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hiking
2 hours ago

Beautiful hike! Some notes for out-of-towner’s (like us) trying to gauge this hike against ability. I am 53 year old male, reasonably fit., but could lose a few. Hiked with my 24 year old daughter, who is in good shape. We started at 5:30. Up and down in 4:25. Took us 2:17 up. We didn’t stay long because of wind and cold at the top. My wife who is also here with us, opted out because of posts here on loose footing up above. But now that we’ve done it, we realize it is not as bad as many other hikes we’ve been on.

We were faster than most, but did get passed by others, including one guy who was running- yes running - UP. He must’ve been up and down in 3::00-3:15 - impressive.

Gauging by the groups we passed, which varied in age from 10-75, I’d say that’s the “average” round trip would be 6 hours, and 90% in the 4:30-7:30 range.

Have fun!

Did this with Evans! Amazing this one was an easy 14er!

hiking
10 hours ago

Aside from the subjective stars:

First of all, the trail is 13 miles each way.
Furthermore, this weekend there was a medium black bear at Barr Camp regularly for 4-5 days. It’s been successful in getting food- from lazy hikers. There are bear bins provided at the camp and plenty of trees to hang in but I still took a hiker’s pack from the bear. Please secure your items in proper containers or use a method to prevent your pack and all of its contents from becoming part of the scenery.
Now that this bear has gotten comfortable and a little aggressive, the likely outcome will be him being put down.
Ok. -The trail- it is beautiful. It is hard. It is long and you will likely see a variety of weather in one day. Hell, in 1 hour!
If you plan to summit in one day, start by 5am and be prepared for anything.
I’ve seen snow here in July.

If you carry a water filter, no more than 2 liters at any time is needed.

Camel up at Barr Camp’s very reliable pvc piped spring. 16 July 2018 the flow was 2.5-3 L per minute.
If you’re worried about weight.-There’s another crossing of the same spring .5 mile above the camp, but it’s not as easy to access as the camp spring pipe. Still easy enough though.

I’ve read that you want to be above the tree line no later than 9am. I found that to be accurate and judging by the view I have from home, the summer afternoon thunderstorm threat is very real and very electric.

The A Frame shelter is before ascending out of the tree line. It’s a bit hidden in plain sight. Keep an eye out for the signage.

25-30 people summited the day I did- on a Monday. All were athletic. Army Rangers, Olympic gold medalists, moms, college students and a couple of men in their 70s-80s. But also, 3 kids under 15 years old.
The Pikes Peak summit, via Barr Trail, was my first 14er. I met some great folks on this trip, broke in my sea legs and humbled myself greatly. This is a challenging hike.
IMO 2 of the miles sucked pretty bad. Mile 4 & 10. But they all were beautiful and doable.

I’ve heard many people say they would never do it again, and I can piggyback on that but any good hiking partner could talk me into it in a day or two.

If you’re not familiar with this difficulty level at this altitude, I strongly advise you consider carrying a few more snacks and a little more water than you think you need.
It would be advised to also only consider doing the incline on the way up, if you’re in very good shape.
If you have any doubt in your strength, turn around NLT Barr Camp. It is the halfway point and the trail only gets more challenging during the final 5 miles.

You will need a sun barrier for the final three miles, that have zero shade.

The summit is oddly not a very Hiker friendly environment.
Plan a ride down in advance. From the summit you can take the free shuttle to GlenCove parking lot. I planned to hike back down and was too exhausted to even think about it.
I ended up stranded with half a dozen hikers for 2 hours bc the shuttles don’t carry you more than 1/3 the way down the mountain and there’s poor to zero cell phone service.

Shuttle Van#13 goes to GlenCove.

You cannot hike down pikes peak highway to descend.

It is $15 entry fee into the park.

The shuttle is free.
Some shuttle drivers are assholes.

There is WIFI at GlenCove Gift stop and ranger booth.

I saw about 10 mountain bikes traveling downhill during this hike.

hiking
18 hours ago

What a great hike! I love goals at the end to strive for and that view does not disappoint, so push through folks! I read many reviews before I headed up and many had said the loose rock is kinda tough, I may have underestimated those comments and felt the rock proved difficult, especially on the way down, watch those ankles!

hiking
19 hours ago

Overall: This 14er was amazing! I was absolutely in love with the views all the way up. Wild flowers still pepper the trail and you have amazing views of multiple lakes.

Timing: We left our home on Monday at around 5:15 am and made it to the trailhead at 7:15 am. We summited right at 2 hours, although many around us said it took them closer to 3 or 4, and then sped down the mountain in 1 hour, for a total hiking time of 3 hours!

