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Barr Trail

Intermediate/Difficult

Trail

12.5 mile 20.1 kilometer point to point
Intermediate/Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 7,545' 2,300 m
Descent: -2' -1 m
High: 14,051' 4,283 m
Low: 6,509' 1,984 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 11% (7°)
Max Grade: 36% (20°)

Dogs

Leashed
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Trail shared by Jason Doedderlein

This is the main trail for climbing Pikes Peak.

Jason Doedderlein

Features Fall Colors · River/Creek · Views

Description

The Barr Trail is the most popular way to climb Pikes Peak. It is a 12-mile trail with 7500 feet of elevation gain. It is not an easy 14er to summit, because of the length and the elevation gain on this trail. That being said, if you are up for the challenge, it is a splendid workout with several distinct topographies to hike through, breaking up the hike into manageable 3-mile sections.

The first section is known as the "W"s. This is from the fact that, on a map, the trail resembles a series of sideways Ws due to the constant switchbacks as it climbs Mount Manitou. Note that this stretch can be very busy due to its use by people after they have climbed the Manitou incline.

This initial climb is constant and unforgiving for about 3 miles, at an average 13% grade. This stretch is also fairly exposed to the sun and can get quite hot in the summer. Once past the Incline connector trail, the crowds are reduced to almost nothing.

The Ws end when you reach No-Name Creek, which is where the trail shifts from Mount Manitou to the base of Pikes Peak. The creek offers a consistent source of water for dogs and a refreshing face splash.

From No-Name Creek, the trail begins its next section as it begins its climb to Barr Camp. This stretch climbs at a much more gentle grade and there are even a couple glorious mild descents to give your quads a rest. During fall, this is a splendid stretch as Aspens become a more consistent component of the forest.

A steady, rocky climb takes you into Barr Camp, where there is water and a place to rest. Make sure to say "hi" to the wonderful caretakers.

From Barr Camp, it is a fairly steady climb up to treeline at A-frame, the last shelter on the way to the summit.

From A-frame, the trail heads above treeline and becomes steeper, again reaching an average grade of 13%. The lack of oxygen becomes much more apparent and you have as good a shot of getting snowed on as you do baking in the sun.

It is a rough last three miles to the summit from A-frame but, once there, you can recharge and refill for the return to the trailhead, or just enjoy the views, knowing you summited, and relax while you wait for some form of mechanical power to return you to the base of the mountain.

WARNING: There is typically daily lighting activity during the summer. Check the weather forecasts. Summiting before noon is recommended

Flora & Fauna

Once you get above the treeline ~12,000' and get into the rocky areas you can see marmot and pika. If you get up the trail very early, you may see mountain goats near the top.

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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know

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Check-Ins

Sep 7, 2019
Sang Lintakoon
barr trail back down from the manitou incline with jenn. trail ran a good bit of it down! 2.6mi
Jul 27, 2019
Morgan Vlasse
Jun 28, 2019
Ben Becker
Jun 23, 2019
Aaron Fagerwick
Descent only; after hiking up Manitou Incline 2.7mi — 1h 04m
Apr 27, 2019
Tenzin Chuteng
5mi
Sep 28, 2018
Jordan Frdnmkr
All up hill. Just long. 14.8mi
Sep 20, 2018
Matty Atk
Sep 11, 2018
Emi Thomas
Descent from Manitou Inclines

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 30 votes

#76

Overall
  4.4 from 30 votes
5 Star
57%
4 Star
27%
3 Star
13%
2 Star
3%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#20

in Colorado

#76

Overall
306 Views Last Month
12,703 Since Apr 9, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
3%
17%
50%
27%
3%

Photos

You work hard below tree line but the views up here pay off.
Sep 11, 2015 near Manitou…, CO
Looking north east on Barr Trail above the clouds.
Sep 26, 2017 near Manitou…, CO
Looking over the now defunct cog rail line at the summit of Pikes Peak, Colorado
Sep 2, 2018 near Manitou…, CO
The bighorn sheep keep an eye on us as we climb the Barr Trail.
Feb 13, 2017 near Manitou…, CO
Just past the A-Frame looking up, about three miles left to go!
Aug 13, 2018 near Manitou…, CO
Be careful here, it is easy to lose the trail just past the A-frame. The trail is up and to the right as you head up (we are off the trail here).  It looks like you should go up over the broken rocks, but if you go to the right, you'll find the trail
Aug 13, 2018 near Manitou…, CO

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