Claire arrived in COS from WDC yesterday evening. .. Saturday morning now, time for some mountain conditioning!
This is on the southwest side of Colorado Springs, up North Cheyenne Canyon. .. More info and map here: http://www.cospringstrails.com/hikes/muscoco.html .. and here ... http://gazette.com/happy-trails-muscoco-mountain/article/36128
Beginning on the Mt. Cutler Trail, then west on Mt. Muscoco trail.
Half way up the trail - Mt Muscoco (8020') ahead.
Hey, we're on top already and off to the side for lunch. ... Downtown "skyscrapers" in distant center.
Looking east there are zero mountains (by Colorado standards anyway)!
Claire introduces me to this tasty product - great for on the trail or on a backpack.
Avoid drooling on your keyboard!
Packing up for the descent.
In the Rockies, commonly called "Woolly Mullein" - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verbascum_thapsus
Lots of it around here. ... Note also some beetle-damaged trees.
OK - a couple of miles up the canyon road now. .. The falls are to the right of the big bush.
The Helen Hunt Falls are just ahead; then we'll hike up the trail.
The bridge over the falls is just out of sight here.
From bridge atop the falls.
Life is good in the stream.
Life is also good having dinner on a Colorado deck. .. From this angle, Pikes Peak is hidden by my neighbor's trees.
OK - Sunday morning now and we're on the Pikes Peak Highway (being shared at the moment by a major skateboard competition).
Well above treeline now (almost in the stratosphere). .. More info here: http://www.pikes-peak.com/attractions/pikes-peak-americas-mountain/ .. Map here: https://parks.coloradosprings.gov/sites/default/files/parks_recreation_and_cultural_services/Pikes_Peak_Americas_Mountain/pphighway2009map.pdf
Just past Mile 16, we're starting from Devil's Playground at about 12,800'.
About 5.5 miles RT with about 1300' gain. .. More info here: http://www.localhikesbeta.com/Hikes/Pikes-Peak-form-Devils-Playground-2006 ... Then click Route along top margin to see topo map.
Little Pikes Peak is the lower/closer peaklet. .. Our goal is the much higher and much farther summit ahead.
Telephoto view. .. You can make out structures on the summit plateau.
One of a few places where our trail touches the PP Highway.
But we're not hitchhiking. :) .. Wearing outer shells, as it's a little cool and breezy.
Making progress - note trail will traverse the left side of Little PP.
Another spot where the trail is close to the highway. .. A stream of people here rode the van to the top and are now biking the very long downhill. ..[Enlarge to see bikers.]
OK, atop the final summit block now - with lots of blocks and helpful cairns.
Victory - took us about an hour & 50 minutes.
Parking lot and visitor center.
We're blocking the altitude of 14,110. .. However, the more accurate recent elevation is 14,115.
Enlarge for easier reading.
The cog railway line ends at the summit, coming up from Manitou Springs.
The Barr Trail comes to the summit on the east side of the peak.
Telephoto of last shot showing part of Colorado Springs.