Parking: Do not let other reviews scare you. If you are hiking on a weekday, parking is easy, especially if you arrive earlier in the morning. The lot was full but there was plenty of parking on the road right next to the lot.

Difficulty: The first mile of the hike was nice and flat, followed by 2 miles of steady uphill, and approximately 0.7 miles of scaling large rocks at the top. Total distance, tracked on my Garmin Vivoactive, was 7.5 miles roundtrip.

Popularity: It was not nearly as busy as I had expected and the other hikers we met were nothing but friendly! You are certainly not going to hike alone, unless you leave early enough to make the summit for sunrise. But, based off of my other hiking experiences in Colorado, this was by far not at crowded.

Other: Bring a snack for the top of the mountain and at least 40 oz of water! I wore Hoka running shoes and they provided plenty of traction to make it up and down safely. I also had on yoga pants, a long sleeve t-shirt, and a light jacket. We had not weather problems on our hike though, so warmer dress could be necessary if colder conditions occur.

I did this as my first 14er over the weekend. I did quite a bit of research before tackling this. I am not in the best shape of my life, but this was do-able for me. I got to the trail at about 4:15am and cars were slowly but surely coming in. I realized I forgot my headlamp and thought my eyes would adjust to the dark. I ended up giving that dream as the beginning of the trail was icy and had a bunch of random puddles. I took A LOT of short breaks. On the way up everyone was nice and encouraging. Once you're done with the first part of the trail, there's no coverage for taking bathroom breaks. I was worried about altitude sickness so I ended up taking in a lot of water and having to pee like 7 times. Luckily, I went early and only saw a handful of people on the way up. The summit was crowded but everyone up there was super friendly. The walk down was ridiculous. I've never seen so many people on a trail in my life (although I'm coming from Michigan). There must have been hundreds of people starting at like 9-10am. I'm glad I went early and honestly would go even earlier next time. People were super loud, playing music, and some people were pretty rude considering you had to share the trail. It was an eye-opening experience in more than one way. The whole trip took me about 6 hours, I spent about 30 minutes up at the summit.

For everyone looking at Stephen Fisher's review, He did not actually do the Palmer Loop. He got lost and went up High Drive, which is a dirt road. If he had paid attention to the signs, maybe done a little research he would have enjoyed his experience and actually hiked the Palmer Loop. Its unfortunate when people get lost and can't write a proper review, but look at all the others under his and you'll see that is a great 5+ mile hike/walk. Great scenery throughout the ascent and at the top.

hiking
2 days ago

Physically demanding, but certainly worth it. Great scenery and a nice view from the top. Definitely recommend an early start to beat the crowds and/or summer thunderstorms.

Got on the trail early, left about 4:45 and only saw a few people on the way up. Great trail, one of the easier 14ners but the view at the top is great. Saw lots of people on the way down but wasn’t to crowded. Nice hike for sure

Amazing! Hiked it on 7-14! Got there a little after 6 and boardwalks were very icy and slippery in the morning! Parking was easy and the views amazing!

Train for this hike. For your below average hiker, it is a beast. It is not a "walk in the park". It is long and steep. For the hiker, the hike was difficult but satisfying. The boulder field was a great challenge. Know the weather because it change on a dime. We got caught in a hail storm. Shuttle service stops during storms. In our case, we had to hitch a ride down with a Ranger. She was cool and very helpful. The whole experience was amazing and I will do it again in a year or two. However, this time I will train harder.

on Mount Bierstadt Trail

3 days ago

I hiked this with three others about a week ago after having done a handful of other fourteeners. At 7:00 there were already parked cars lined on both sides of the pass for a quarter mile; get there early! There was plenty of parking in the westerly lot, however.

All things considered, this was the easiest fourteener I have completed to date. The trail was well travelled with essentially no exposure nearby, so finding our way to the summit was easy. Bierstadt is essentially a walk-up, with a very minor amount of scrambling or boulder-stepping near the peak. In fact, the only thing that exhausted me was the overwhelming number of people, but it was a weekend day after all.

As with all fourteeners take plenty of water, sunscreen, and maybe some layers at this time of year. The ride up the pass is beautiful so take note of it. You will still be above tree line on the mountain so if the weather turns, head back the way you came. We were lucky to have summited in two hours and escaped some rain rolling in from the east on the descent. As this hike is very popular be sure to pack out what you pack in.

