Mount Princeton Trail is a 6.8 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Nathrop, Colorado that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 6.8 miles Elevation Gain: 3,320 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

mountain biking

snowshoeing

ohv / off road driving

running

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

snow

The route shown on this page has the hiker starting at a parking area up a 4WD road. During winter this road is closed, and hikers must start at a parking area near the Young Life Center. Please beware that even during the summer, the road leading up to the upper trailhead is not paved, and may prove difficult for some drivers.

muddy
rocky
16 hours ago

Took my stock Jeep gladiator to the very top. Fun trip up. The driving itself is easy - only tricky part is making room for cars coming down.

hiking
rocky
scramble
2 days ago

This was my first 14er, was told it is not the easiest to pick for the first. Majority of the hike is rock scrambling. I brought my dogs a gsd and a husky and they were able to figure it out and make it to the summit. Was such a cool experience and great challenge. You can see the summit for a good part of the hike which was a great push to make it to the top.

hiking
3 days ago

Great 14er! I’m not sure why people aren’t a fan of Princeton, but I thought this mountain was great. The rock section is a lot of fun and there are pretty views at the top. Current conditions: some small patches of snow, but really boot packed, so no need to bring microspikes or any flotation.

hiking
4 days ago

Trailhead road is clear up to second switchback after the radio tower parking area. You’ll need a decent clearance vehicle to get there, but if you park at the lower TH, there’s a boring 3 mile road walk to the upper trailhead.

hiking
rocky
scramble
washed out
5 days ago

Challenging but gorgeous hike with some challenging scrambling. Expect to scramble and ascend through loose scree for a good portion of the hike. Not for those who are not comfortable with exposure. As of 5/29, snow has almost completely disappeared from the trail. 4X4 is necessary to reach the upper trailhead. Limited parking at trailhead.

hiking
rocky
scramble
5 days ago

This was more like 8 miles and the elevation gain over the whole hike was well over 4000ft. Incredible views at top but almost the entire hike was rocks. Trail was not very clear most of the time. Would recommend using poles for sure; very hard on the knees. Note: make sure you do not miss the actual trailhead! Seemed like it was a common mistake amongst hikers to keep walking on the road past it. There are stone steps and no sign.

hiking
rocky
snow
6 days ago

Most of the snow is melted. just one sketchy crossing but take it slow and you’ll be fine.

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
7 days ago

Hiked with Ethan on 5/27/20. Awesome views on the ridge right after the switchback section (turns up left before the old trail, don't miss it) all the way up to the top. Minimal snow on the trail except for a couple spots; be sure to have an eye out for the weather, especially lightning. Very rewarding hike with a wide range of temperatures, so bring some packable layers and a good camera! We put a sign up there in clear view, but finding it depends on when you're reading this. Side note: To get to the mapped trailhead you'll need to have an expendable car with substantial clearance. :)

hiking
8 days ago

Very little snow on the trail. No need for any sort of traction. Parked just past the radio towers on the 4WD road (will need vehicle with adequate clearance) started just after 9pm and made to the summit in 2.5 hours. Perfect day, sunny and no wind. Maybe saw 3 or 4 other parties on the trail.

hiking
rocky
scramble
8 days ago

Great trail completed today 5/25/2020. probably my favorite so far, clear skies and absolutely no wind at the top. Quite a bit of route finding and rock scrambling, but was fun! The way up there was a dusting of snow from the night before which made it take a bit longer, gone on the way down and we were able to speed through our decent. Camped at the last campsites before the switchback with snow, past the radio towers.

hiking
no shade
rocky
scramble
9 days ago

Did it a few days ago. Actual hike was great, snow wasn’t a problem and the views were great. Only bring a car with lots of clearance as we had to park our BMW about 3 miles from the trail head. Great birthday hike

hiking
rocky
washed out
10 days ago

Driving up to the top is very rough and washed out. Only 4x4 vehicles recommended. Trail is still snow covered in some areas. However, it is not terrible to get over. Very rocky after the start to the finish. But the view is worth it!

10 days ago

van is now clear you may resume your regularly scheduled hiking

sprinter van stuck on road to radio towers park at lower trailhead 5.23 at 745am

hiking
10 days ago

As of 7 am 5/23 the sprinter van is still blocking the TH. Stay at lower lot- there is no room on the road to pull over and you have to come back down in reverse.

hiking
11 days ago

USE LOWER TRAILHEAD!!! Broken down van blocking upper trailhead 1.3 miles from radio tower. 4:00am 5/23

hiking
rocky
snow
15 days ago

Beautiful day yesterday. There are a few sections of upper trail that are still snow-covered. It was empty except for us in the morning and we were down by 12:30. One of my favorites so far. Only advice—if you don’t like driving on iffy roads, park at the lower trail parking. If you can brave the road, drive up and when you hit the cell towers, keep going left up a little further. There’s better parking up a little further—about .4 of a mile. The road is very narrow and extremely bumpy/uneven during winter and spring. Happy hiking to all!

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