Pikes Peak via Barr Trail

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Pike National Forest

Pikes Peak via Barr Trail is a 24 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: 24.0 miles Elevation Gain: 7,401 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

snowshoeing

bike touring

bird watching

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

scramble

fee

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. $10/day parking fee.

hiking
10 days ago

Left trailhead at 530am got back to trail head at 6pm. Ball buster

hiking
13 days ago

Great trail. Made the summit with my son it was our first 14’er. Make sure you take some time to acclimate to the elevation change it was definitely a challenge but well worth the hike! The view from the top is incredible. We camped a few miles down after the summit and the wind and rain made for a prayer filled night. Overall a great experience we’ll not soon forget.

hiking
13 days ago

Snowpack is very minimal, only a handful of small patches between treeline and the summit. There were some patches of black ice that can sneak up on you, but as long as you keep an eye out for them they aren't a serious issue. As for the summit, the trail is blocked by construction with a long detour to get to the official sign. Hypothetically, as long as there is no active work being done, it is very easy to walk around the fence, cut through the construction site, and snap a couple quick photos.

hiking
13 days ago

Did the round trip yesterday. Alltrails listed 21.3 miles is definitely short. My GPS came in at over 24 round trip. Trail markers also show it’s over the 21.3. Trail itself is awesome. Beautiful views throughout. 5 or 6 short snowy spots left, but they were packy snow that could easily be walked through for the 50-100’ feet a piece. One spot was pretty snowy and a bit mushy while on the boulder field at mile 9+, so I scrambled about 40 feet upwards to skip the snow and hit the next switchback. No traction spikes necessary at any point of the hike. Barr camp itself is closed, but there’s a stream running alongside it you can use to refill water provided you bring a means to purify it. Summit house/shop is also closed. This actually sucked, because the construction blocked off access to the Pikes Peak Summit sign unless you take a pretty decent length detour to get there. After 12 miles I wasn’t in the mood to add any more miles, so I skipped that particular photo op. Wish they’d position a temporary summit sign that’s accessible even with the construction.

hiking
rocky
scramble
snow
24 days ago

PACK IT OUT. Overall great day... we did the out and back which added up closer to 25 mi. The trail is dry enough now that you don’t require micro-spikes. Some of the snowfields at the top could be prone to slide a bit later in the month so consider an alpine axe. The summit house is closed. Barr Camp is closed (water source still available). A ridiculous amount of trash and clothing that had been left behind (including debris from summit house construction). Picked up all that we could but PLEASE pack it out and pick up any trash that you see.

hiking
icy
27 days ago

We left the trailhead at the cog rail depot a little before 5:15 and reached the summit around 10:30. After a quick lunch we got back to the trailhead around 3. Trail is great up through barr camp. Past Barr camp and before the tree line it gets a little snowy and icy but most of that is in the shade and still hard so it’s not an issue. Past the tree line there are larger snow fields that get quite mushy past 10am. We had no problem getting up but coming down I postholed a few times, which was not particularly pleasant. Past the 16 golden stairs it gets quite icy and the trail can be obscured in some places so proceed with caution here. Also Barr camp is closed, there is no water access or bathrooms. We carried about 3 liters of water each and that was fine for the hike. Overall great hike!

hiking
30 days ago

I tried to hike this trail on Monday, May 4th. I was going to do Barr camp and back. When I got there at 4:30 am the parking ticket machine was out of paper so I couldn’t print a ticket. Not wanting to get a fine from the police, I left and went to Cheyenne canon. Anybody know if this was just a random occurrence or if it has been re filled? Thanks

hiking
1 month ago

Incredible, legendary! Such a challenging and emotional journey. Summited Barr Trail/Pikes Peak last in July when the weather was great!

hiking
fee
1 month ago

Good trail with a moderately difficult beginning. Would recommend to those in better than average shape to attempt it.

hiking
no shade
rocky
2 months ago

What a legendary hike. Be prepared.

Very icy and snow covered right now. Better to wait until the trail clears. Made for a tough day.

4 months ago

Beautiful and scenic drive. I only had 45 minutes to look at it before it closed for the evening. But it was definitely worthwhile. Would LOVE to hike during much warmer months!

hiking
icy
5 months ago

When they say hard they meant it! Don’t go if your legs and lungs aren’t conditioned to these kinds of altitude gains and steep climbs once you get to the stairs for the peak climb.

hiking
5 months ago

We backpacked this back in June over the course of 3 days. We ended up setting up camp just uphill from Barr Camp. It is an incredible hike, however, do your homework before attempting it. Also, if attempting in one day, make sure you are physically fit and acclimated. People train to hike this trail in one day; it’s not for a novice hiker!

