Barr Trail / Pikes Peak trail photo
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Level: Expert
Length: 26 mi (41.8 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Out & Back
Elevation: +11,651/ -2,689 ft
Total: 104 riders

Mountain Biking Barr Trail / Pikes Peak

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#28 of 1,377 mountain bike trails in Colorado
#161 in the world

This trail climbs 7500 vertical feel in just under 13 miles to the top of Pikes Peak (6,600 to 14,100 ft). Since bikes are not allowed on the toll road, this is the only way to ride your bike to the top of Pikes Peak. Be prepared for fast changing weather and much colder conditions on top. The trail starts out with a few stairs and then enters a section of switchbacks called the incline. The incline climbs at an average grade of 11% for a couple of miles with it almost all being rideable. Once you pass through the rock arch, the grade levels out a bit, but it's still a continuous climb. You'll have a couple small flat sections between the top of the incline and Barr Camp. Barr Camp marks the mid-point of the ride in both distance and elevation gain. Up to this point, the trail has been 99% rideable, but beyond Barr Camp the trail gets much more difficult. Continue climbing up more switchbacks until you reach the bottom of the large cirque/treeline. To the left is a small green A-frame that can make a handy shelter in adverse weather conditions. a**s the weather before continuing on above the A-frame because there is no shelter from here to the top (still over 2,000 vertical feet above you). Once above treeline, the trail gets even tougher not only because of the lack of oxygen but also because of loose pea gravel and very large boulders. The trail switchbacks up and across the east face to the edge of the large chasm (~13,100 ft). You've still got another 1,000 vertical feet to go. The trail leaves the edge of the cirque back towards the middle of the east face to the start of the 16 Golden Stairs. The Golden Stairs are 16 pairs of switchbacks (32 switchbacks) that meander through the large boulders to the top. Most of the stairs are not rideable and it's so tight between some of the rocks that it's hard to carry the bike. Near the last switchback, you'll see the cog train at the top - You're almost there! Cross the tracks, get your obligatory summit photo, and grab a bite to eat in the cafe. Now reverse course and don't forget to use that thing you've got under the helmet. The ride down (especially above treeline) is a mental exercise in making good decisions. There is quite a bit rideable, but it takes good judgment to know when it's best to get off the bike rather than take a chance trying a technical section where you can't afford to make a mistake (You'll see what I mean when you get there). Once you're back to Barr Camp, take a breather and prepare for a screaming downhill back to your car. The forest service estimates that a round trip hiking will take approximately 16 hrs, but on a bike cut that in half (depending of physical condition and acclimatization), while the record for a round trip (by a trail runner) is a little over 3 hours!

First added by JJonas on Sep 13, 2005. Last updated May 5, 2020. → add an update
Before you go
  • Drinking water: unknown
  • Lift service: unknown
  • Night riding: yes
  • Pump track: unknown
  • Restrooms: unknown
  • Fat bike grooming: unknown
  • E-bikes allowed: unknown
  • Fee required: unknown
This trail information is user-generated. Help improve this information by suggesting a correction.
Getting there
Take I-25 to Colorado Springs, go west on Hwy 24 to Manitou Springs. Exit and go through Manitou Springs to Ruxton Rd. (you'll see signs going to the cog railway, follow them). Turn left on Ruxton and climb up the hill past the cog train station and turn right up a steep hill to the parking lot.
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Barr Trail / Pikes Peak Trail map

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Trail conditions

(on Jan 29, 2021)
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Barr Trail / Pikes Peak videos

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Downhill Mtn bike Pikes Peak
Pikes Bike Mtn Bike -Barr Trail…
Pikes Peak Barr Trail (part1)
Pikes Peak Barr Trail (part 4)
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Rider questions

Q: Can you start at the top and just do downhill?
A: Yes! You'll need to pay the toll to drive up ($10 per person in the vehicle). More info:

Q: Hi. I'm a lone rider from the northern prairies. I'm an avid cyclist but have no acclimation to higher altitudes. I want to climb Barr Trail solo, Sept 23 or 24 . Do I sign in somewhere before I head out?