The ascent from the Devils Playground Trailhead at 13,070' to the talus slope located at 13,400' is a relief and gives you the chance to see some interesting features that Pikes Peak has to offer. Among those features are the most vibrantly colored wildflowers that I have ever seen in my life. Wide ranges of blue, violet, yellow and pink are everywhere. Amongst the flowers were many curious juvenile and adult marmots scurrying about. On several instances, I was able to get within 5' of the critters. They didn't appear to be fazed by my presence. Enjoy the panoramic views in every direction. You don't need to reach the summit to catch an awe-inspiring view up here.
The talus slope is your final approach to the summit and yes this is my favorite part. Climb your way up and over the boulders. Dont let the false peaks discourage you. The summit is within reach and before you know it, signs of a bustling tourist attraction in the clouds is in full view. If the views, marmots, wildflowers, physical and mental benefits are not enough motivation to drag you to the top, how about this. . . there's food up there. Burgers, fries, hot dogs, fudge and grease galore! So eat until your hearts content and sit back and relish in the fact that you just climbed to a higher elevation than the average man will ever venture to without the use of an aircraft!
Now here's the tricky part. Getting back down. You descend the route in which you ascended but be careful. Just because you no longer have to struggle with the climb and in theory, going down should be easier than going up due to the decreased energy expended, don't be fooled. Those slopes are steep and slick. To some, the descent takes longer than the actual climb it's self.
Say farewell to the clouds, the tourists, the talus slopes, the marmots, the panoramic views, the tundra, the trees, the rocks, the creek and the trailhead marker and say hello to your car! High-five your partner, pat yourself on the back and daydream all the way home about what you just accomplished. Now your next obstacle is to figure out where to go next. Ahhhhhhh, the life of an outdoor enthusiast in Colorado.