Sunday May 19, 2024  

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The Mt. Princeton Anniversary Climb
on July 18, 1997

presented by Outdoor Action and the 250th Anniversary Steering Committee.

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We have over 200 people participating. The Program is now full.

Join this mini-adventure in Colorado marking
the finale of the 250th Anniversary celebrations !

Welcome to the Outdoor Action and 250th Anniversary Office Web site for the Mt. Princeton Climb. This page should give you all of the information you need to prepare for the program and the climb of Mt. Princeton.


1. Climbing Mount Princeton

Outdoor Action invites all Princetonians, their families and friends to join this outing. Make it a class mini-reunion, if you wish. Mt. Princeton, a 14,197' peak in the Collegiate Range, is 120 miles southwest of Denver. The hike will depart the base at 7:00 am on July 18th, 1997. In case of adverse weather conditions, we will hike on the 19th.

The climb of Mt. Princeton is non-technical, with a vertical gain of approximately 5,300 ft. and a round-trip length to the high summit of 12 miles. The lowest four miles are on a mining road. We will hike in groups of 10 to 15, beginning at 5:30 a.m. and departing every few minutes. Depending on your level of conditioning, we estimate that the round-trip hike will require eight to ten hours. The less strenuous hike to the South Summit (elev. 12,960) is eight miles round-trip and takes approximately five to seven hours. The mountain is quite exposed and afternoon electrical storms are common. Outdoor Action staff and volunteers will establish a trail checkpoint by the South Summit (el. 12,960'); if your pace prevents you from returning to the tree-line prior to 1:00 pm you will be asked to turn around to avoid weather-related problems. IN CASE OF ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS, WE WILL HIKE ON JULY 19.

The hike requires that you must have met a minimum conditioning requirement of 30-60 minutes of aerobic exercise four to five times per week for the preceding two months. The main summit hike is not recommended for children under the age of 10, due to the length of the trail. (See more information for families below.)

If you are not a Colorado resident, it is strongly recommended that immediately before the hike you spend at least two and a half days at high altitude (8,000 ft. or higher), either in the Buena Vista area or elsewhere. Participants are warned that altitude sickness may affect up to 25% of those not properly acclimatized. Clothing should be warm and wind-proof; the summit temperature can be in the mid-thirties (F). Hiking boots (well broken-in), sunscreen, and a day pack to carry lunch and two quarts of water per person complete your hiking supply list.

Parents are forewarned that children under ten are unlikely to attain the main summit, for lack of time to cover the length of the trail. Families with younger children who are properly outfitted may choose to hike to the South Princeton Summit (el. 12,960) along the same trail. The South Summit group will depart the base at 8:30 am. A children's activities program at a local day care will be offered on July 18th for those under eight, including day care for infants and toddlers. (Additional fee)

We will celebrate and relax at the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs resort, where we will rendez-vous for a barbeque at the end of the hike on the 18th (or 19th, due to weather).


2. The Ponderosa Plan

The entire package will include a five-night stay, Tuesday July 15th to Sunday July 20, 1997, at the Ponderosa Lodge in Salida, Colorado. All meals, Mt. Princeton Climb and barbeque, local transportation and transportation to/from the Colorado Springs airport (on July 15 and 20) will also be included in the package price of $400 per person over two years old. (Deposit of $200/person is due by April 1, 1997)

Day-trips such as kayaking, fly fishing, mountain biking, rock climbing, horseback riding and white water rafting are available. (Additional fee). Airline discounts available.

Reservations and deposits are due by April 1, 1997.


3. Airline Discounts

The 250th Anniversary office has arranged for discount airfares to Colorado Springs. Be sure to refer to Anniversary Climb and the special code when you or your travel agent calls the airline.


American Airlines Call 1-800-433-1790
Continental Call 1-800-468-7022
Delta Call 1-800-241-6760
Northwest Call 1-800-328-1111
TWA Call 1-800-325-4933


4. Other participation options

Princetonians who wish to combine the hike with other vacation plans may opt for other ground arrangements. BUT, all adjunct hike (and party) participants must pre-register and should attend an orientation session over dessert and coffee Thursday evening, July 17th at 7:30 pm at Ponderosa Lodge in Salida. We ask that those who choose to come for only the hike be able to document a minimum acclimatization period of 3 days at elevations over 5,000 feet. No one should arrive at Mt. Princeton on July 18th without previously notifying the organizers of their intent to join the Anniversary Climb.