This was my first 14er. It was easier than I thought but I have been lifting, running, power walking in hot temps and stairclimbing for months (getting back in shape). That being said I ran into a few people that were REALLY struggling. We started at 7 am after waiting in line at the bathroom for about 15-20 min. The first part is easy. it was chilly. Watch your step on the wooden bridge it was really slippery/icy. The next part will have you out of breath with your heart racing so drink water, eat good snacks and take breaks. I recommend bringing layers as you’ll be warm but then cold later and back to warm. Also bring plenty of water and snacks. Watch your step at the top you will be scrambling over rocks. This hike is not for anyone who is out of shape. Be prepared for the descent to be almost as hard (especially on the knees) I had a great time!!

Left at 4:30ish. There were maybe two other groups going up at the same time. Got to the top around 7:45ish. By the time we got to the very last stretch, we looked back and saw hoards of people so definitely leave early. There was quite the crowd on the way down. I do not recommend bringing dogs unless they have booties. The rocks are pretty sharp at the top.

hiking
3 days ago

Awesome and tiring hike to the peak. My wife and I did this hike today with the luck of some awesome weather. It was a bit crowded toward the top, but like others have said, the trail is very, very well maintained. Almost to a fault. I enjoyed the peak mostly for the 360 views. It's hard to describe and even pictures do zero justice for how vast and awesome it truly is. If you start at the bottom lot, expect a pretty gnarly start to the trail. We were surprised by the sudden incline, which sort of beat us up a bit before we acclimated and fell into our rhythm. Much like other 14ers, always assume that it never ends. Near the top, you have to ascend three nearly straight up (at least from your vantage point) climbs before the 'final' trek to the summit. Seriously, it never ends. But when it does, amazeballs. Oh, and leave the little Pikas and goats alone. They deserve to be there as much as we do, and they're insanely adorable to look at on your way up. Luckily we ran into both. It does get pretty cold at the peak. Simple cloud coverage had us shivering, but it's still worth it. Go!

Hiked this last Wednesday. On the trail at 5:20am, the hike was enjoyable with cooler weather up to the flat. Summit at 7:30 (2:12 min) at a good pace. I climb every year and the early departure was a big plus , fewer people on the trail and cooler temps.
Hiked in shorts, t-shirt and hat with trail runners, One very light weight down jacket (used at the summit), a shell (not used), spare socks, battery backup, tiny blister kit and kleenex completed the pack. I carried 3L and used 2.25L of water, 2 snickers,a banana and protein bar.
Down in 1:40, jogging on the flats for a total trip of 3:52. I hiked with wife/daughter last year at a more leisurely pace and we were up/down in about 5:20 (added water and snacks)
In 10+ summits the trail is in the best shape I have ever seen it - thank the hardworking trail crew if you see them.

It was harder than we expected! It was my wife’s first 14er and my third or fourth. The first couple miles really aren’t bad but the path up to the false summit and then the full summit are pretty difficult. We had to stop a lot and even ran out of water even though we each had a full camelbak. I’d bring plenty of water and if it’s your first, possibly even bringing canned oxygen. Very busy summit and some guy had a drone that was incredibly annoying. Last thing I wanted to listen to after summiting a mountain was his drone.

Love this hike. A little challenging for a recent transplant from Tennessee, but more than manageable and totally worth it for the views from the top. Definitely recommend doing the Cutler in the same visit - maximum bang for your buck. Parking fills up on the weekends so get there early! We will definitely be back.

This was my first 14er and it’s supposedly one of the “easy” ones, but this is no walk in the park. I went with a group of mostly newbies and we started at 5:50am knowing we would be slower and wanted to be down early in case of storms. The bridge over the marsh was frosted at the time and SLIPPERY. We opted to jump down and walk through the marsh at areas so avoid a slip and injury. Watch for that. The first 1.5-2 miles is fairly easy. A moderate hike at best. The last 1.5-2 miles is hard and nearly everyone you see will agree....so don’t feel compelled to go fast. Take lots of breaks, even if they are short ones. The trail was crazy busy and lots of people boasting it was their first but everyone was polite and allowed you to pass or was patient until you let them pass. Shortly after the “shoulder” area (tip: definitely stop and have a quick snack here it’s about to get real) the trail gets steep and then you head into rocks. If you have read all the reviews and blogs you’ll be ready for a rock scramble but let me tell you that doesn’t really start until the last quarter mile. Don’t be fooled! By then you are so close you almost forget how tired you are and you power through. Others say you can do this in tennis shoes but unless you are experienced or the most stable person ever I recommend hiking shoes for the traction. Drink lots of water. I drank 3 liters and had an extra for the walk down. Summit is busy (pick your head up to avoid being stuck in an awkward position on a rock when someone unexpectedly stops) and chilly but very worth it. What no one really tells you about your first though is that the hike down is almost as hard. Your legs are tired and you’ve just experienced the high of the summit and now you have to reengage all the tired muscles and your knees and stay upright. You goal now: getting to the bottom and taking off your shoes! Overall I did it in 6 hours with about 30-40 minutes at the summit and I was slow...or felt it...but was consistent and realistic. Thoroughly enjoyed being able to check this off the bucket list! I recommend starting early if you are new just so have the comfort of taking your time and still beating the storms.

