Barr Trail to Pikes Peak

HARD 386 reviews
#4 of 188 trails in

Barr Trail to Pikes Peak is a 21.3 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Manitou Springs, Colorado that features a waterfall 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.

21.3 miles
7,401 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash



mountain biking

nature trips


trail running


bird watching





wild flowers






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

3 months ago

Brutal but well worth the pain. It was awesome.

3 months ago

very cool,can't wait to make it up pikes peak

3 months ago

Hiked up and down on Monday 10/22 on a spectacular, clear day. Navigation was mostly self-explanatory, Barr trail camp was a wonderful gem of a stopover, and the range of terrain was spectacular. Upper three were occasionally snow covered, better part of last 2 miles were often icy and left me looking for rocks. If doing again, I’d take micro spikes with me in addition to poles. It’s a really strong, intense our and back is you are up for it. Took me 6:30 on way up, and 4:30 on way down. Hard and glorious day.
I had 3-20oz bottles with me which was plenty of capacity - refueled at Barr camp (2x - you need a filtration system) and summit once. Your last water source before the summit is the creek. H the A-Frame (around 11,800 ft and 2 miles beyond Barr camp, i think). And make sure you age. Every basic essential - this is a high, exposed trail with little support.

4 months ago

Didn’t make it all the way to Barr camp but still great hike and beautiful views all the way up!

4 months ago

Amazing views all the way up! Perfect weather at the summit and clear skies made for a memorable experience. Now to crack open a cold one and recover from today!

4 months ago

Hiked via Barr Trail on 9/23/18. We had perfect conditions, with the morning being cool and the temperatures never getting to high even though it was a 100% sunny and clear day. This was our first 14er and we are not regular hikers. We were on trail at 5:20 am and reached the summit at 2:50 pm. It was amazing, beautiful views and a great challenge for us. Bring plenty of water, sunscreen will be needed once your past the tree line. You can refill or supply at both Barr camp and get water at A Frame, I recommend traveling light if your not an experienced hiker and your attempting this. We brought too much food and a larger pack than was necessary. We hitch hiked down the mountain which shouldn't be too hard, but making more reliable arrangements down are a good idea if you aren't going to hike back down the mountain.

4 months ago

Hiked on 9/20/18 started late on the day and was able to do half way only . The trail is very well maintained and easy to follow but the elevation gain is the hard part . If you can tolerate the elevation gain this is an awesome fourteener. I will attempt again next summer .

4 months ago

Hiked the Barr Trail Tuesday Sept. 18. This was my first 14er. Started at 4:30am and reached the the summit at 2:40pm. The last three miles were steep and just went on forever. I was very happy we had made arrangements with My Rock Mountain Ride to pick us up at the summit and return us to the trailhead..

5 months ago

Two friends and I did the trail on Saturday 9-15. We started at 6:30am and finished at 2:30pm. I agree with everyone that the first four miles are tough and the last three miles are rough due to elevation and slope grade. Bring more water than you’d expect. Other than that everyone is friendly on the trail and it was not as populated as expected for a beautiful Saturday.

5 months ago


5 months ago

I hiked yesterday Sept 4th via Barr Trail. This was my 1st 14er. Started at 5am and was on summit buy 11am. Trails are easily marked. Leaves are changing color. It was an awesome hike.i met few other hikers along the way. I didn’t hike back down. People are kind to give you ride back to Manitou. If you choose to.

5 months ago

Did this hike on 9/1/18. Went with on other guy and we completed it in 5:00min started at about 5:45am. We didn’t stop at Barr camp. It’s pretty hard the first 3 miles and then it gets hard again at about the last 2 just from your legs being tired. Views are awesome!

5 months ago

Amazing views. I hiked this trail with my two sisters On Labor Day weekend. There were a lot of hikers out but not to the point it hindered our enjoyment. The trail is not well marked. If we hadn’t read online trail guides before going we would have been hopeless. We still managed to get lost and add an extra 2 miles to our hike. Definitely research before you start. It took us 14 hours to reach the top. My sister isn’t an experienced hiker but she kept going and as long as your willing to keep pushing anyone can make this hike. There wasn’t any impossible inclines it’s all fairly gentle slopes and switchbacks. My sisters hitchhiked off from the summit since the pikes peak shuttle only takes you half the way down. I chose to run down which took me 3 hours.

