Winter Hike to The Crags

kimbur96

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Joined
Dec 30, 2015
Messages
194
I headed out today for a day hike up The Crags. It's 6 miles round trip with about 1,000 feet of gain. We had snow earlier in the week, and being as this trail is above 10,000ft it hadn't melted at all. I had brought my little dog, thinking the trail would be mostly clear. My mistake. Having driven over an hour to get here I made the decision to wrap my dog up in my down jacket and put him in my pack. The snow varied from packed to 8 inches of powder. It was pretty windy at the top but we did take some pictures and have a snack. The views from the top were amazing. I now know why this is such a popular summer hike.
The trail starts crossing this small creek.
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heading up into the forest
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about 1.5 miles in the trail splits. To the left our destination. To the right heads up the backside of Pikes Peak.

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halfway to our destination
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lucky for me several groups hd broke trail ahead of me.
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cool rock outcropping on the way
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then the trail breaks out into a meadow
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back into the forest as we approach the summit
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passed a couple snowshoeing and my little one poked his head out so we got a pic
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reaching the summit the views are amazing. 3 frozen lakes in the distance
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I'm not sure what peak that is on the distance. A 14er I'm sure. EDIT: It's Buffalo Peaks 13,326
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more views form the top
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The Crags for which this hike is named.
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The backside of Pikes Peak
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My little guy in my pack. The easy way to the top!
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Having a little snack at the top. You see who has the down jacket and the cliff bar!!
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Heading back down
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Back through the meadow on our way out.
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Last edited:

Jackson

I like to go outside.
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May 31, 2015
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2,260
Awesome winter hike! Looks like it was a wonderful day to be out. And those pictures of your dog made me laugh. Looks like a nice way to travel!
 

Absarokanaut

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Sep 17, 2014
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602
Spoiled indeed. Lucky Dog.

After your photo of the North Slope Resevoirs unless I'm mistken the white massif in the center of the photo is not a 14er; it is however one of my favorite places in Colorado, the Buffalo Peaks. the following photo is of the Collegiates/Sawatch Range.

Good for you getting out Madame Canine Trafficker. Horsethief is also wonderful. When I lived there I loved going and doing a hike like this and then driving Shelf Road or Phantom Canyon. Circumnavigating the Peak whether by vehicle or the Ring the Peak Trail is pretty awesome.

I envy you, you will be discovering things I came to love for some time. Keep your stick on the ice young lady.
 

kimbur96

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Joined
Dec 30, 2015
Messages
194
Very nice! Does your little guy not like the snow?
He's not a real fan of it. He gets feet get cold real quick. I have tried 4 different kinds of boots and none stay on so far. When we got out of the car he tried to go potty and was chest deep instantly I knew he wouldn't be able to hike a couple hours in this. It is our first winter together so it's a learning process.
Spoiled indeed. Lucky Dog.

After your photo of the North Slope Resevoirs unless I'm mistken the white massif in the center of the photo is not a 14er; it is however one of my favorite places in Colorado, the Buffalo Peaks. the following photo is of the Collegiates/Sawatch Range.

Good for you getting out Madame Canine Trafficker. Horsethief is also wonderful. When I lived there I loved going and doing a hike like this and then driving Shelf Road or Phantom Canyon. Circumnavigating the Peak whether by vehicle or the Ring the Peak Trail is pretty awesome.

I envy you, you will be discovering things I came to love for some time. Keep your stick on the ice young lady.
Yes, you are correct!! I posted a pic in a CO group on FB asking what peak that was and they all agreed Buffalo Peaks. I haven't made it to Horsethief yet. It's funny you mention it though because I was deciding between the Crags and Pancake Rocks, which is, I believe on the same trail as Horsetheif. I haven't been to Shelf road or Phanton canyon...need to look these up. Are they doable in a Subaru? I passed the TH for Ring the Peak on the way to the Crags, a couple of guys were just heading out. I have hit part of the Ring the Peak Trail when doing a Section 16 hike. So may trials so little time, lol.
Any other recommendations for me to explore?
 

Vegan.Hiker

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Jul 5, 2014
Messages
2,090
He's not a real fan of it. He gets feet get cold real quick. I have tried 4 different kinds of boots and none stay on so far. When we got out of the car he tried to go potty and was chest deep instantly I knew he wouldn't be able to hike a couple hours in this. It is our first winter together so it's a learning process.

There's a great book about a small dog (mini schnauzer) who was an incredible winter hiker. It's a true account and a great read. It's called Following Atticus by Tom Ryan.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0061997110/?tag=backcountrypo-20
 

Absarokanaut

Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2014
Messages
602
Generally barring colossal rain those roads are mantained albeit rarely.

Have you gotten yourself a Pike National Forest Map yet? If I were you I'd get it and the San Isabel to start. After that Rio Grande. I think the latter two are the best of Colorado. Roads on that map are usually pretty well rated, but anything can happen with weather and heavy use.
 
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