Barr Trail to Pikes Peak

HARD 232 reviews
#3 of 127 trails in

Barr Trail to Pikes Peak is a 23 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Manitou Springs, Colorado that features a river and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
23.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
7568 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

camping

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

muddy

rocky

The trail is wide and very accessible from the ascension and descension standpoint. The last mile is the hardest and takes a lot of stamina to conquer the final walk across the boulder field. $20/day parking fee. You can use the ParkMobile app to pay

hiking
54 minutes ago

A few of my running buddies and I figured we should test our lungs, just an fyi, we are all from Missouri. With that you can imagine the altitude difference, but we didn't really feel it until the last 1,000 feet. Really the trail is moderate up until that point. The view is absolutely astonishing, you could see lakes and mountains for miles. Even the shadows of the clouds on the landscape blew us away. The main description says for experienced hikers only but as long as you stay hydrated and are in decent shape I think anybody, even us Missourians could make it to the peak. Ps. If you are at the top and a storm is coming, I would not suggest hitchhiking, thought that is what we ended up doing haha

1 hour ago

Nice view. Great distance.

hiking
12 hours ago

hiking
5 days ago

hiking
6 days ago

Beautiful. Difficult. Demanding. Rewarding. Starts off steep but then levels out at mile 4. After Barr Camp which is a great stop, the incline stays the same but with energy already expended and oxygen levels getting lower the second half is very difficult. Towards the top we ran into a storm with ridiculously powerful lightning. I thought we were going to get blasted off the side of the mountain but were too tired to go back down haha. We finished in spite of the storm and recovered over the next hour or so with donuts and left over food. We each drank around a gallon of water and anything less than that would be foolish.

I'd love to get another crack at this mountain with a little more lung prep. We started at 6:40am and ended at 2:07pm and would love to cut that time down.

hiking
6 days ago

Beautiful. Difficult. Demanding. Rewarding. Starts off steep but then levels out at mile 4. After Barr Camp which is a great stop, the incline stays the same but with energy already expended and oxygen levels getting lower the second half is very difficult. Towards the top we ran into a storm with ridiculously powerful lightning. I thought we were going to get blasted off the side of the mountain but were too tired to go back down haha. We finished in spite of the storm and recovered over the next hour or so with donuts and left over food. We each drank around a gallon of water and anything less than that would be foolish.

I'd love to get another crack at this mountain with a little more lung prep. We started at 6:40am and ended at 2:07pm and would love to cut that time down.

hiking
7 days ago

hiking
7 days ago

hiking
8 days ago

10 days ago

started this hike on the 4th ...stayed over night at camp barr then went to summit and back to camp on the 5th then descended on the 6th. I'm from Missouri and was in town for a day prior and am pretty fit. I would definitely recommend acclimating for out of towners as well as trekking poles and plenty of water but it's totally do able if you pace yourself

hiking
10 days ago

11 days ago

Hiked from trailhead to summit in 6.4hrs, great hike! Trail is clear and visible. Golden staircase is not as difficult as others make it sound. Started at 3:45 am in order to get done before rain.

hiking
11 days ago

13 days ago

hiking
14 days ago

Did the Barr down from the top of Pikes Peak in July 2016. Not a technical challenge but just a long distance for some in my group. Would love to do this trail again

hiking
15 days ago

Trail is almost completely cleared of snow near the top. Only had to leave the trail once. Beautiful as always!

hiking
17 days ago

hiking
18 days ago

Good trail with great views. Made Barr camp in 3 hours and made the summit in another 5 at a leisurely pace that let me take some good pictures. Difficult trail and on a busy day there are too many people for my taste but still worth it. After summiting I hung out for an hour and then went back down to manitou. That took 4 hours.
Parking is 20 dollars and it rolls over at midnight so if you want to stop at bar camp one night then the cost of parking will be $40....Barr camp has snacks and you can rent a camping spot for a fee $12. I wouldn't recommend it. You can camp for free very close to Barr Camp and they don't allow fires at Barr.

hiking
25 days ago

Made the hike from Manitou Springs to the summit on June 23.

Parked at the trailhead a little before 5am. You pay for parking with the Parkmobile app - something that is noted on a small sign in the parking lot. The cost is $20/day, and the cops were sitting there when we parked (assumed they were waiting to ticket people).

The hike up to Barr Camp (about 6 miles) involved fairly large gains in altitude. We met several hikers & runners on this portion of the trail.

At Barr Camp, there is a sign that warns hikers that venturing out past the camp is at their own risk. There is a $500+ fee per person for getting rescued. The camp has a first aid station, a stream to filter water, and plenty of spots to rest and take a break.

Beyond the camp, the trail gets steeper and more rocky up to the tree line. Above the line, we actually lost the trail for a bit and had to boulder up about a quarter of a mile until we caught sight of the trail again (do not recommend this... the trail is much better).

The last 3 miles were fairly brutal. The terrain is much rockier and there are parts of the trail covered in snow. I highly recommend a solid pair of hiking poles (we did not have these).

We made it to the top around 4:30pm, after a couple more sections of bouldering to avoid ice. We were able to secure a ride down on the train ($40 per person) and enjoyed some hot donuts. (These donuts are nothing to write home about - but after the hike, they tasted amazing!)

Recommendations:
1) Do not attempt unless you are an experienced hiker.
2) Get to the parking lot at the trailhead early to get a spot. It fills up fast. Use the Parkmobile app to pay for parking once you get there.
3) Bring LOTS of water & drink often. Highly recommend a water filter. You will need at least 1-2 liters per mile.
4) Bring hiking poles.
5) Recommend purchasing a round trip railway ticket in advance (they now charge you full price to go down - unless you wait until the last train, which leaves at 7:20pm). If you purchase a ticket in advance, you are at least guaranteed a seat down. If the trains are already full, you can't ride. Another option is to hitchhike - which it seemed many tourists were happy to help (though I wouldn't bank on this option).
6) Have enough protein and carbs to sustain you.
7) Wear a lot of sunscreen.

26 days ago

My wife and I hiked / climbed from trailhead to summit on Monday, June 19th. We stopped at Barr Camp to rest and visit and then continued. Sometime after passing the tree line, a couple groups told us they could not summit due to snow, ice, and losing the trail. We decided to continue. About 2.5 miles from the summit, we saw a group that appeared to stop climbing because of the snow and ice. We exited the trail and began ascending the mountain around the large patch of snow and ice - it required a lot of extra energy to climb vertically over rocks rather than hiking switchbacks. We located the trail again and stayed on it until we reached the summit, but still encountered ice and snow, including some patches that went up to my thigh. Careful footing and slow hiking with the use of trekking poles helped us to reach the summit. It was quite the adventure! We had reservations for the last train down the mountain and we enjoyed donuts and fries before taking the train ride back to the Barr Trail trail head. Due to snow, I would strongly recommend trekking poles in case you need to leave the trail and climb vertically over boulders and rocks.