Mount Princeton is a high mountain peak at an elevation of 3.699m (12,137ft) above the sea level, located in Chaffee County, in the U.S. state of Colorado. It’s one of the highest mountain roads of Colorado.
Nestled in the Sawatch Range of the Rocky Mountains, the road to the summit is unpaved. It’s called Forest Service Road 322 (Mount Princeton Road). Most of the trail at the lower elevations is extremely smooth and easy enough for a passenger car. It is only the last half mile or so that is really challenging and a 4x4 vehicle is required.
Starting from Couny Road 321, the road to the summit is 9.97km (6.2 miles) long. Over this distance the elevation gain is 1073 meters. The average gradient is 10.76%. Drive with care as this is a mountain road with hairpin curves and dangerous drop offs. The mountain was named in honor of Princeton University
The wind is usually quite strong at mountain areas. High winds blow here all year long. Even in summer you can confront with snowy days. Temperatures here in the winter are brutally cold. Winter comes early and stays late on this trail, so you may only be able to safely run it in the middle of the summer. The top has plenty of room for parking, and the views are amazing. At the summit there’s an old weather station and the Bristlecone Park Chalet. Do not travel this road in severe weather conditions. Avalanches, heavy snowfalls and landslides can occur anytime, being extremely dangerous due to frequent patches of ice.
Pic: Riley Cobb