Pikes Peak via Barr Trail

HARD 401 reviews
#5 of 211 trails in

Pikes Peak via Barr Trail 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.

Distance: 21.3 miles Elevation Gain: 7,401 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

snowshoeing

bird watching

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

scramble

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. $5/day parking fee.

hiking
2 days ago

Awesome hike! My friends and I are out of staters(NC) and have experience hiking in the Appalachians. We decided to backpack this trial in 2 nights. We arrived at 10 AM on Sunday. Hiked up to Barr Camp and decided to camp further down the trail at a secluded camping spot off the trail. There is plenty of tent and hammock spots around Camp Barr. The next morning we summited Pikes Peak and returned to our base camp for the night (this was a long day). In the morning we headed back to our car. What a great trip. Couple of things to note: start early to avoid the onslot of day hikers coming down the trail. Barr Camp is a great place to crash if you want a shelter or cabin (they charge for these). Barr camp has a bathroom (no running water). Water sources are found at several spots until about 8 miles up the trail. An alternative, which we would have done had we known, is to hike to a shelter at mile 8ish called A Frame which has an incredible view and has space for several tents (you would need to start early due to storms coming in later in the day).

hiking
5 days ago

This was a great trail. Not sure about the distances, felt closer to 10 miles but I didn’t map it. Wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be (only other 14er was Longs peak). As far as times: started at 6am finished at 10:20am. Felt like we did a fast walk but I expected it to take much longer. I don’t run or anything regularly so I wouldn’t consider myself an “in shape” athlete. We jogged most the stretch between miles 3-6 and that saved time. Also caught the free shuttle down to parking lot mike marker 7, which saved the person picking us up a lot of time driving all the way up. Overall pretty good hike! Wish there was better views before breaking the tree line.

hiking
rocky
5 days ago

What an amazing hike! Definitely a strenuous workout but the views were amazing. Few tips: start before 5:30 am as the lot was already full at the time and I had to park in the city which added 1.5 miles to my hike. Once you pass all the traffic because of the manitou stairs, you will have few miles of the middle section until you hit Barr camp. They have food and Advil in case you pull a muscle like I did. Last section is straight up for 6 miles and it gets rocky at times. The last mile was punishing for me as I started running out of energy. I was lucky enough to find a nice couple from Louisiana that drove me down all the way to the springs.

hiking
rocky
6 days ago

Hiked up Pike’s Peak on Thursday, July 11th. We started really early in the morning, because I had heard that the parking lot fills up quickly. Also, we reserved a ride with the Rocky Mountain Hiker Shuttle to take us back to the parking lot at 12 pm. We were on the trail by 3:50 am and used flashlights for the first 1.5 hrs. The first 3 miles are steep but enjoyable. The views you get of the city are amazing. The sunrise was incredible. We met very few people on the trail at that point, just two people came back down from the Incline on the Barr Trail. After mile 4 the trail flattened out and we were able to cover ground quickly. We arrived at Barr Camp after under 3 hours of hiking. At this point we walked about 25 minutes per mile on average. After a quick rest at the camp we left there around 7 am. The second half of the trail felt a lot more difficult than the first half for several reasons. The air was getting thinner and it was harder to keep up the pace we started out with. I have never hiked at this kind of altitude. Secondly, it was getting sunnier and warmer, which also made it more difficult to hike. I was probably dressed to warmly (that said be prepared for all kinds of weather). I went through my 3L water reservoir by mile 9 or 10, but had packed extra bottles of water. From mile 9 on, the hike became very challenging, and the last mile was the hardest mile I’ve ever walked. Our pace dropped to around 45 minutes per mile on the second half, which meant that we used around 1.5 hrs more for the second half than we did for the first half of the hike. We made it to the top by 11:45, just in time to catch our hiker shuttle (which I can highly recommend). I wouldn’t recommend the hike back down unless you’re extremely fit, because this would put you at 12 to 14 hrs hiking (with a considerable amount of the time spent in very high altitude). The hike was absolutely gorgeous, the trail condition was excellent. It was one of the best hikes I’ve down, but also one of the most challenging ones due to the altitude.

hiking
9 days ago

I hiked the Barr trail with my son and his scout troop over two days, staying at Barr Camp overnight on July 4th. The trail was in great shape all the way to the peak. Only minor snow crossings above 13,000 ft. We are all flatlanders, but we’re able to complete the hike without much difficulty after several training hikes at home. Age range for the group of 17 spanned from myself at 57 to our youngest at 13.

hiking
rocky
11 days ago

hiking
12 days ago

Great trail conditions yesterday! Many trail runners coming down from The Incline but that dies off after the first 3 miles or so. Small snow patches at the top but nothing that requires extra gear (eg microspikes) now. Will continue to melt out too. Get to TH very early if you want a parking spot (6:30am and they were all taken) or park in town and either walk up or take the bus up to TH. One way stats are closer to 12.5 miles. TH sign says budget 8 hours to get to top, accurate! A great option to get back down is to book a shuttle. Last departure was 3:30pm.