Barr camp is a nice resting place but unless you enjoy paying $3 for a can of soda don’t plan on buying snacks there.

5 months ago

Completed this on 9/1/18! Very tough hike. We started at 5:30am and hit the summit at 3pm. We stopped at Barr camp for about 45 mins to rest and refill water. All the other reviews I read are spot on. The first 4 miles seem the steepest, but once you clear the tree line the oxygen is thin and Even walking is hard. It is a steady incline all the way to the top. You know you’ve reached the summit when all the annoying tourists (seemed like most were foreign) are climbing DOWN the mountain to get their photos as you’re struggling the last few hundred feet to the top! No greater feeling than completing that hike though! You feel like you are standing on top of the world!!

5 months ago

I just climbed today (September 1, 2018). It was my first Fourteener. Previously, I had been on the Barr trail twice, but only as a route down from the top of the Incline. The Barr trail is definitely among one of the nicest kept trails in the Colorado Springs area. It was an amazing trail, even up in the high elevations. However, this hike is not easy, and should not be attempted by those whom are not confident in their abilities. Don’t be discouraged, but know your limits! I was on the trail by about 4:45am (a little later than I planned), reached Barr Camp right at 8 am, and summited PP right at 1 pm, so it took about 8 hours and 15 minutes. The first half of this hike is pretty easy. The first part of the first half (about 3 miles or so) is harder than the second part (about another 3 miles), but together, the first half is much easier than the second. I stopped to rest for about 15 minutes at Barr Camp and ate a snack (I HIGHLY recommend making sure you bring enough food. You will burn a lot of calories on this hike, so making sure you can replenish is important). I checked the weather at the peak (do this, do this, do this), and assessed whether or not it was safe to proceed. I did not need to refill my camelback (with a 3 L bladder), but I did have water treatment tablets just in case. A ways after Barr Camp is when the fatigue *started* to kick in for me. I started to get tired of the incline and switchbacks and I just wanted to make it to A-Frame. Upon reaching A-Frame and the “3 miles to summit” sign I thought I was almost finished. It was around 10 am, so I thought I was making really good time. The last 3 miles took me 3 hours. An hour for each mile. No one was joking when they said they are the hardest part of the hike. The effects from the altitude are extreme at this point continue to get worse. I live in Colorado Springs, and the altitude didn’t effect me at all until the final 2-2.5 miles. The miles felt soooooo long. I took it just one mile at a time, and before I knew it, I was at the Golden Staircase, and then the summit! To say I was tired is a huge understatement, but the feeling of finally reaching the peak is euphoric. Know it’ll be hard, but it is worth it! And, yes. The tourists are annoying. A few other tips are:
-make sure you have good shoes.
-bring lots of water or storage for water. I brought 3 L, and it was enough to get me there, but the last 3 miles would’ve been better with more water. I didn’t refill at Barr Camp, but I drank most of my water after that anyways.
-hiking poles would’ve also made this hike better.
-as everyone else has said, make sure you prepare for the unexpected. I didn’t have a problem with the weather, though snow and thunderstorms were in the forecast, but I know how the weather is in the Pike’s Peak region. It’s hard to predict and can change on a dime, so make sure you are prepared for all seasons and weather scenarios. You would not want to be stuck out there without enough gear in a storm.

Enjoy yourself, take breaks, slow your pace, and don’t forget to look around. It is insanely beautiful!

