The Barr Trail, a renowned 13-mile backcountry trail, earned its distinguished recognition as one of America’s notable National Recreation Trails back in 1979.
You can embark on this immersive journey starting from Ruxton Avenue in Manitou Springs, conveniently situated on US Route 24. Be prepared for an exhilarating adventure that will take around 8 hours to complete at a brisk pace.
Designed for Hiking Adventures
Setting off from the trailhead, you’ll experience a rapid elevation gain as you ascend Mount Manitou. The initial three miles are marked by intense inclines featuring numerous switchbacks and an average 13% grade.
Around the 2.5-mile mark, you’ll come across a rock overhang—an intriguing landmark along the path. Continue onward until you encounter the first sign pointing to Manitou Incline.
As you ascend towards Barr Camp, you’ll find that the climb is comparatively less strenuous than the initial ascent. A couple of downhill stretches will provide a brief respite, preparing you for the continued, demanding climb leading you to Barr Camp.
Here, you have the option to spend the night and wake up to a nourishing breakfast in the morning. Additionally, Barr Camp offers dinner for those seeking overnight accommodations.
What to Consider
Keep in mind that the Barr Trail is far from a leisurely stroll. Adequate preparation is essential. The trail presents a formidable challenge even for experienced hikers, compounded by factors like high altitude, fluctuating temperatures, and unpredictable weather conditions. For those who are beginners, we recommend starting from Big Dry Creek Trail.
Should you prefer an alternative, the Pikes Peak Highway allows you to drive to the summit throughout the year, albeit for a fee.
For an optimal experience, consider starting your journey early in the day to benefit from cooler morning temperatures. If thunderheads begin to form, seek shelter and descend below the treeline.
Anticipate encountering wintry weather conditions at the summit, regardless of the time of year. However, amidst the physical challenges and environmental considerations, don’t forget to relish the experience! Embrace the unique beauty and rewards that the Barr Trail has to offer as you embark on this memorable endeavor.