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Mt. Princeton, sits dramatically to the southwest of Buena Vista. With the summit close on the east side of the Sawatch Range and hovering above the Arkansas River Valley, it seems one has a magnificent view of Mt. Princeton no matter where one is around Buena Vista, Nathrop or elsewhere. Its popularity and notoriety make it a well-photographed, and well-admired mountain.
For those interested in hiking to the summit of Mt. Princeton, the most common route is via Mt. Princeton Road on its east slope.
Directions: From the center of Buena Vista (at the traffic light), turn west on Chaffee County Road 306. Turn left on CR 321 at 0.7 miles and continue south for 7.2 miles. Bear right at CR 322 and drive 0.8 miles to the dirt parking lot for the Mt. Princeton Trailhead. Many begin their climb here and hike up the road. For those with good 4WD vehicles, you can continue on the narrow road (CR 322) for approximately three miles and park at the radio towers area. (The road does continue, but it becomes even more rugged with fewer places to turn around.) From the radio towers, hike up the road which switchbacks sharply three times. Just past timberline, as the road bends to the left, the trail leaves the road (a large rock pile should exist; steps have been installed). From the trail, it is another 2,000+ feet of ascent to the summit.
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