Pikes Peak from the Crags Trail

HARD 163 reviews
#11 of 168 trails in

Pikes Peak from the Crags Trail is a 12.6 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Divide, Colorado that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
12.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
4468 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

camping

hiking

horseback riding

mountain biking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wildlife

muddy

old growth

over grown

rocky

snow

CRAGS AREA UPDATE - June 20, 2017 Visitors will continue to notice significant changes in the drainage over the next few years as more and more spruce trees succumb to the natural succession from the beetle infestation. Additional Forest Health Projects, including timber removal, will necessitate future closures in the Crags area beginning in the fall of 2017 for public safety The shortest free hiking route up Pikes Peak From the parking lot you will see the sign for the Crags trailhead. Begin hiking down this trail. After a tenth of a mile you will see a sign on the right labeling trail 664A take this trail across a log bridge and begin your ascent. This trail will take you into a basin at the base of the peak, then it will aggressively gain elevation up to Devil's Playground. As you reach Devil's Playground the rest of the route to the summit comes into view. The ridge is a long and gradual hike. As you hike the ridge you must cross the Pikes Peak Tollway and stay on the Northeast side of the road. The road is regularly patrolled and you will be fined if caught hiking on it. The last bit of trail to the summit is a steep rocky section. Keep your eyes open for cairns that mark the trail. If you stay on the trial this section isn't bad, but if you lose the trail you're in for some tough rock scrambling. At the summit rest in the summit house and return the way you came.

hiking
5 days ago

Make note: this trail isn’t 6.3 miles one way. I clocked in at about 8 miles one way and I didn’t even get to summit due to bad weather. I was about 700 ft from the summit when it started snowing and hailing. I also heard several other talk about the trail being longer than what is stated on AllTrails. Very beautiful hike, regardless! Will attempt again soon.

hiking
12 days ago

Wow...you definitely know you’ve accomplished something when you summit America’s Mountain! It’s a great hike but you definitely want to be in decent shape before attempting it. The majority of elevation gain is on the trail through the forest on the way up to Devils Playground. The views and landscape are breathtaking at that point. The trail evens out a bit on the portion that follows the paved road. The boulder field on the push to the summit is a challenge but some very fun climbing! Our hiking crew was my husband and I (we’re in our mid/late 40’s), and 2 of our kids ages 16 and 19. We summited in 4 and 1/2 hours. We grabbed a cold drink, refilled our camel-backs, and the kids enjoyed the donuts at the summit house. This climb is tough but way worth the effort!! (And in my opinion better than the alternative of 24 miles on Barr trail).

hiking
12 days ago

Hiked this trail yesterday, the short version is that it’s a challenging but extremely rewarding hike. It’s important to keep in mind that this trail is especially hard on ones knees and ankles, as the trail is at a near constant and increasingly steep incline on the way up and a sharp decline on the way down. The last stretch of the trail before the summit is arguably rock climbing, make sure you physically and mentally prepare yourself for a tough climb. It’s also a good idea to dress in layers, it will likely be colder outside if you start before sunrise and it will most
Definitely be cool and windy as you increase altitude. I started this trail wearing a jacket and gloves and finished in a tank top and shorts, as it was hot by the time I got below the treeline on my down. Be sure you are in good physical shape before you hike this trail, and enjoy the view!

hiking
14 days ago

Did this with two other relatively fit folks. We added 3 miles to our trip because the initial 4x4 road was closed for tree spraying. With the extra distance, took about 6 hours to get to the top. The way up has some steep sections, but is moderate most of the way. Beautiful, green trail and we only saw a random bank of snow here and there towards the top.

Very weird to only see 6 people on the trail and then summit and see hundreds of people milling around the observation deck and gift shop. However, we gave in and got a donut at the gift shop and it was amazing. Probably the hardest part is the way back down as the trail is 50/50 rock and dirt and landing on rock while descending is rough on the knees.

Final thoughts: VERY pretty views, bring sunscreen, refill your water at the top, eat a donut, bring poles for the way down, enjoy!

17 days ago

This one is tough for hikers not from the area. We are from no elevation and definitely experienced some altitude sickness combined with exhaustion. Took us 6hrs/45 mins to the top of Pike's Peak and we had to get a ride back down. I think the average is only 4 hours so we may have just been ill prepared. Luckily our friends were able to get a ride back to the bottom of Devil's Playground and then hike back to our car to then drive back up and pick us up. We were too exhausted to make it back down ourselves.

Also beware the you are not getting the trail reviews mixed up. We thought this was just the 8.5 mile hike that's titled "Devil's Playground from the Crags". Nope! Definitely 12.5 miles. There is rock climbing for the last 1000 feet or so but nothing too bad. They are big boulders that you climb on top of until you reach the summit. In retrospect I would have done an easier one first, especially since I'm not accustomed to the altitude. But now that we've done it I am proud we did it. It was the coolest thing we did for sure. Be prepared for high winds and some snow!

hiking
24 days ago

The first half you gain about 2700 feet. Getting to Devils Playground area is a nice stretch before hitting some more elevation at the end. Trail is easy to follow and Cairns are well placed

25 days ago

You DON’T need 4W drive to get to the trailhead. My tiny car made it fine the dirt road is pretty well maintained. Hiked this 5/27/18. Almost no snow left at all. The hike to Devil’s Playground is tough gaining all the elevation. From there you’ll cross the toll road and follow the cairns. The last bit of scrambling up the rock to the top of Pikes Peak isn’t bad as long as you follow the cairns. The views before you get to Devils Playground and right around there were my favorite of the hike.

