STP west side Bushwhack

Page Type
Colorado, United States, North America
Route Type:
Steep, convoluted bushwhack
Time Required:
Most of a day
Mostly class 2, with class 3 and 4 options along the way

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STP west side Bushwhack
Created On: Feb 14, 2005
Last Edited On: Jul 1, 2006


This route starts from the point where the Lizard Rock trail and the Hankins Pass trail meet. From Twin Eagles trailhead, this is about 2.5 miles easy trail walking, or a shorter, very convoluted bushwhack along the south face of lizard rock. If you're a die-hard bushwhacker, you'll discover that route yourself. I couldn't possibly outline it; too many twists and turns. You could also approach from the Spruce Grove Campground, according to the map (I haven't). Anyway, get yourself to that trail junction, or preferably, step back uphill a ways on Lizard Rock so you can look at the route before you start it.

Route Description

I'm always hesitant to 'describe' a bushwhack. With or without a description, at least one of your party needs to be well experienced with map and compass to lead a trailless hike in thick forest, and that's certainly the case here, as the route changes compass heading several times. Remember, getting down a mountain that gets bigger and bigger towards the bottom is always harder than finding the top that gets smaller and smaller as you approach.

That said, review this

Goal 1 involves sighting the huge rock formation against the left edge of the photo, and hiking left of it, getting up right behind it, around 9300.'

Goal 2 involves traversing to the right in front of the next large rockpile on the ridge, crossing in front of it and ending on its right side at a saddle, around 9650.'

Goal 3 involves turning back left, and traversing up towards the ridge, ending just left and below the next giant rockpile. Circle around and stand on this sucker, and enjoy the view. You're now at about 10,300.'

Now, what looks like the summit looms above you. Approach it, aiming just left of the rock outcrop labelled goal 4. [And yes, you should have been setting line-of-sight compass readings for each of these goals. Remember them, write them down, as getting down off this peak is more complicated even than climbing it implies. Regaining goals 3 and 2 correctly will save you descending between ridges and getting very lost in very steep, very thick forest (trust me)]. Getting up this last rock formation is the hardest part of the route. There is much 4th and 5th class scrambling and climbing, and very few easy ways up. Pick your poison, this is a fun peak! The easiest way is to stay left till you pass a huge crack the size of a hallway, and then climb to the right over boulders, to the west end of the blocky summit ridge. Once 'up,' you realize you're really not. Now you've got to turn the ridge blocks to your left, hike East about 50 - 100 yards, and again, climb large boulders, this time up to your left, to gain the true summit, which has leftover rusty cables from an old tower or structure that's no longer there. The glass summit register is usually right by the USGS marker, and as of 2/05, still has the picture I left of my old German Sheperd, whose ashes I once scattered on this summit. Don't miss out on wandering another 50 yards East, for
this unobstructed view of Pike's Peak.

Essential Gear

A good topo map and a compass and knowledge and experience using them are essential for this or any lengthy bushwhack.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.