5 months ago

Climbed August 24, 2018 in 7 hours, starting 4am. I did not descend. Family and friends were waiting at the summit! The weather was perfect, low 50’s to start, high 70’s by afternoon, not a cloud in the sky, nice breeze! Trail is wide and easy to follow except as you advance closer to tree line and above. Some places are not the most obvious to discern, requiring a pause, backtrack a few steps, as well as keeping an eye out for other hikers and checking the AllTrails map. First half of the climb to Barr Camp is the easier portion (although nothing about this climb is easy). The overall incline during this first half is tough but manageable. There’s even a couple of miles before you get to Barr camp that is a gentle rolling trail, your heart will rejoice. After Barr camp is where the pain begins ....inclines, switchbacks, scrambling and it doesn’t stop until you reach the top. The last two miles brutal!!!! Another reviewer wrote it was a special kind of suck after Barr Camp and that is every bit the truth! But the feeling of joy and accomplishment once you reach the top and the beauty you see is unbelievable.!!! This was my first 14er, not as conditioned as I’d liked to have been at this time but glad I didn’t talk myself out of it because of this. I was conditioned enough that taking it slow with short breaks got me to the top. Having to take it slower probably allowed me to appreciate the views and the experience more as well as take more pictures than if I was able to climb faster. Go for it!

6 months ago

Ok, so this hike is brutal only because it is so long. I did it all, so 26 miles, starting no at 6am. It took me 6 hours to climb to the summit, and I’m not an amazing athlete though I’m athletic. It then also took me 5 hours to get down the mountain. The hike is easy when it comes to actually climbing and the terrain, but the altitude makes it hard. The trails are well marked and clear. This is my second 14er and I found it to be easier than the other one that I did, Elbert. Of you are thinking about doing it, do a steady pace and take as few of breaks as possible. When hiking at high altitude, take super short and frequent 30 second breaks opposed to less infrequent 10 minute breaks. You’ll get up the mountain way faster. Overall it’s great, but the tourists at the top are really annoying so there’s that.

6 months ago

Walked this on the way down from the Incline. A bit steep in spots with beautiful scenery.

6 months ago

I like to do the Peak at least once a year. It’s a nice challenge and worth it. The ascent took me 6 hours but I have done it in 4 1/2. Not my best time, obviously. I believe the average time for ascent is 8 hours. I did the ascent and descent for a total time of 11 hours. The last couple of miles are the hardest and my brain always says, “why am I doing this”! But, you just push through it and are happy to get to the top.

Make sure to dress in layers. The weather can change quickly. I like to take a camelback and I don’t bring much food. I’m just not real hungry.

The change in the terrain is always interesting It’s beautiful country. Thankful to have it as my backyard.

Total miles my app recorded was 23.85 miles.

6 months ago

Beautiful hike ... LONG hike, but beautiful. Totally worth it!

6 months ago

Definitely worth the hike. Just be proactive about drinking water. I carried some high-energy snacks and drank about every 1/2 mile. The end of the hike was kind of chaotic because the trail isn't super visible, but the feeling of accomplishment was 10000% worth it.

6 months ago

Beautiful but difficult trail. This is my first 14er& I’m a 25year old Colorado Springs native. The altitude didn’t bother me, it was the intense incline that made me wish I’d spent more time in the gym doing leg presses and on the stair master.
I overall drank and carried 4L& didn’t need a water filter. You can refill at Barr Camp, but I’d say the majority of my water I used after sunrise& after Barr Camp.
We started at 4am& summitted by noon, with longer rest stops at Barr camp, and the A frame.
We decided to have a ride pick us up and we were so glad we did! As soon as we left the summit a heavy rain storm rolled in.

The whole trail from the beginning is nothing but steep ascension and had my quads throbbing (except for about 2 miles before Barr Camp). The last 3 miles above tree line are the most grueling and took me way longer than my average MPH for the trail. I used hiking poles and they were a saving grace especially at the end! Getting a donut and having a summit beer at the top though definitely made it all worth it!!

Overall was super happy I did it, but will definitely return next summer with a little more training under my belt to make it easier on my body and hiking partner.

