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blueBlack Pikes Peak Ascent

  5.0 ( 2 )

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

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 2 votes


  5.0 from 2 votes
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in Colorado


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I did the Pikes Peak Ascent in 2017. I'm not an elite runner. It was more of a collective hike with competitive people than a trail run. But, it was definitely tough! You can read my full account with some of my training/running history at this link to help you form your expectations:… Aug 26, 2017

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