Monday, August 04, 2008

Mount Princeton

Michelle and I decided to hit the Cottonwood Hot Springs for our anniversary. She was going to go for a massage while I climbed Harvard and Columbia. I knew the trip was going to be tight since it is a 14.5 mile hike. I would need to get up very early. Well I didn't. Plan B was an ascent of Mount Princeton.

The road up to the radio towers was narrow, but very passable in a 4wd vehicle. In fact you can find parking farther up the road if you want to cut down on the hike. Slogging up the road isn't my idea of a great time, but soon enough you get off road on the trail. As the road makes a big switchback, Mt Princeton comes into view. You might be tempted to leave the road here, but continue up the road seemingly the wrong way. Look for the steps in picture 1 for the true trail.

Once you ascend the grassy knob you come to rockier terrain. Traversing the boulders is as close to scrambling as this trail gets. Photos 2 & 3 give you a good idea of the meat of this hike. This is a popular trail with people of all abilities. There was even a lady wearing ballerina shoes.

While this was an enjoyable 14er ascent, I must get back to scrambles. The obligatory summit shot: photo 4. With my second attempt on Harvard-Columbia foiled, I thought that photo 5 properly captured my despair. Just kidding... check out the bristlecone pine behind me. The soak at Cottonwood Hot Springs was a fitting end to the hike.

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