Peak Trails, Colorado
Other Trails on this Route:
Barr Camp Trail
Elk Springs Trail
Oil Springs Tunnel Trail
Pikes Peak Hill Climb
Barr Camp at the Half Way Point
Barr Camp, Pikes Peak, Colorado
Colorado Springs, take I-25 to Highway 24 exit. Head West on Highway 24
to the Manitou Ave. exit (4 miles). From the off-ramp, veer right and
drive into Manitou Springs. Once in town, look for the Cog Railway sign,
and turn left onto Ruxton Ave (1.5 miles). Follow Ruxton all the way to
where it ends at the Cog Railway (.7 miles). Hikers using Barr Trail
should drive past the Railway building, and turn at the sign labeled
"Barr Trail Parking", up a short little steep road (Hydro Street) to the
gravel parking lot (.2 miles). Due to limited parking space available at
the Pikes Peak Cog Railway, it is essential that day-hikers and
overnight guests always park in the Barr Trail parking lot. If you do
park in the Cog Railway Parking lot, your vehicle will most likely be
trail starts at the sign above the Cog Railway Station and next to the
Barr Trail parking lot off of Hydo Street.
The first 3 miles is a switchback trail
with large elevation gain up Rocky Mountain sometimes called Mount
Manitou. Good views of Colorado Springs.
Lots of runners training for the Pikes Peak Marathon are on the trail
but it is wide enough to accommodate passing. Very steep, but some
mountain bikes walk their bikes to get to the next section.
French Creek crosses the trail.
The next section from French Creek to Barr Camp is moderately uphill,
but not like the rest of the trail. Aspen and fir valley of mature
Barr Camp was established by Fred Barr
the primary trail builder in the area. Currently, the Camp is
manned year around and provides lodging, food, t-shirts, and
accessories. Visitors may sign in and sit on the back porch or
rent cabins or sleeping spaces.
During the 1960's the Camp was run by
Mennonites, then abandoned for years. In 1977 the Forrest
Service mad arrangements to restored the Camp.
Trail starts up to A-Frame and the
Summit in a steep elevation gain. One foot in front of the other
Many campers have tried to stay at
A-Frame, but the camping is uncomfortable due to the steep slope.
French Creek, Manitou Incline,
Barr Camp, A Frame, Summit
Colorado Springs, CO
Steep, abandoned Manitou Incline, View of
Colorado Springs, fir forests then rocks at top
6-7 hours up - times may vary by hiker
Easy to Moderate - no
technical or scrambling, wide maintained trail, and support
available. Up hill, high elevation, weather and trail length
cause primary problems.
Wide and well maintained. No difficulties in
following trail or with dangerous places requiring technical
Up, up and away. Possible to hitch down
Pikes Peak Hwy or ride cog railway.
Picture shows the Manitou Cog Railway Station
then out through Manitou and Colorado Springs.
Distance from Trailhead to Barr Camp: 6.8 miles
Distance from Barr Camp to Summit: 5.8 miles
Total distance from Trailhead to Summit: 12.6 miles
Trailhead elevation: 6,600 feet
Barr Camp Elevation: 10,200 feet
Summit Elevation: 14,110 feet
Total Elevation Gain from Trailhead to Summit: 7,510 feet
The standard route to Barr Camp is a 6.8 mile hike up Barr trail. The
total Trail to the summit is 12.6 miles, and is non-technical. It begins
at 6,600 feet, and summits at 14,110 feet at the Top of Pikes Peak. Barr
Camp is staffed year-round. Those looking for a less arduous ascent,
take the Cog Railway to Mount View (the train runs late-April through
early-November). The Mount View trail is not as steep, and requires only
a one and a half mile traverse hike to Barr Camp.
In 1803 Pikes Peak came under American control through the Louisiana
Purchase. President Jefferson dispatched Zebulon Montgomery Pike to
determine the Louisiana Purchase's southwestern borders. Pike tried to
climb the peak on November 24, 1806 from the Pueblo area, but was forced
back by a blizzard. The first recorded ascent of Pikes Peak was by Dr.
