Pikes Peak is located on the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains a few miles to the west of Colorado Springs, Colorado. It is 14,115 feet high and the summit can be accessed in three ways. First, there is an auto road that switchbacks its way for some twenty-five miles to the top. Second, there is a wonderful cog railway from Manitou Springs that describes a more direct route upward. Third, there is the Barr Trail, a beautifully designed mountain trail which has welcomed intrepid hikers since the 1920s. Hiking the Barr Trail from bottom to top is an adventure that is not to be missed.
…doing the Ascent or Marathon you will gain a staggering 7,815 vertical feet.
While hiking the route to the summit a few years ago I was astonished to learn that hundreds of hearty souls participate in a once-yearly foot race to the summit, the Pikes Peak Ascent. Others brave both an ascent and descent to complete the Pikes Peak Marathon, a full 26.2 mile odyssey. Whether you take on the Marathon or Ascent, you are in for an incomparable challenge. Mountaineers consider the achievement of 3,000 vertical feet in a day a very full day indeed. Doing the Ascent or Marathon you will gain a staggering 7,815 vertical feet. That’s like climbing a ladder a mile and a half high.
Click on the links in the box to the right for recaps of my races on Pikes Peak. Also, check out Matt Carpenter’s outstanding Barr Trail guide.