This is a great trail but hard to find. Park downtown near the pond. Walk across the main road on park and turn right on boulder. Once you come to the trail it is called Thomas trail. Take the yellow dots until you hit the green and make a left. You will cross Crystal Creek to catch the trail on the other side. You will see a sign for Crystal Creek on a tree. Don’t cross the foot bridge, stay to the right and it will wrap up and around higher up. Once you cross the river you take a trail up until you see the actual Crystal Creek trail sign. Once your on the trail you will know it!! Straight up with zig zags. Nice creek at the top for the dog. This trail is an amazing work out!!

did this hike on Thursday 7/12. got started at 8:30 which was probably a little late. Hike measured at 7.1 miles from upper parking area. One of the most difficult hikes I've ever experienced. Weather turned nasty right at the summit and started raining and hailing so no home to enjoy any views. Definitely recommend a good wind breaker or even a good ole trash bag in the event of bad weather. My wife, 2 daughters and I had none of the above so we froze on our descent. Learned some harsh lessons on this trip but my first 14'er. Take plenty of water, some energy gels, hiking stick highly recommended, some clothing layers as it gets cold up high and a wind breaker. 6.5 hour round trip.

Terrible. Thought this would be hike with some woods and nature. NOT. At all. For out-of-town hikers the following advice: 1) Over half of this route is over gravel or paved roads with no shade. 2) 1) The first two miles is quite a climb with NOTHING of interest to see. All wide gravel road. The traverse in the middle is nice. The last section you can get same views simply driving Good Camp/Skyline Road. 3) Nothing along the route will tell you where to go or how far you've gone. The trails are labeled with numbers not names which if are not familiar with the area and trail numbers are not terribly helpful. 4) Either the distance shown is very wrong or we hit Skyline Drive at a very different location than shown. From where we intersected Skyline Drive/Gold Camp Road it was 3 miles (an hour walk) back to the starting point over two miles of which was along paved road. Awful as first hiking experience this trip to Colorado.

4 days ago

Steep at points, great work out, fun. Shady most of the way up. Didn't see anyone else once we passed the waterfalls.

Great rock out cropping work super view of Piles Peak.

STAY SAFE ALL!
Beautiful, but busy. We saw many people coming up, planning on summiting after 1 p.m. as a storm was obviously forming. We also saw a guy with very bad altitude sickness at the summit who came from sea level and brought no food and little water. Please if you’re planning on hiking this or any high altitude hike, consider the weather always, bring plenty of food and water, and make sure you know your limits. This may be an easy 14er, but that doesn’t mean it’s actually easy at all. 14ers are serious business. Take it seriously and be safe!!
Also, please be courteous!! There were an amazing amount of people who played music off of speakers from their backpacks. If you’re someone who enjoys music while hiking, please put in headphones or don’t bring music at all. The majority of hikers want to enjoy the hike itself and the sounds of nature, especially at the summit, peace is preferred!!
Lastly, this goes for any hike or outdoor excursion, be respectful of the animals and surrounding environment, don’t feed or try to pet the animals and if you pack it in please pack it out!

I’m a beginner but in great shape at 60. It was challenging being steep for about a mile. But I rested and was rewarded with spectacular views at the top. Soooo rewarding. Hung out up there and had lunch. Saw a couple of beautiful birds at the top. Red and yellow but couldn’t get the camera out in time! Loved this hike. I was alone and it was pretty well marked and a straight forward loop. Bring map and compass. Really nice gradual decent made it easy going down. I recommend counterclockwise and get the steep out of the way. At the very end go left to the parking lots. Not right. Great hike.

hiking
4 days ago

A wonderful and challenging experience. Beautiful views and plenty of people on the trail. My first fourteener!

Loved it, but some dogs off leashes

hiking
5 days ago

we loved it!! although all 3 of our watches had it between 8-9 miles (not 6). view is so worth it

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