Trailhead Location: Near Divide, CO

Trail Difficulty: moderate

Elevation gain: 4,300 feet

Trail Length: 13.6 miles

Time to hike: 6-9 hours

Trail Review: Considerably shorter and less crowded than the Barr Trail, the Crags is a wonderful alternative for students hoping to conquer Pike’s Peak. Located about an hour from campus, the trail starts out along Fourmile Creek, climbing through pine forests as it leaves the basin at the base of Pike’s Peak. From there, the trail gains altitude steadily as it climbs ever higher above treeline. As the trail approaches the saddle around 12,000 feet, a beautiful view of the valleys and peaks to the west opens up. The next few miles are easier, winding around the area known as “Devil’s Playground,” named because of the way that lightning sometimes jumps from rock to rock. The trail parallels Pike’s Peak Highway for much of the last three miles, and bighorn sheep abound in this area. The final assault on the peak picks through a boulder field, following cairns to reach the peak—and the doughnuts on top. After eating and warming up, the descent feels steep, but is much easier than the morning climb. Start hiking early in the morning to avoid being caught in afternoon storms.

 

Active Life

Kayla Fratt, editor

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