- Manitou Springs
- 26 miles
- Aerobic Difficulty:
- Time To Allow:
- 8+ hours
- Elevation Range:
- 6600 feet to 14100 feet
- Elevation Change:
- 7500 feet
The Barr Trail is one of the most epic rides in all of the rocky mountain front. Gaining over 7500 vertical feet in just half its length, the Barr Trail creeps up Pikes Peak to its summit at 14,100 feet. Pikes Peak is perhaps the most well known over 14,000-foot mountain in Colorado, due to the toll roadway that allows for vehicle traffic to the top.
The Barr Trail was built between 1921-1924 by Fred Barr, who also built a cabin known as Barr Camp, located half way up the Barr Trail. The camp is currently operable and hosts many overnight hikers and bikers every season. Riders should take note, the Barr Trail does become more difficult after it passes Barr Camp.
Barr Trail is especially difficult, combining very high elevation with technical climbing. Switchbacks, roots, rock gardens, sections of gravel and rock ledges and steps are common along the singletrack of the Barr Trail. One section known as the sixteen golden stairs is sure to have even the most experienced rider’s legs begging for mercy. Hiking with bikes through section is almost a given on the Barr Trail and riders should be well prepared for a long and challenging journey.
Once at the top, riders will turn around and head back down the same way. No bikes are allowed on the Pikes Peak road. Those looking to cut out the uphill portion can pay the toll on the roadway (varies from $10-$35 per car as of 2008) and shuttle bikes to the top for a downhill journey.
13 miles up, 13 miles down
Time To Allow:
Depends on aerobic ability & technical skills
The Barr Trail is a very long and very demanding trail. Riders should be prepared with a first aid kit, a repair kit and additional food and water. Weather can change rapidly on high elevation trails so riders should bring appropriate clothing for the ride including raingear. The temperature can vary as much as 40 degrees from trailhead to summit on Pikes Peak! In addition, riders will meet other trail users along the way including hikers, trail runners and horseback riders. Users should understand and practice proper right of way protocol.
From Manitou Springs follow Highway 24 following signs to the Cog Railway. Go through parking area and up the steep paved road on the right. The trailhead is about 100 yards up. Park here.