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Pikes Peak Ascent



13.3 mile 21.4 kilometer point to point
73% Runnable


Ascent: 7,755' 2,364 m
Descent: -6' -2 m
High: 14,054' 4,284 m
Low: 6,305' 1,922 m


Avg Grade: 11% (6°)
Max Grade: 32% (18°)


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Trail shared by Jason Smith

A signature old school trail race to the summit of Pike's Peak. One of the best burners anywhere.

Jason Smith

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It's a classic, so any runner who wants this kind of pain is looking to enter. The race director requires exacting qualifying standards and if you meet them, the race fills up almost instantly. Refer to the race website for all related details.

Need to Know

Matt Carpenter, one of the all-time best US mountain runners & Pikes Peak Marathon record-holder says it best: "When it comes right down to it, races are about their courses and this course is one of the most challenging in the world." There is no exposure on the Barr Trail, but be prepared for fickle alpine weather conditions ranging from brutal heat to terrifying thunderstorms. Check the weather, pack layers accordingly & heed all advice from the race crew.


The course couldn't be more straightforward. Start in front of City Hall on Manitou Ave in downtown Manitou Springs, turn on to the Barr Trail after 1.6 miles & a punch it more than 7,000' to the top of a legendary 14er! Pace yourself through the pine forest to the A-frame at 10 miles. From here, it's down to the business of ascending the final 2,000' up Pikes Peak's East Face. Hopefully you've saved enough juice, or these switchbacks are going to feel eternal with delirious tears a near certainty.

Want more details? Who better to ask than Matt Carpenter. He holds the stunning course record of 2:01:06 and took the Ascent title numerous times. Matt knows every step of the course & offers a wealth of detail on his website.

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Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes, History & Background


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Aug 19, 2017
Jen McMurtrey
Jun 1, 2016
Stephanie Nolin
With Dad, Marco and Casey!

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  5.0 from 2 votes


  5.0 from 2 votes
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in Colorado


15 Views Last Month
2,723 Since Jul 15, 2015



You work hard below tree line but the views up here pay off.
Sep 11, 2015 near Manitou…, CO
Looking north east on Barr Trail above the clouds.
Sep 26, 2017 near Manitou…, CO
Looking over the now defunct cog rail line at the summit of Pikes Peak, Colorado
Sep 2, 2018 near Manitou…, CO
Still below treeline nearly halfway to Pikes Peak summit, a runner enjoys a short mellow section of Barr Trail with some funky formations. Photo by Nancy Hobbs
Aug 11, 2015 near Manitou…, CO
This is starting to hurt!  Key to pace yourself at this stage of the race. Photo by Nancy Hobbs
Aug 11, 2015 near Manitou…, CO
The bighorn sheep keep an eye on us as we climb the Barr Trail.
Feb 13, 2017 near Manitou…, CO

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