Mount Princeton, with an elevation of 14,197 feet, is the 20th highest peak in the state of Colorado. The peak rises abruptly west of Buena Vista and dominates the skyline of the Arkansas Valley, standing alone in the Sawatch Range. Princeton is believed by the United States Geological Service to have been named by Henry Gannett, one of the Harvard Mining School students who accompanied Professor Josiah Dwight Whitney on his famous surveying expedition of 1869.
The standard route to the summit of this Fourteener in the Collegiate Peaks group starts at the Frontier Ranch. Head west on Colorado 306 from Buena Vista for a little under a mile, and turn onto CR 321. Follow 321 for seven miles to a signed entrance to the ranch (this Young Life camp has kept the road open to the public). Turn into the ranch and look for the large overhead sign for Mount Princeton Road. Take this road until you reach the radio towers, then park (4WD vehicles can continue on to above treeline).
Hike along the road from the radio towers through several switchbacks to a long stretch which crosses an avalanche chute. A cairn to your
right will cue the beginning of the trail, which will become obvious after a short scramble up some loose talus. Continue on through some
boulder fields, and, as you approach an old mine, look for paths that scramble to the left (to the ridge crest). Follow the ridge the
rest of the way to the summit.
This page last updated 8/15/06