Armed with a Lara Bar, a cell phone for emergencies, and two of the pocket pal maps (because RossP917 is right - it gets just a tad weird in a spot because the map doesn't match the landscape), I took off at 1115 and made it up in three...about an hour longer than I was hoping. I bonked at the Rosa/Nelson TH pretty hard and had to mostly hike from there. Enjoyed absolutely stellar views from the top on the clearest of days...I let out a loud gasp when I saw the Spanish Peaks...Bottomless Pit looks cool as well, as do my local faves, the 10er traverse between Tenney Crags and Cameron Cone. Made it back to the car in less than an hour...stats similar to a 14er standard route, so great local peak for training.
This is an amazing climb which is well worth your time. We started at around 8:15, and after a few short breaks returned at 3:15 for a total round trip time of 7 hours (I suspect that it could have been done in about 5 if you are really pushing). My GPS registered the hike at around 14 miles with 3600 feet of elevation throughout the hike. Different than other estimates (especially the trail markers), so plan accordingly. The pitch increases beyond St. Mary's Falls.
The one place where there was some confusion was where the 381 Jeep road meets up with 624. Go through the gap in the fence, turn right for about 20-30 yards and look for Nelson's Trail 672 on your left. Follow to the saddle and make your way to the peak. The trail is a bit crummy from the start of Nelson's up to the saddle, but push on...the views are worth it.
This was a nice hike to get some solitude; spied Cookstove Mtn. most of the way plotting a route. Small patches of snow 'til the final ridge, then about a foot but it was hard enough to walk on top of. The USGS map has the trail marked incorrectly, it doesn't follow the creek the whole way but switchbacks above the falls as shown on the Pikes Peak Atlas.
Summited via the St Marys Falls trail by starting at High Dr/Gold Camp Rd parking lot. Five hours to summit with the worst being the last 0.5 mile; it took 1.5 hours due to waist deep snow (in places). Wonderful views from the summit. Partnered with Dave.
Summited with two friends from the Gold Camp Road trailhead in North Cheyenne Canon Park. Beautiful blue sky the entire day. The route finding was quite easy.