From the upper trailhead at the radio towers, continue to make your way up CR 322A ( away from the the towers, if you start heading toward the towers you are heading in the wrong direction). Continue up the road for 1.5 miles to find the Mt. Princeton trail on the right. Head right up the trail and you will soon find yourself passing tree line. If you continue on the road you will reach a local 13er called Tigger Peak.
The trail here however steep remains class 1 terrain. After a steep accent for about 200 vertical feet find yourself just below the the Tigger-Princeton Ridge. From here the route remains class 2, you will do some cautious talus hopping, before heading up more switchbacks to reach the ridge sitting at a about 13,000. Follow the trail on up to the summit, the grade will steepen at 13,500. Continue to follow the trail up to the summit from here. Note that it is class 2 toward the summit but in excellent condition.
Take in the views and enjoy your hard work. Then Safely make your way back down in the direction you came up. Making note to turn left once you reach the road.
Climbing your first mountain or 14er is an exciting and rewarding experience! You’ll get the achievement of seeing the world from above and the feel-goods of the endorphins from the exercise. However, the mountains aren’t a walk in the park, and getting down is mandatory. Some situations require extra caution and a little know how. With a bit of preparation, you’ll be able to get to the summit and back safely.
Whether you are training for a race or simply indulging in all the wilderness has to offer, there are a variety of factors, some constant, and some changing, that are likely to have an impact on your journey. Knowing these factors can help ensure your safety and get you back to the trailhead safely.