Edwin James, doctor, botanist and historian, and two others from an
expedition led by Major Stephen H. Long on July 14, 1820. Major Long
gave the doctor's name to the mountain, but Pikes Peak soon became the
official name, as shown by military maps of 1835.
"Pikes Peak or Bust" became the symbol and slogan of gold seekers in
the 1850s. In 1858 Julia Archibald Holmes became the first woman to
climb Pikes Peak. She made the ascent with the Lawrence party and stayed
on top for two days. Mrs. Holmes is also known as the "Bloomer Girl"
because of the bloomers she wore while climbing the mountain. In 1889
the Manitou and Pikes Peak Cog Railroad was built. In
1901 the first automobile to reach the summit (on August 12th) was a two
cylinder Locomobile Steamer driven by C.A. Yont and W.B. Felker. In 1914
improvements to the trail up the east face of Pikes Peak were undertaken
by Fred Barr and his father. Their work was completed in December of
1918 and is now known as Barr Trail.
from Roger Wendell, link below
Parking Area and Manitou Incline "training area"
Barr was born in Arkansas in 1882. He became widely known in the region
and throughout the country as the builder of the Barr trail to the
summit of Pikes Peak. The trail was constructed under his direction, and
was completed in 1921.
Mr. Barr was
a firm believer in trails through the mountains of the region. He
believed that the best views of the beauty offered by the Pikes Peak
mountain area are to be obtained from hikes along trails, rather than by
driving over highways in automobiles. Around 1905, he operated a
horse-and buggy sightseeing establishment near Adams Crossing, providing
horse-drawn vehicles for persons desiring to visit the more easily
accessible scenic spots of the region. In 1918 he began surveying the
route that he would carve to the summit of Pikes Peak. Completing the
survey on Christmas eve in 1918, he spent the night alone on the summit.
Three years later, the trail was complete. Working as a miner in the
winters, Fred Barr would save his money to build Barr Trail and Barr
Camp during the summer seasons.
time the Barr trail was completed to the top of Pikes Peak Mr. Barr
erected a cabin on the trail, which was so situated that it made a
convenient stopping place for hikers who did not wish to make the walk
to the summit in one day. Fred ran a burro team out of this camp for
some twenty years. He would bring people up four miles from the summit
of Mt. Manitou on the trail he made. He would feed them a hearty meal,
and put them up for the night in one of the four cabins he built. Iron
beds with springs and mattresses insured a good night sleep. Early the
next morning they would eat breakfast and start up the trail for the six
mile ride to the summit. Fred liked to get an early start for he knew
how fickle the weather could be late in the afternoon. He also enjoyed
treating his clients to the sunrise to be seen from the higher
elevations above the cabin.
Mr. Barr was
one of the original "frozen five", or the first five members of the
AdAmAn Club. This group, in 1922 began its annual trek to the summit of
Pikes Peak to fire pyrotechnics as a New Years greeting to residents
8,000 feet below. Every year since, they have officially "added a man"
to the group's roster, thus the group's name. He always took part in the
annual trek, which is still made today in time to set off the fireworks
display on New Years Eve.
from Barr Camp site, link below
Tables at Barr Camp
Water is an
issue on Pikes Peak and any water along Barr trail requires treatment or
filtration prior to drinking. Barr Camp will loan hikers a
filtration pump to use at this waterhole. Drainage areas to the
north of the Barr Camp trail (2 miles away) are presumed to
contain safe water for drinking.
I used 24 fluid ounces to climb to Barr
Camp carrying a full pack on an especially warm day in the 80 degree
range. My point is that water to the top
may be a major weight issue for many climbers.
Be certain that water fill-up is available at Barr Camp if
you do not carry full trip rations.
Water may not be readily available. Filter or treat water before drinking
from mountain streams. Bring and drink plenty of water to help avoid
many physical complications, especially in the winter.
http://www.barrcamp.com/ Barr Camp
and Open Spaces
http://www.stevegarufi.com/pikespeaksummit.htm Colorado Guy
http://www.rogerwendell.com/pikespeak.html Roger Wendell