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Hike To Pikes Peak Via Barr Trail

Barr Trailhead I started at the Barr Trailhead at exactly 6:10 a.m., but didn't take pictures of the lower part because I wanted to move through that beginning area at a swift pace. In retrospect, I probably should have started a couple of hours earlier to avoid most risk of afternoon thunderstorms, but thankfully, it was a sunny when I arrived at 1 p.m.
Pikes Peak, CO About four miles into the trail, I brought out the camera. The eastern sunlight reflected on the building at the summit.
Pikes Peak I drew in the approximate zig-zags of where the trail goes. That's my best guess! :)
Barr Trail Aspens surround the trail.
Barr Trail The halfway mark of the 13-mile trail! :) 9,500 feet in elevation
Pikes Peak What's notable about this middle section (besides some relatively flat spots) is just how close one seems to approach the summit. Yet at the same time, the summit still appears way above up in the sky.
Barr Camp Barr Camp at 10,200 feet. Hikers can rest, refill water containers, use a bathroom or camp.
Water Bottles I did rest for a few minutes. That's all the water I carried along with me on the hike: Two 1.5 liter bottles and three smaller bottles.

Yes, it was very heavy at the beginning of my hike and before the days when I owned a Camelbak. I also ate a bunch of those power bars and granola bars. ;)

Barr Trail Only six more miles to go ... Hooray!
Barr Trail Great shot! Slowly and continuously I went up, anticipating the inevitable!
Squirrel The squirrels way up there in 10,500 to 11,000 feet range were not scared of me at all. In fact, this one posed for the camera quite well!
Bottomless Pit The "Bottomless Pit" is the bottom of the very steep northface of Pikes Peak.

In 2008, Josh and Jason Friesema traveled to the Bottomless Pit and summited Pikes Peak via the "Y couloir." You can see their fascinating trip report here.

Autumn Foliage
Fall Foliage Autumn Leaves
Leaves turn yellow a bit early at 11,000 feet! :)

My other Pikes Peak stuff:

  • Pikes Peak Highway
  • Fun Atop Pikes Peak
  • Steve Frolicks on Pikes Peak
  • Pikes Peak Donuts
  • Marmots & Elk Park
  • Pikes Peak Highway
  • Barr Trail The trail just kept going up and up and up ... with one switchback after another. :)
    Close to timberline. The views become increasingly stunning.
    Barr Trail Timberline! Three miles to go and altitude 11,500 feet. Notice how dwarfed the pine trees look. :)
    Boulder Field Boulder Field A pretty boulder field.
    Kristin Special thanks to Kristin of Palmer Lake, whom I met and hiked with starting around this point. We had some good conversations as we slowly trekked up.
    Pikes Peak
    Somehow, we veered off the trail and wandered upward on the rocks. We knew to simply continue going up, but it was quite unnerving.

    After speaking with a few others, I learned the trail is indeed somewhat easy to lose around timberline. Be careful!

    Me standing out there to provide more perspective.

    Steve We continued hiking up and finally "stumbled upon" the trail. I was very happy and just had to document my relief in a photo! :)
    Barr Trail That kind of looks a brain to me. :)

    Other area (and much easier) hikes:
  • Waldo Canyon, The Crags
  • Williams Canyon, Mount Cutler
  • Red Rock Canyon, Queens Canyon
  • Red Mountain, Garden of Gods
  • Palmer Park, Manitou Incline
  • Barr Trail Two more miles. The path seemed to go on forever! >:O

    (I kind of lost it up there. I blame tiredness.)

    Barr Trail I gotta tell you, this hike was one of the most rewarding hikes of my life!
    Pikes Peak Hike And I'm not kidding you, this switchbacks go on forever up there!
    Barr Trail There's a long stretch that travels from right to left all the way across the big arch. Notice how small the hikers look i n this picture. Also, notice how below those green mountains appear way below. That's the Rampart Range and yes, we really were that way up!
    Pikes Peak Hike

    Barr Trail
    TOP: Mount Almagre is the mountain in the middle. Just a great view!

    MIDDLE: Another perspective shot. I love this picture. That's Cheyenne Mountain way out there to the right. The flat land in the upper left corner is Colorado Springs.

    I know some of these pictures are redundant, but hey, I had to soak it all in! :)

    Barr Trail The one mile marker! HOORAY!
    Pikes Peak, CO The summit house is looking bigger and closer.
    Rocks Lots of rocks.
    Barr Trail On my occasional glances down, it was very fascinating to see the switchbacks below that I had walked on.
    Golden Stairs I was warned about the 16 Golden Stairs, but as painful and steep as they were, by then I had some adreniline going because I knew the hike was almost over.

    By the way, I counted the switchbacks to the top and I it wasn't 16 ... it was more like 27 or 28 staircases. ;)

    Barr Trail
    Pikes Peak
    Two more glances down at those switchbacks!
    Fred Barr Fred Barr, the builder of this trail.
    Pikes Peak Summit House Look how close the Summit House looks now! :)
    Pikes Peak, CO Friends, this can be done! Thousands of people do it every year. All you need is to be in reasonable shape, be mentally prepared and carrying the right things with you (water, sun lotion, food, etc.).
    Denise and Family Pikes Peak Denise and her two delightful kids were there to drive me down the mountain and back to Manitou Springs. What friends! (And what a cute picture!)
    Hamburger and Pretzel I was definitely trashed at the summit. Inside the summit house, I dined on a very healthy meal of a cheeseburger and pretzel. What can I say? I earned it! :)

    This was my first Colorado 14er and looking back, I was definitely a novice. Here are my most recent 14ers (typing this in 2008):

  • Mt. Sneffels
  • Mt. Belford
  • Mt. Yale
  • Mt. Antero
  • Mt. Sherman
  • Quandary Peak
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