Peak(s):  Mt. Princeton  -  14,197 feet
Date Posted:  08/22/2019
Date Climbed:   08/21/2019
Author:  shaunclaire
 Beautiful, Bouldery, Steep   

If you have a 4x4 vehicle and you don't mind long boulder fields, then this is the mountain for you.

The road up to the trail was definitely tough and a little scary at times, but if you have experience with some off-roading, then you will probably be fine. We parked at the last switchback about a half a mile before the trail turns off the road and it took about 20 minutes. Already at 11,800ft it felt like we were on the mountain in no time. The turn for the trail is super obvious and it is very mellow at first. Within a quarter mile you reach the boulder field, and you are basically on boulders until the summit, another 3ish miles (and then 3 more miles of boulder fields on the way down).

After traversing for awhile you reach the "new trail" which is also very well marked off. It is a steep switch back up to the ridge line/saddle, but I definitely recommend the steep over the boulder navigation required on the the other trail. My other suggestion is once you get up to the saddle, stay up high until the summit. There are lots of little "desire paths" that go down and a little around the summit which is not as easy as the ridge line. I definitely had an easier time navigating on my way down than up. It is also very steep at times on lose rock, so traction and ankle support were my friends for sure.

Overall I loved this hike because I don't mind the boulder fields and all the cute Pika viewings and Sky Pilot wildflowers involved. There were also only 9 people in total on the mountain on this beautiful Wednesday morning. It is a decently quick 2 hrs up and just under 2 hrs down if you can park high up the road.

Have fun and be safe and definitely respect nature!

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