Join RMFI and the Colorado Mountain Club for a challenging and rewarding high altitude overnight camping project on Pikes Peak! We will spend Saturday and Sunday, August 19-20 performing much-needed improvements to the Devil's Playground Trail and camp out at the Crags Campground Saturday night.
The Devil’s Playground Trail (also known as the Crags Trail) traverses approximately 7 miles and 4,300 feet starting from a trailhead located near the Crags Campground (Woodland Park, CO) and terminating at the summit of Pikes Peak, elevation 14,110 feet. The trail is located entirely on the USFS Pike National Forest. The Devil’s Playground Trail is one of two primary hiking trails to the summit of Pikes Peak. Visitation numbers for the trail are not available, however, Pikes Peak is accepted to be one of the most visited mountains in the world. The Devil’s Playground Trail offers a shorter, less crowded route as compared to Barr Trail, and provides hikers with stunning views of mountain ranges to the west.
Unfortunately, the Devil’s Playground Trail is in poor condition. Objectives of the 2017 Devil’s Playground Trail Improvement Project will focus on mitigating erosional impacts from the existing trail. We will be addressing maintenance “hotspots”; areas of the existing alignment that are destabilized and over-widened. The trail corridor will be narrowed by installing “gargoyle” rocks (to channel users onto the hardened trail) and transplanting vegetation into impacted areas. In order to keep users on one designated trail tread, we will make improvements to short sections of the trail that are braided and incised. In some cases, stabilization structures such as rock or log riser steps, check dams, and retaining walls may be necessary to retain soil and provide a clear route for hikers. Restoration materials such as an alpine seed mix, organic fertilizer, and erosion control blankets may be useful to expedite the restoration process.