Explore the most popular birding trails near Manitou Springs with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

1 day 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.

loved it absolutely worth it very intense

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.

I’m from Northern CA, elevation 700, and had 3 days to adjust to the higher elevation. My husband and I started at 5:55am, it took 85 minutes up. I took my time due to the elevation... and my slight fear of heights. We jogged the trail down, which took 60 minutes. It was a challenge but totally worth it. Start early, lots of water, and enjoy the beauty this adventure has to offer. Anyone in good health can accomplish this trail, pace yourself, everyone was super friendly on the trail. One of the best adventures!

6 days ago

Amazing workout! This one is TOUGH! But felt like a great accomplishment when you hit the top. Be sure to bring water. Did this one with my kids 13 and 16. We all loved it.

7 days ago

I love how challenging the incline is! I did it back in November when I was in town and it was even better this time (mainly because I wasn't fooled by the false summit!!). I coincidentally started after the thunderstorms went through which was nice since it cooled it off and cut down on the dust. Shout out to the guy behind me who kept me going at a pretty challenging pace! Enjoy the challenge, it's 110% worth it!!

7 days ago

What a workout! Take it slow and steady. Start very early, or you'll get baked by the sun. I started at about 520am and the sun was already eating at my back halfway up. Take as many breaks as you need to catch your breath. Felt the pulse from my neck around step 1700 or so. Towards the top my goal was to take 20 to 25 steps between breaks. Made it to the summit in a decent 1h 16m then took Barr Trail down. Lots of runners (both directions) and a few mountain bikes to contend with, making it a little dusty. Not very well marked so keep this app handy, however most side trails lead back to the main. Barr Trail has tons of small rocks. If you so much as drag a toe, you'll have rocks in your socks and shoes. I plan on doing this trail more, so gaiters are a good idea. You get humbled real quick when some people blow by you up the incline!

9 days ago

Hard hike and great workout. Literally straight up. Sometimes I had to get on all fours to keep climbing. Beware the false summit! The view at the top is awesome and you feel like a badass after completing. Definitely take the shuttle and don’t try to walk back down the steps. So hard on your knees! Just take the trail down, it’s more fun!

A great workout, and definitely worth the challenge to get to the top. I would suggest starting earlier in the day to avoid the heat. There is always a steady crowd of people, regardless of the time of day, and most are supportive and encouraging.
I would strongly suggest taking the free shuttle from the park, as parking is not free, and can be challenging.
Great bucket list item to check off.

10 days ago

first time doing this trail and it's hard but awesome

Most definitely the hardest trail I have done. just make sure you brings lots of water and have some protein snacks to keep you going. If you have trouble, there is a dipout trail at the halfway point. Don't be discouraged by the false summit, once you hit that, you're nearly there!! You don't have to be in incredible shape to do this, though it's recommended. But there were a ton of people in better shape than I quitting.
Once you get to the top, you feel so relieved, and the view is absolutely gorgeous, and don't worry, you don't have to go down the way you came up. There is a trail that takes you back down, though it's about 45-90 minutes to get down.

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.

it's hard. bring plenty of water. take lots of breaks. don't look up,don't look down, just take it one step at a time.

15 days ago

I love the incline! Best therapy for whatever life throws at you! One step at a time. Pace yourself. Water!!! I attempt this once a week or so and at one point I was doing it 1-2 times a week. That view at the top is absolutely breathe taking.

16 days ago

I haven’t been in the best shape lately but still decided to hike this trail and needless to say it was a struggle but I managed to get to the top in 78 minutes. I had a lot of fun and felt that everyone I came across was very friendly and motivating. The trail was such a positive environment and seemed to be taken care of very well.

I would recommend starting very early because it gets hot quick. Take lots of water and don’t discouraged when you hit the false summit and see there is more! You got this.

21 days ago

Definitely the most difficult trail I've ever done! Once you're at the top though, you'll get the best feeling of accomplishment, along with a fantastic view!
Start early, because the heat of the day will get to you quick. ☀️ BRING WATER!

I've personally frequent this trail at least once a week.....

24 days ago

Wow. It took me 1 hour and 28 minutes to climb and one hour to go down on the dirt trail. I think I’m in fairly decent shape, but the quick gain in elevation got me! I had to stop every 30 seconds to catch my breath. I am very glad I did it, but 99.9% sure I will not do it again. I feel it was torture and my knees are killing me today. Stay positive!

24 days ago

This trail is a "check the box" trail. It ain't easy; but if you persevere, you'll make it to the top. In my case, 1 hr 24 min. Beautiful coming down the Barr Trail!

Leave early - 6:36 am. Later in the morning, it's not only busier, but the relentless sun will beat down on you.

Bring water and food for energy. #beast #insane

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

Extremely difficult. Start early. lovely views. Keep positive thoughts.

This trail is addicting. As you are doing it you wonder why you are putting yourself through it but the views along the way and the comraderie among the hikers on the way up is amazing. Once you make it to the top it is one of the most satisfying feelings and you can’t wait to do it again. The trail is maintained very well and has outhouses and a brick and mortar restroom in the gift shop/coffee house at the bottom of the trail. One of the best experiences I have had in CO so far.

26 days ago

Great hike & a fun run coming down the incline, be prepared to get drainage in sweat. Nevertheless it’s a great workout.

Great challenge but ran into a brown bear right near the end of Barr Trail.

30 days ago

Very crowded, but also some awesome type 2 fun!

It’s not fun while you are doing it, but once you get to the top it’s worth it! The views the whole way are breathtaking.

1 month ago

I’ve been coming here for any years and it’s still my favorite challenge! It’s very hard but it’s a great challenge

1 month ago

I’m hooked! I went once a year ago for the first time and it was incredibly hard. I’m 39 years old and very active. It took me at least 90 minutes and was very humbling to say the least. Went up again twice last week-first time took 48 minutes, second time it took 43. Hoping to crack 40 minutes next time. Tips-don’t look up! Just press forward-looking up can crush you! Also-watch our for people coming down the incline. Most people take the trail down but there are some who run down the incline or end up turning around and going back down. I ran down the Barr Trail and it took me 35 minutes. Go early-it gets crowded very quickly so you want to beat the rush-and the heat! This is not for the faint of heart but is well worth it! Just reaching the top is an accomplishment.

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.

This was an amazing workout! It was beautiful and quite challenging, especially with the altitude change. If I ever get the chance to do this hike again, I’d definitely start much earlier in the morning vs late morning.

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