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Devils Playground to Pikes Peak Summit to Barr Trail

Difficult
  4.0 ( 1 ) Favorite

Trail

18.9 mile 30.4 kilometer point to point
73% Runnable
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 4,138' 1,261 m
Descent: -7,397' -2,255 m
High: 14,102' 4,298 m
Low: 6,741' 2,055 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 12% (7°)
Max Grade: 69% (35°)

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Trail shared by Jason Doedderlein

A run from the backside of Pikes Peak over the top and down the front to Manitou.

Jason Doedderlein

Features Fall Colors · Views

Overview

A great option for those who might not want an out-and-back or the mileage of the Barr Trail out-and-back.

Need to Know

Expensive to park at the Barr Trail Trailhead, but free parking exists with a shuttle (parkmanitou.com/free-shuttle/).

Water can be obtained at the summit (Summit House), A-Frame (~3 miles down from Summit) and Barr Camp (~6 miles down from Summit). The A-Frame and Barr Camp water is natural water. I have always drank it unfiltered, without issue, but choose for yourself.

The "Ws,"as the bottom 3 miles of Barr Trail is known, can get quite busy, particularly on weekends. Be courteous and let people know you are coming up behind them. I am shocked at the lack of consideration of trail runners on this stretch of trail, perhaps because so many are coming down from the Manitou Incline.

This stretch, particularly the bottom 1.5 miles, can get very hot later in the day during the summer. The red rock is exposed and gets heated up and just radiates the heat back onto you at the time when you are most beat down.

Description

Start at the Crags parking area. Make sure to split off to the right at the Y where The Crags Trail #664 goes off to the left and the Devil's Playground (#664A) trail goes to the right. From there, there are no intersecting trails to the summit.

The trail is fairly steep from the trailhead to the first ridge above treeline. From there, it levels out a bit until the final push to the summit. This stretch is about 6.6 miles and 4,100 feet of elevation gain.

Enjoy the views while going through Devils Playground.

At the summit, you can refill water and get food at the Summit House, if you wish.

Find the railroad tracks on the east side of the summit and you'll see a sign for the Barr Trail heading down to Manitou. This trail is also easy to follow, with a couple of intersecting trails, but everything is well marked.

Enjoy the 13% grade on Barr Trail, perfect for a downhill frolic. The first 2 miles are hard to get a groove going because of the rocky terrain, but once you get past that, the trail flows splendidly.

The downhill stretch is about 12 miles and about 7,800 total feet of elevation loss (due to a couple small climbs during this section).

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  4.0 from 1 vote

#2

in Divide

#3040

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  4.0 from 1 vote
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#2

in Divide

#408

in Colorado

#3,040

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330 Since Jun 30, 2019
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Photos

Devil's Playground
Jul 20, 2015 near Manitou…, CO
You work hard below tree line but the views up here pay off.
Sep 11, 2015 near Manitou…, CO
Looking back through the 'gateway' in the rocks, you get a true sense of the area's natural wonder.
Jan 22, 2017 near Manitou…, CO
Pikes Peak summit.
Jul 23, 2015 near Manitou…, CO
Looking over the now defunct cog rail line at the summit of Pikes Peak, Colorado
Sep 2, 2018 near Manitou…, CO
Reaching the top of the steep section. The summit comes into view at this point.
Jul 17, 2015 near Manitou…, CO

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