This is a long approach, and would normally be used in combination with Yale (and even then you might want to drive between them instead). Start from the Avalanche Gulch trailhead, which is 9 miles west of Buena Vista on Chaffe Co. 306 (paved). From here, hike 8 miles south on the CO trail (flat and gradual uphill). You can also reduce the hike by 2 miles by starting where the CO trail crosses Co. 344 (1/4 mi. S on dirt from 306) or Co. 343 (2 mi. SW on rough dirt from 306).
You can also reach Maxwell Gulch by hiking N 3 miles from the CO trailhead on Co. 322. This is the same road that goes to the normal east ridge route that most people climb.
The climb starts at Maxwell Gulch, which is between the two NE ridges of Princeton on the CO trail at 9800 ft. There is a steep, narrow abandoned jeep road climbing SW on the north side of the drainage. Climb this to 10,600 ft. where the trees clear and the road disappears. If you plan to descend the same way, look back so you can find this spot on the return.
Cross the basin upward to the left, toward the obvious shoulder of the NE ridge (the larger, southern ridge) at about 11,800 ft. Do not go too high in the basin or you will have to climb very steep, loose rocks. Instead, climb the shoulder on steep, loose rocks for about 100 ft. and then onto the grassy ridge where the footing is better. Climb steeply SW. There is a false summit at about 13,800 ft, after which you traverse a rocky ridge SW to the true summit.
Standard hiking stuff (in the summer). There is water in Maxwell Gulch.
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