hiking
icy
6 months ago

This was an extremely hard trail. Not only was it hard in the altitude but the time it took from manitou to the summit was right around 7:30-8 hrs. It was also covered in a lot of ice and loose snow so bring proper equipment. Additionally, the amount of switchbacks is enough to drive someone mad. Don’t look at the red straight line and think oh I’m going up, it’s all switchbacks. Light loads, lots of water, bring proper equipment

hiking
7 months ago

In August, hiked to Bar Camp. Rented the upper Cabin for the night for 6 hikers in our group. Nice to have a cooked spaghetti dinner. Hikers can buy drinks and food at the kitchen. Summited on day 2. Visitors center at the top was very crowded with car riders. Didn’t enjoy the food either. Trail was great and trails well marked. Nice incline!

hiking
7 months ago

Great hike and beautiful view. If you plan on staying overnight bring only what you need. Your gaining a lot of elevation so start early. Parking at bottom is 10 dollars and you can also stay overnight either by camping or reserving in advance for lodging. Also bring water for the initial hike as there isn't any sources for awhile.

hiking
7 months ago

Arrived from sea level at Friday evening and did the hike Sunday morning. First real hike I did and the views just before the summit were the best. Got perfect weather today and there still was a little bit of snow at some points. Only went up and hitched a ride back.

hiking
7 months ago

A wonderful scenic climb. Me and my 63 year old sister made the ~13 mile summit right around 8 hours. The trail has a relatively modest incline for ~10 miles until you break the tree line and then the climb really begins due to the altitude and incline. The hardest part of this 14er is the distance. Since it starts in Manitou Springs the approach is quite a long hike, but bagging the ~7500’ of gain is a reward that can really only be obtained on the Front Rabge

hiking
8 months ago

We spent 6 days in Manitou Springs hiking the Barr Trail exploring. One of the days we summited Pikes Peak. But we really enjoyed some of the trails via Barr trail you can take in the area. Some were harder than others but worth the incredible views. One of the days we hiked Barr trail was at 3:30 in the morning and the views in the dark of Colorado Springs area were stunning! We did however get off trail a few times in the dark discovering the incline but just back tracked a little. Barr Camp is very cool as well as the folks volunteering there. Around the 2 miles to the summit sign we somehow got off trail but found our way back just by looking up at a crane up top doing construction. The last mile was intense and when we got close I decided to climb up these huge boulders and loose rocks to the summit that were off the trail ! Very fun experience.

hiking
8 months ago

Started at 7am. It took 5hrs to summit and 3hrs to jog back down. After passing Barr camp on the way up, I began running into group after group who were turning back due to news of 60mph winds at the top. I barely even noticed the wind, definitely nothing to turn back over. Good work out. There’s an overpriced gas station at the top.

hiking
8 months ago

Started late at 6:15, but clear skies and no weather issues all day. Tough, but the reward is incredible. Summit view isn't spectacular, but the journey is the gift.

hiking
8 months ago

Hit the trail at 5am. There were 2-3 other groups of people starting at the same time. Really enjoyed being alone on the trail for the most part. The sunrise was the most beautiful scenery of the whole hike I would say. Made it up to the Barr camp, 6 miles in 3 hours. The trails goes straight up with many switch backs. Had my first break, 2 cups of coffee and little chat. Next 3 miles were kind of the same. After that bunch of people missed the main trail and I also followed without thinking so ended up doing around 0.5 miles of straight uphill hiking before we found the main trail so that was a nice little adventure... could have been worse! More steepish hike for around 2.5 miles before I saw the famous sign '16 golden stairs'. It gets steeper from here with lot of switch backs, I guess 1500 feet in last 1 mile. On the summit there were hundreds of people who drove all the way up! So not much of a very rewarding summit. But I was happy to see my husband who drove up to get me and brought my much needed protein shake. Overall I liked the hike, not the most beautiful views but I like the physical challenge part of it very much. It was close to 13 miles up and 7300ft of elevation gain. Took me around 7 hours. No need to do it again I guess.

8 months ago

About 2 miles from the start the trail curves sharply to the left and that is easy to miss especially if one starts in the early morning when it's still dark. If you end up at a staircase going up and down the Manitou Incline, you went too far and you will need to turn back and then look to your right and you will see the trail in about 20-30 yards curving to the right. Otherwise a great hike, very doable if you have a reasonable level of fitness and go at your own pace especially above the tree line where the air gets increasingly thinner and thinner. If you start from the parking lot in Manitou Springs (Hydro Street) and plan to go back the same day, it will make for a very long hike, about 26 M, so start early (I started at 3 AM and reached the summit at 11 AM). I thought the section of the trail between Manitou Springs and the Barr Camp was the most gorgeous part of the hike, with a great views of the mountains.

hiking
rocky
scramble
8 months ago

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