26 days ago

5/27, was absolutely gorgeous. Wasn't expecting the long scramble at the top, but still worth it.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked on April 14th, 2018. I'd recommend spikes, but you can get away without them. Definitely don't need snowshoes. Trail is pretty well marked, but make sure to keep an eye out for cairns above treeline.

hiking
2 months ago

HIKED ON APRIL 1, 2018

START: 6:30AM
END: 2:30PM

This was my first 14er. Would not recommend as first 14er for most people unless you hike a lot in difficult conditions. The 13 miles RT and 4300ft elevation gain is not easy without proper training and hiking experience.

YOU DO NOT NEED 4WD TO GET TO TRAILHEAD!! ROAD IS PERFECTLY CLEAR FOR ALL TYPES OF CARS

Hike to summit took 4 hours. 2 hours up to tree line, 2 hours above tree line. Lots of elevation gain on first half of hike. Make sure to look for and follow Cairns, some are hard to see but trail is marked the whole way. Some scrambling the final bit up to summit but not difficult.

Spent maybe an hour at summit. Ate lunch and took some pictures before heading down.

Hike back to trailhead took about 3 hours.

Other than strong wind and some icy spots in the trees this was a pretty chill hike. Not too difficult for an intermediate hiker.

2 hour drive from Denver to Trailhead

2 months ago

Need 4wheel drive to get to trailhead. Rough terrain on the road. Trail is easy to follow until you get above the tree line. With it being slightly snow covered we lost it up the first ascent which led to a slow climb to the basin. High winds in the basin section until you get to Devil’s playground. Didn’t need traction devices on way up but used yaktrax on the way down to avoid slipping on some ice patches. Long hike but great views of the continental divide & the crags!

hiking
3 months ago

Started at 6 am...was a little disappointed that after hiking all day....the summit house only had t-shirts that said I Hiked from the car....way too commercialized....and too many people. Prefer less crowded 14ers....

hiking
4 months ago

First 14er! Started sometime around 5:30 AM. Had some difficulty following the trail in the dark (with head lamp) and missed the 646A sign. Had to use the All trails app to help. Once on the right trail, no problems until the last 1/4 mile scramble d/t missing some cairns. Fun hike. Felt like I did millions of squats. Definetly felt the burn in some areas. Beatiful scenery. Of course loads of people at the summit. It is what it is. Parking for this trail is a bit bumpy, go at a snails pace especially in the dark!

4 months ago

Summited Pikes Peak from here on 16 Feb. Road to trailhead was snowy but easily passable for my truck in 2WD. Trail was easy to follow below the tree line, but lost it a few times above. Just follow the cairns. Huge winds at the summit, but very little snow. Didn’t use any floatation or traction up or down. Great and tough winter hike!!

hiking
4 months ago

First 14ner. And a winter ascent to boot. Tough but fair. Great experience

hiking
5 months ago

the mtn was fairly kind a bit cold and windy on top but not to bad for middle of January very little snow and able to summit in 4.5 hours thank God for the hand dryers in the summit house bathrooms.

hiking
5 months ago

Did it on New Years Eve, trail was in good condition, it was cold and windy above treeline. Layer up!

6 months ago

great hike up and back. Difficult above the tree line, especially with weather.

6 months ago

Perfect weather, 4.5 hours up. Great day before thanksgiving hike!

hiking
6 months ago

Beautiful day for a hike definitely worth checking out. The pictures don't do it justice

7 months ago

Great hike, great views to the west once you get above tree line, definitely will do it again!

trail running
7 months ago

Nice weather. Nice workout. ❤️

hiking
7 months ago

Loved it! The challenge of the climb is well worth it

hiking
8 months ago

First 14er, hard but so worth it! The summit house really is an added perk for taking a rest.
Went when it was a 13 degree wind chill, temp was around 28. So literally was frozen.
Had thought about hiking up and doing the Cogg down, but I'm so glad we did the backside, which is shorter.
Great views! Better hot chocolate!!

8 months ago

I love this trail. yeah it sucks seeing people at the top, but in my opinion, it's better than the 500 people you see while climbing most 14ers.
I went on a Saturday morning and saw 5 people before getting to the top. Fun!

hiking
9 months ago

Beautiful views, especially in the morning sun, to the west. I did this on August 27, and weather was great, lucked out! Got relatively early start, 6:20 am, and made it to top in 4:21 (I'm pretty slow!). Only reason I didn't rate it a 5 is because it's a little disappointing to get to summit with hundreds of people there, but that comes with the territory! Views to west above tree line are great, I should have taken photos there in morning, but didn't want to stop too much. Maybe next time. Oh, you can also see the mine at Cripple Creek as plain as day, and I think there's a trail from that area too, according to Pikes Peak Atlas.

9 months ago

Hi I am planning to climb pike's peak in last week of Oct or first week of Nov. But want to take back trails. Let me know if you are interested to climb together.

Thanks
SG

9 months ago

First fourteener. A challenge, but getting to the top was well worth it!

9 months ago

We did this Sunday August 31, 2017. Started late, like 10:30 am because we were originally only going to go to Devils Playground. However we got convinced to summit so we did. Not a good idea because of threat of afternoon storms so we were lucky. Good trail for all skill levels, just long. The hardest part was definitely the steep section right before Devils Playground.

hiking
9 months ago

This hike is very steep for the majority of it. It was very difficult at many times but had breathtaking views the whole way up. I would definitely recommend it for someone looking for a challenge. It was my very first 14er and the feeling of accomplishment is like no other hike i've ever done.

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