Hiking Pikes Peak: Things to Know


Things to know before hiking Pikes Peak

If you’re looking for an adventure – look no further! Hiking Pikes Peak-America’s Mountain is the most challenging and rewarding way to experience the mountain. The mountain is certainly a focal point in Colorado Springs, being the highest point in El Paso County. It’s the 31st highest peak of 54 fourteeners in Colorado. But it’s certainly not for the faint of heart. Keep these things in mind before braving this awesome mountain:

  • We suggest getting an early start (predawn). Colorado Springs is known for its afternoon showers in the summertime.
  • The Barr Trail is the most popular route up to the summit. It gains 7,510 vertical feet over the course of 13 miles. And that’s just one-way!
  • That, of course, means the hike is about 26 miles, roundtrip.
  • The trailhead is right by the Pikes Peak Cog Railway in Manitou Springs.
  • If you need a break, stop at Barr Camp. It’s 6.8 miles from the trailhead and allows hikers a short or even overnight rest. It will take you anywhere from 4-7 hours to get to Barr Camp.
  • You’ll notice a 20° difference between the trailhead and Barr Camp. Pack accordingly!
  • Wondering what the weather is like on the summit? Check here for live updates!


Never! You can visit anytime during the year, just plan accordingly.
Compass (optionally supplemented with a GPS receiver)
Sunglasses and sunscreen
Extra food and water
Extra clothes
First aid kit
Fire Starter
YES. The path can be rough and rocky. You will more than likely get your feet wet if you are planning on traveling during the winter.
There are no guided tours on Barr trail. If you are looking for something educational, the Pikes Peak Cog railway offers a great guided train ride.
Barr trail is an extreme 13.5 mile hike to the top, if you are not use to this intense of a hike, then no. We suggest hiking around Garden of the Gods Park.
You can NOT camp on Barr trail. If you need to stay over night during your hike, stay at Barr Camp.

Not sure you’re quite ready to hike Pikes Peak? Drive, take the Pikes Peak Cog Railway or bike down Pikes Peak! There are plenty of ways to explore the mountain.

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