Snowshoeing to Sentinel Point

Rate this Adventure Colorado Sentinel Point via Horsethief Park Trailhead

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Climb to the 12,527' summit block on the Pikes Peak massif and catch killer views of a seldom-seen side of Pikes Peak.

Sentinel Point is an appropriately-named 12,527-foot rockpile standing watch over the broad shoulder of the Pikes Peak massif. Rarely visited, especially in winter, you are almost guaranteed solitude on this high mountain snowshoeing adventure.

Beginning at the Horsethief Park trailhead off CO Route 67, the trail follows Forest Service Trail 704 on a steady climb into Horsethief Park. The trail turns north (left) at the park and skirts level ground through a scenic meadow of frozen beaver ponds, as Sentinel Point looms high above to the east.

At the edge of the meadow the real climbing begins on a well-defined cairned trail through a forested hillside, up to a boulderfield at around 11,500 feet. At the boulderfield, all signs of previous footsteps disappeared and we broke our own trail across snowy boulders and up a steep hillside to treeline - gaining nearly 800 feet in just over a half mile.

After reaching treeline, the route is fairly obvious across windswept tundra and crusted snow to the summit block. The final push is a scramble up large boulders to a rocky summit with gorgeous views of the south face of Pikes Peak and the distant snow-capped peaks of the Sangres and Sawatch.

Descend on the same route for an 8-mile round trip.

Pack List

  • Winter boots and warm socks
  • Snowshoes and poles
  • Microspikes are helpful on boulders above treeline when snow is wind-scoured and snowshoes are cumbersome
  • Hat, gloves and mittens
  • Outer shell jacket
  • Gaiters and shell pants
  • Goggles and face mask/buff/balaclava
  • Snacks and water
  • Camera
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Activities:

Photography, Snowshoeing

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Spring, Winter

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

8 Miles

Features:

Easy Parking
Food Nearby
Forest
Scenic
Wildlife

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Added by Brian Lewis

Trying to do life right as a filmmaker, adventure junkie and semi-serious runner.

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