Mt. Princeton - Elevation 14,197 Feet
Basic Information / Directions: Visit 14ers.com for specific directions & trail information. We hiked the standard route to reach Mt. Princeton. We drove to the radio towers on Mt. Princeton Road and parked. But you can drive further up, just be advised that there are not many places past the radio towers to turn around. Mount Princeton is roughly a 7 mile up from the radio towers and is considered one of the harder 14ers. I was with a big group of people with Younglife and we had people of all shapes and sizes, in shape and not in shape. If that helps decide if you can do the hike. The hike took us roughly 8 hours and recommend going really early in the morning 5 am or so.
Also, make sure to dress in layers the weather changes so fast and it may be hot (probably not at 5am) at the bottom but at the top most the time there will be snow and it will be a big drop in temperature. Also afternoon thunderstorms usually come in the afternoon and puts you more at risk of getting struck by lighting so if a storm comes and your not to the top yet I would recommend heading back down the trail or if you can take cover somewhere and wait the storm out do that. Otherwise a few easier 14ners are: Bierstadt, Quandary, Massive, Torreys and Grays Peak. Torreys and Grays are so close together too that you can do both in one day.
Once on the trail, the stunning view of the upper Arkansas River Valley, including Buena Vista, Johnson Village and Nathrop, are just a turn back away.
Be prepared for lots of people on the mountain. If you are seeking peace and quiet, don't climb on a summer weekend, during the week is a better time to go if possible.
After I recommend stopping at Mt. Princeton Hot Springs and soaking in the hot springs. They have a few man made pools, but my favorite are the pods off the river. When I went a few years ago they were deeper and rocks formed around them to look like pods, but the past year we went up the river wasn't as high and didn't have the pods but with the rocks in the river you could form your own pods just weren't as deep. This varies year to year though and depends on the snow fall since the river is snow runoff.
Have you hike Mount Princeton? What did you think?