially at the end! Getting a donut and having a summit beer at the top though definitely made it all worth it!!

Overall was super happy I did it, but will definitely return next summer with a little more training under my belt to make it easier on my body and hiking partner.

Very fun trail. Just hiked to the top and took 6 hours. This is coming from Utah. Left at 4 am in the morning and beat the rainstorms

Wonderful hike! My 3 year old made it up to the reservoir but coming back down was a little much. Other than that loved everything about it. Definitely be back!

Brutal incline during last two miles. Really, I thought the whole hike was a battle. There are about two miles of cruising terrain before you get to Barr Camp. But I thought it was a slog every mile thereafter until you hit tree line. After tree line it was a pretty special kind of suck. Beautiful, but leg smashing.

Of course, there were lunatics training for the PPAscent the whole way up. Nothing seemed to bother those guys/gals. Cheers to them. Amazing athletes.

Marmots at the top will give you a spooky chirp above tree line. Get to Barr Trail early if you like a little space between you and other recreationists. Really, a pretty special climb. Views are limited sometimes due to frequent fires in the state. But for me, the views are secondary to the reward of the toil.

Best.

Great hike. Hardest part is the 1.5 mile drive to the trail head off the main road. Make sure you have 4WD.

Above all, don't be intimidated! I'm about 50 and hiked this trail in 6.5 hours. It took just under 3 hours to get to the Barr Cabin. We rested 15 minutes and then left for the summit. It was a thoroughly wonderful hike -- not too difficult but certainly not easy. Go for it!

Went on a Thursday. Very pretty and definitely worth it. Water is freezing, but can be nice on a hot day. Lots of people jumping. Do not go on a weekend tho. The trooper told us that the day we went was very good as there wasn’t as many people as usual (about 50-75). She said weeekends usually have 400-500 people. The space is not that big, so that’s crazy to imagine. Also, go earlier if you are not as fond of lots of people. There’s also a lot of more college aged kids, but they were pretty friendly and shared the space. All in all, a very nice hike and good experience, but crowded and cold.

Challenging but very rewarding. I didn’t know you can simply drive to the reservoir. Hiking on roads are not my favorite but did not regret this one.

Beautiful and mostly shaded!
I loved it. There were a few challenging spots for me, but overall a great hike and nothing I couldn’t handle.
The streams, waterfalls and meadow were absolutely stunning

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