hiking
rocky
12 days ago

My husband and I did this hike on July 5th. We parked at the Barr trailhead at 13 Hydro Street and paid $10 at the kiosk. At 4:15 am the lot was over half full. We used our headlamps for the first hour. There were a fair number of people coming off the incline despite the early hour. We arrived at Barr Camp around 8. I went into the Camp house and offered to pack some trash out and they gave me some recycling. I had heard that there was a $5 parking coupon, but there were no signs posted about it. When I asked, they gave me a form that I could take to the Manitou Springs parking office or mail in (I plan to mail it). I am a 44 year old woman and, although I had been doing cardio and incline, the second half of the hike was challenging for me. We had driven in the night before from Texas and, unfortunately, had no time to acclimate. We packed 5L of water each because I wasn’t sure about the water situation at Barr Camp. People were filling their camel backs directly from the streams, but I probably would have treated my water. The section between Barr camp and the timberline shelter were rocky and harder than I anticipated. The section above the tree line was absolutely gorgeous. Although not terribly technical (there was virtually no snow or scrambling required), the last two miles were much harder than I anticipated. It took us 1.5 hours longer to hike the second half from Barr camp to the top than I took us to get to Barr camp. Overall, it was an awesome experience!

hiking
13 days ago

Parts are a great hike. Lower part is crowded due to people climbing the incline, And the top is a mess, but in between is beautiful.

hiking
off trail
13 days ago

Awesome and officially listed as "easy" among all the 14'rs but it's actually the longest 14,000 ft mountain in all of Colorado. It's never "hard" as hands & knees or ropes, but is crazy long & therefore hard, especially when you consider how difficult it becomes to breathe as you get higher.

hiking
rocky
snow
18 days ago

A really challenging but rewarding hike. We completed it over two days, stopping overnight at Barr Camp, which is an incredible resource for those of us who can’t tackle the whole thing in one go. There were some issues with snow near the summit, but nothing insurmountable.

hiking
20 days ago

Some snow up towards the top I had to traverse across, but nothing too bad. Took me 11 hours total, but I spent an hour up at the summit. I was moving at a pretty good pace though... Definitely plan for it to take you longer just to be safe.

hiking
22 days ago

The Barr trail was in great shape. The last mile was difficult with several snow and ice patches. Micro spikes helped. This was my first 14er. It was a long difficult day but well worth it! Oh, and by the way, parking is $10 at the trailhead, not $5.

hiking
off trail
scramble
snow
26 days ago

My husband and I did this hike yesterday. it was amazing but make sure to get good pics prior to the top. the top is filled with tourists, a restaurant and the summit sign sits in front of the restaurant with a line of tourists to get pics. The hike itself was beautiful! the last two miles were a little sketchy as there was enough snow to need traction devices and the trail at points was hidden by the snow. Expect some bouldering, scrambling and narrow stretches covered in slippery snow. while it was a bit tricky it was so much fun!! the last two miles will take some time so be sure to leave extra early!

hiking
rocky
snow
28 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

I hiked to the peak in June 2017 with my 15 year old daughter and 17 year old son. We did not have hiking poles, and we wore pretty normal sneakers. Started about 5:30 am, got to the summit at 2:30 pm, then rode the cog train down (cog is currently closed). It was the most incredible hike, we stopped a lot for views, photos, snacks, water. Bought souvenirs at Barr Camp halfway up. We hike a lot anyway, and we drank a gallon of water a day each, for a few weeks leading up to our hike day. It actually felt pretty easy to us. Most important thing is to pack /wear layers! We had every type of weather and wore all our various layers at different times. We also picked our day carefully, after the snow was almost gone, but before the infamous afternoon lightning storms started up. June turned out to be perfect.

off trail
scramble
snow
1 month ago

I came up from Texas to hike Barr Trail to the summit. I parked in the trailhead lot and paid. if there are no spots, just stay in the area and wait for someone to come off of the trail. It took 5 hours to get from trailhead to camp. 5 long hours. We decided not to attempt summit. The caretakers at camp were recommending hiking up a gully rather than following the trail due to deep snow up above the A Frame. We had trouble just reaching camp, so we decided just to hike down. Regardless, it was an amazing time. caretakers are super chill. Everyone there was cool. I will be back.

hiking
no shade
off trail
rocky
scramble
snow
1 month ago

Fantastic trail! Started around 7:00 and ended around 4:45. Relatively normal hike until the last 2-3 miles which it becomes necessary to have at least micro spikes and/or trekking poles. Trail was washed away a bit in the snow and needed some off trail navigating. Make sure to plan for a ride down because it would be dangerous to go down in these conditions

1 month ago

best way to see Pike's Peak

hiking
snow
1 month ago

Did this trail on May 25th and 26th. Absolutely breathtaking views. I am not a very experienced hiker so camped over night at Barr camp, others did this entire trail in a single day. Started on May 25th around 1.30 pm and reached Barr camp by 6pm which is a perfect time since they start serving dinner(12$/person) at the same time. Stayed over night at the camp. It’s a very nice place but the only disappoint is they won’t let you put fire near your camp. You have to go over to the other side into the national park for setting up fire. Next morning we started around 10am and went until Timberline shelter. Very good place for some nice views and pictures. From there the trials becomes very snowy and we didn’t have the right gear to complete the rest for the hike. So we returned front there to the base. I would recommend this trails if you are trill seeking, adventurous hikers. My backpack took a tool on my back and was not able to feel my legs after the hike . So prepared for the physical stress on your body.

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