6 months ago

Very fun trail. Just hiked to the top and took 6 hours. This is coming from Utah. Left at 4 am in the morning and beat the rainstorms

6 months ago

Brutal incline during last two miles. Really, I thought the whole hike was a battle. There are about two miles of cruising terrain before you get to Barr Camp. But I thought it was a slog every mile thereafter until you hit tree line. After tree line it was a pretty special kind of suck. Beautiful, but leg smashing.

Of course, there were lunatics training for the PPAscent the whole way up. Nothing seemed to bother those guys/gals. Cheers to them. Amazing athletes.

Marmots at the top will give you a spooky chirp above tree line. Get to Barr Trail early if you like a little space between you and other recreationists. Really, a pretty special climb. Views are limited sometimes due to frequent fires in the state. But for me, the views are secondary to the reward of the toil.


6 months ago

Above all, don't be intimidated! I'm about 50 and hiked this trail in 6.5 hours. It took just under 3 hours to get to the Barr Cabin. We rested 15 minutes and then left for the summit. It was a thoroughly wonderful hike -- not too difficult but certainly not easy. Go for it!

7 months 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.

7 months ago

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.

7 months ago

Great challenge!! I would advise being in pretty great shape before attempting this, I clocked over 24 miles from where I started in the parking lot. 24 miles is a long ways to go on your feet not to mention the 7,200 or so ft of elevation gain. I did the whole thing up and back with my 1 year old dog and it was exhausting but great! Started at 4:30am. Watch the weather and start early. Wear good shoes! Kinda sucks seeing all of the tourists at the top after you did so much work to get there haha but it is what it is. Cut the trip in half if you can catch a ride down from the top which is what most people do. Brownie points for making the whole trek on foot like I did ;)

7 months ago

We started Manitou Incline at 8:20 PM. Reached Barr Camp at 1 AM. Your map really kept us in the Barr Trail during hiking at night. Thank you!

I have no cell service at Pikes Peak now. But I can see where I am in the map since I downloaded the map

8 months ago

Summited pikes peak for the first time on Saturday, June 16. I came from sea level 3 days before the hike and hiked it with 2 people from Co.

The trail is very well marked and easy to follow. The views are spectacular. Barr high camp is really great and the bathrooms are very clean. Overall this was an amazing first 14er.

Below is a detail of my experience, what I brought with me and how it went.

We started at 6 am and actually did the incline first and picked up the Barr trail at the top of the incline. The incline was very challenging, by we made it up to the top by 7:10 and picked up the Barr trail around mile 3.

Miles 3-6 were a comfortable increase incline. Nothing too strenuous and a welcome break after the incline. At mile 6 we reached the Barr High Camp. It was a very nice place to stop. We made it there by 9:15. The elevation there was around 10,000 and for me coming from sea level, to this point I was feeling fine.

We left Barr Camp around 9:45. The next three miles were slightly steeper than miles 3-6 but not too strenuous. My pace was slower than miles 3-6 as I wanted to control my breathing and not gas out before the last three miles.

We stopped at 12,000 feet for a short break as after that, you are above the tree line. At that point there is also a shelter if needed. We got there around 11:25. Then we started off for the last three miles. These were definitely the hardest. Everyone told us the last two were the hardest but for me, the third to last was the worst. Possibly because I was expecting the last 2 to be horrific. It took us 45 minutes to get to the 2 mile mark. At that point it got cold and started raining so we put on our rain jackets. We went slow and steady the rest of the way. The last mile, for me, was the easiest out of the last three. But I knew we were almost there. I very much paced myself steadied my breathing and we made it up by 2pm

There were plenty of people on the trail. Not crowded but you definitely see people. I agree that it is good to start early as you never know what the weather will be like.

We met a very nice girl on the trail who met her fiancé up top and they gave us a ride down. So getting a ride down is doable.

I never felt short of breath and never felt dizzy. But I also took it slow. I am not an extreme cardio person but I do train and I did my best to train for this, albeit at sea level.

I drank about a gallon and a half of water the two days before the hike and I think that helped. I only drank 2 liters while I’m the trail. Although I brought 3.5 with me.

It is cold up top. I would not do this without a rain coat, warm fleece and a clean shirt to change into.

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