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The Crags

March 08, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

The Crags

"The Crags" sounds like something you might want to stay away from; but in this case, not true.  Near Divide Colorado this popular local hiking destination boasts clusters of spectacular pinnacle rock formations that are definitely worth the short 4-mile hike. 

A little over four miles south of Divide on highway 67 turn left onto Upper Fourmile Road (CR 62) shortly after the entrance to Mueller State park on the right. A small sign that points to Crags C.G. is the big clue. Go three miles down this road.  Along the way is the trailhead to Raspberry Mountain and a little further is a Mennonite Camp.  Turn right at the Mennonite Camp. Again, there will be a sign. The trailhead parking lot, complete with toilets, is a mile and a half from there.  

In the winter the road can be a bit daring.  It can get icy or the snow could make it impassible.  Consider the parking area near where the road crosses Fourmile Creek, maybe a quarter mile past the Mennonite Camp.  Going further without a 4-wheel drive and good clearance is probably not a good idea.  Of course, this depends on the amount of snow.  Listen to that inner voice that doesn’t want to be embarrassed to call and pay a crazy fee for a wrecker to get you unstuck.  And also note that cell coverage here is not likely. In the summer, this road is passible by any car that runs.

This really is a nice hike because it condenses all the great things Colorado offers to hikers: cool mountain forests, a bubbly creek, aspen laced meadows, fantastic rock formations, views of gulches and mountain ranges, an eastern horizon that meets the Great Plains, and a bird’s eye view of several crystal blue reservoirs. Nice!

There are actually two trailheads. One is the official one that I already mentioned.  The other is a little further down the road in The Crags Campground.  These two trails meet very near where another trail (664A) crosses the creek taking hikers to The Devil’s Playground and Pikes Peak.  Follow trail 664, which is well marked to The Crags.

Pikes Peak cannot be seen from the summit of The Crags trail.  However, Rampart Range, Ute Pass, the Catamount reservoirs, Sangre De Christo mountain range, the northwest slope of Pikes Peak, and Sentinel Point are all ready for you to take in. The summit is normally breezy, which would explain the surface of a wind eroded granite dome.  Also enjoy the sprinkling of ancient and rare Rocky Mountain bristlecone pines.  The oldest of this specific species of pine is on Black Mountain in Colorado and is over 2400 years old.  So, please, appreciate and respect the pine like you should your grandmother!  You wouldn't pick the bark or cones off of your grandmother, nor would you climb on her; so, don't mess with the pines... please.

This is a great climb for a family.  Spend some time on the top, maybe a picnic.  But watch the kids near the edges.

Technical details:  The hike follows Four Mile Creek and is near 4-miles out and back (notice the theme).  It has an elevation change of near 800 feet; most of that gain is at the beginning and in the final half mile of the trail; it is flat in between.  The trailhead is a little over 10,000 feet and the highest point in The Crags is 10,800 feet.  It is classified as easy to moderate and should take you about two hours in the summer, maybe three in the winter.

 


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