Head west into the mountains on Highway 24 for approximately 25 miles to Divide, then south on Colorado Highway 67 for approximately 4.25 miles before turning left on Forest Service Road No. 383. Follow the winding dirt road approximately 3 miles to the Mennonite camp, then turn right and continue for approximately 1.25 miles to the large parking lot on the right for Crags / Devils Playground with the trailhead on the left side.
Follow the Crags Trail for approximately half a mile to a key intersection. Make sure to cut left here on the Crags Trail, as continuing straight ahead eventually leads to Devils Playground and Pikes Peak.
Stay on the main trail heading northeast, following a scenic grassy valley along Fourmile Creek bordered by willow trees and accented by pine forest and granite outcrops on the surrounding hills. The trail climbs steadily for about 4 miles to Crags Lookout. Towards the end the trail disappears over a rock face, so climb the rocky area for the last 200 yards to reach the top of the rocks. This final stretch is best for sure feet and can be difficult for small children.
At the top, hikers will likely be visited by curious Canada Jays (also known as Gray Jay) and chipmunks.
The gazebo is also a great place to view the gnarled, curvy bark of the rugged Bristlecone pine. Bristlecones are the oldest living organisms on planet Earth.
According to the National Park Service, the oldest living tree is found in the mountains of eastern California at the age of 4,765!
Before heading back on the route to the trailhead, be sure to leave time at the top for a snack break and soak up the 360-degree panorama that includes a view of the reservoirs on the north slope.
Joe LaFleur has lived in Woodland Park since 2016 and is an avid hiker who hikes the trails weekly. Contact Joe with questions or comments at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hiking is great exercise, but can be dangerous. Always make sure to plan well, check the weather, bring a printed map, tell someone where and when you are leaving, and contact them when you return safely.