Peak(s):  Pikes Peak  -  14,110 feet
Date Posted:  08/11/2012
Date Climbed:   07/27/2012
Author:  Bill Oliver

 Pikes Peak from Elk Park via Barr Camp  

My goal was to get some 14er conditioning for a day-hike of Longs by the Keyhole four days later. Starting from the Elk Park pullout on the Pikes Pk Hwy (just before Mile 13; a little past Glen Cove) means starting at about 12,000’ instead of much lower at the Barr Trail TH (6600’).

It’s a long, low angle descent on Trail 652 to the Barr Camp at 10,200. Early-on you’ll pass the junction leading to the Oil Creek Tunnel. You’ll also cross both the North and South Forks of French Creek. I made the approximately 5-mile traverse to Barr in about 2 hours (I’m steady but not fast). I saw no one on this section.

I don’t like carrying water unnecessarily, so I treated water at Barr Camp and then again at the Timberline A-Frame Shelter (10:35 - 12:00 noon). I made the summit at 2:25 pm, a little ahead of intermittent light rain.

So, 2 hrs to Barr, then another 3.75 hrs to the top. From the summit I easily hitched a ride back to the Elk Park pullout - making for a good 14er workout.

Note: the Pikes Peak Hwy does not open until 7:30 am, so this route does not allow for an early start, as preferred when afternoon thunderstorms may be lurking. The Hwy fee is $10/person. You can save $2 with a coupon: - one coupon per car. The road closes at 8:00 pm at the downhill gate.


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