Alternate lodging arrangements can be made by booking individually with the following resort, motels or campground under the "Anniversary Climb" group reservation. These rates are for July 17-19,1996 and are available until May 1, 1997, or until the rooms are sold out (which ever comes first.) Please note this is a popular destination in the summer and reservations are mandatory; many lodging locations will fill by mid-Spring.

Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort: base of Mt. Princeton
$77/room for 2 adults, $10/ea. additional adult over 12 yrs.

Great Western Sumac Lodge: Buena Vista, CO

Super 8 Motel: Buena Vista, CO
719-395-8888 or 1-800-800-8000
$78.88 double occupancy
$68.88 single occupancy

Heart of the Rockies Campground: Salida, CO
5 miles from Ponderosa Lodge
719-539-4051or 1-800-496-2245
$14/tent site and $20/RV site,
additional fee for over 2 people of $2/person (over 7 yrs. old)

If you choose to book your lodging individually, you may still join the day trips, however airport transportation, local transportation, and meals will need to be arranged by you. There will be a fee for joining the Anniversary Climb of $30, which will include the Outdoor Action guides on the mountain, availability of emergency vehicles, bag lunch, and the post-climb barbeque on July 18, 1997. Registration and fee are due by June 30, 1997.


5. Day Trips

Mt. Princeton is located in the Headwaters of the Arkansas River Recreation Area, which offers many activities. Outdoor Action has put together optional day activities for all Anniversary Climb participants, whether you choose the Ponderosa Plan or make lodging arrangements privately. These activities will be led by local outfitters who will pick up participants at Ponderosa Lodge. The activities to choose from are:

Wednesday, July 16
* Full-Day Beginning Rock Climbing: $85/person
* Full-Day Mountain Bike Riding: $55/person
* Full-Day Fly Fishing: $78/person
* Full-Day Introduction to Kayaking: $85/person
* Half-Day Horseback Riding: $35/person

Thursday, July 17 - All participants are urged to acclimatize with a hike to 11,000 feet
* Guided Half-Day Hike and Low-ropes Adventure Course: no fee
* Guided Full-Day Hike: no fee

Friday, July 18
* Mount Princeton Anniversary Climb
* Optional Child Care: $30/child
* Barbeque at Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort

Saturday, July 19 (RAIN DATE: Anniversary Climb)
* Half-Day Whitewater rafting: $28/person
* Full-Day Whitewater rafting: $55/person

Children must be of the minimum age and be accompanied by an adult. Minimum age for kayaking is 12, and all other activities have a minimum age of 6. Reservations and 50% deposits are due by April 1, 1997


6. Child Care

Little Dakota Day Care will provide day care including activities for children 0 to 7 years of age during the Anniversary Climb on July 18, 1997. The day will include two healthy snacks, a balanced lunch, rest time and special activities for the group. The fee will be approximately $30. Registration and full fee will be due by April 1, 1997.


Climbing Mount Princeton: it's on every Princetonian's list of life objectives.
Now, we've made it simpler.

To make reservations, or for more information call (609) 258-3901, fax us at (609) 258-4656, or e-mail


Registration and Deposit Deadlines

April 1, 1997:

  • The Ponderosa Plan (Ponderosa Lodge for 5 nights, all meals, hike, local transportation, and transportation to/from Colorado Springs airport) registration and $200/person deposit due (50% of total price.
  • Day activity registration and 50% deposit due
  • Child care for July 18th registration and full fee of $30/child due

June 15, 1997:

  • Remaining deposits due for the Ponderosa Plan and day activities


June 30, 1997:

  • Last day to register and pay $30 fee for doing only the Anniversary Climb of Mt. Princeton and joining the post-climb barbeque on July 18,1997


***All deposits can be included on one check made out to:
Princeton University-Anniversary Climb


Dates to remember:

  • July 15 - Acclimatization in the Rocky Mountains must begin
  • July 17 - Orientation meeting at Ponderosa Lodge
  • July 18 - Anniversary Climb of Mt. Princeton
  • July 19 - (alternate hike date)


Copyright 1997, all rights reserved, OutdoorAction Program and 250th Office, Princeton University.