Pikes via. crags campground: Snowshoes? microspikes? Road?

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Pikes via. crags campground: Snowshoes? microspikes? Road?

Postby zephyr_pelicante » Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:49 pm

I'd really appreciate some beta on Pike's Peak via. the Crags Campground route:

Are we talking snowshoes or microspikes?
2WD to the trailhead or 4WD required?
Avalanche danger?

I'm going with 2 others. One has no microspikes, so I was thinking I would give mine to her and I would snowshoe while the others follow behind with microspikes, how does that sound?

Thanks so much!

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Re: Pikes via. crags campground: Snowshoes? microspikes? Roa

Postby johnF » Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:30 pm

When are you going? I'm surprised nobody's replied yet, but knowing your time frame might help.

I can't be too helpful since I haven't been recently, but I'm guessing you'd need 4WD. There was a lot of snow, and with the warm temps, it's probably slushy and/or a big muddy mess going up that road.

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Re: Pikes via. crags campground: Snowshoes? microspikes? Roa

Postby Jay521 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:28 pm

I was up there on March 3rd. I think a carefully driven 2WD could make it to the trail head. Beyond that - assuming you are heading for Pikes - only micro spikes would be needed. But that was before the last storm that hit and I have no idea how much that area got...
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Re: Pikes via. crags campground: Snowshoes? microspikes? Roa

Postby Monte Meals » Thu Mar 14, 2013 4:55 pm

I was checking out the hike from the Craigs Campground last Sunday (3/10/2013).

A couple of 4wd vehicles had made it to the parking lot Trail Head - another one (also 4wd) had slid off the
road just past the Mennonite Camp. The road to the Mennonite Camp is well plowed (easy 2wd) and parking is
available just past the camp - less than a mile from the trail head.

I was there just after the last storm and a quasi trench was already in place heading up (I only hiked up
a 1/2 mile or so.) Snowshoes were not necessary.

Carry micro-spikes (but you probably won't need them.) With the warmer temperatures, an Ice axe may
come in handy in a couple of spots as you get closer to Devil's Playground.

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Re: Pikes via. crags campground: Snowshoes? microspikes? Roa

Postby kylerhuss » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:20 am

Just updated the conditions and trailhead info with what I found on my March 11th trip (after the storm).

You will need snowshoes between 11,000 - 12,000 feet, unless a lot of people go up before you and pack it down. One of my party of three decided to ditch his snow shoes, because the beginning of the hike is so well packed. He could not go past 11,000 feet as a result and had to descend to retrieve his snow shoes. Once you get out of the trees you can rock hop and walk through shallow snow all the way to the summit.

I would not have tried going past the Mennonite camp in a 2wd, but one guy did it in an old beat up Mazda sedan with studded tires. The road is probably rapidly improving every day that it doesn’t snow, so by now you’re probably good.

There is one touchy area just as you come out of the trees. I got a loud whomp as I crossed it, so on the way back down I bypassed it through the trees. You can avoid it in similar fashion.

The route is in great condition for March so have fun!

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