Barr Trail to Pikes Peak, Manitou Springs

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#4 of 11 in Trails in El Paso County
Hiking Trail · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
Barr Trail is a 13mi trail in the Pike National Forest that begins in Manitou Springs, Colorado and ends at the Pikes Peak summit. The high elevation trail with a long sustained grade is rated more difficult by the U.S. Forest Service. With a 7,800ft elevation gain to reach the summit, the Colorado Springs Convention & Visitors Bureau states that it is an advanced trail and is the most difficult trail in the Pikes Peak region.
It is used for the Pikes Peak Marathon and the Barr Trail Mountain Race. The Pikes Peak Marathon is a round trip from the trailhead to the Pikes Peak and back to the trailhead. The 12.6-mile course for the Barr Trail Mountain Race course starts at the trailhead to Barr Camp and back to the trailhead.
A trail was first created by a prospector in the mid-1800s, but the trail did not allow for travel by burro from Mount Manitou to the summit of Pikes Peak. Beginning in 1914, Fred Barr built the burro trail, with a maximum 12% grade to the top of the peak for his burro train business. Aside from his work on the major portion of the trail, he supervised a crew of ten men for the U.S. Forest Service in 1917 who built the portion of the trail from the top of the Manitou Incline down to Manitou Springs. He hiked the entire trail and made it to the top of Pikes Peak on Christmas Eve, 1918.
Barr Camp was built by Barr between 1922 and 1924. It was used by Barr and his burro train customers for an overnight stay between Manitou Incline and the summit. Staffed by year-round caretakers, the camp continued to provide overnight accommodations for Barr Trail hikers.
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  • Perfect trail of choice for a good 4 hour hike! We used the Barr Trail to get to the top of Manitou Incline instead of taking the flight of stairs. Along the trail you can see the Garden of Gods and.....  more »
  • This is the best local hike outside of Garden of the Gods, as there are less tourists and the view is incredible. Take crampons or microspikes with you, as well as walking poles if you hike in...  more »
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