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455 Barr Trail - Part 3 2011-08-12

Pikes from rocky overlook

Continued from Barr Trail - Part 2

After waking, we packed our bags and waited for breakfast. Seven is a late hour for serving a meal on the mountain; but we were going down, so we were not in a rush.

The morning crowd was different than the dinner bunch at Barr Camp. In the evening almost everyone was in the Main Cabin at the same time. For breakfast, folks just sort of meandered over whenever they were ready to eat. The atmosphere was even more casual. Oh, Teresa's pancakes were outstanding. If I did not have to walk down the mountain in the heat of the day, I would have eaten even more.


Returning on the Barr Trail

Going down the Mountain

After finishing breakfast we began the hike down the hill. It was Saturday morning and the mountain was full of hikers. It wasn't long before we met others hiking up the mountain, some in large groups.

note: Hiking in a large group is not the most environmentally correct behavior. If you are a leader with a large group, divide the masses into smaller groups of eight or less and stagger their starts. Then, on the trail, instruct the groups to stay out of eyesight of the next group - if you can see another group, slow down.

We met many small groups and two large groups, which we assumed were small college football teams. We knew they were football players because they kept 'blocking' the path. Ha! One team was resting along the trail. The coach looked like he was about to die! They probably weren't from a mountain state and the coach looked like he was ready to go back to Kansas, soon. I would not have bet on any of them making the summit; but they all probably did.

Leaving the trees and entering the open slope was like stepping into an oven. It was hot in Manitou Springs. As we passed the Incline Trail junction, the already busy trail grew even more crowded. The trail wound unmercifully through the heat to finally arrive at the trailhead, at least we were headed downhill.


Manitou Springs from the trail

Manitou Springs from the Trail

We returned to our vehicles and all was good. Jon and Laura left for Tennessee and we headed back to Rocky Mountain National Park for a few more days.

A few lower Barr Trail notes ...

The pancakes were as good as the bread at Barr Camp.

The seven miles to the trailhead is divided into two sections: the first half is a gentle slope and mainly in the shade, the second half is steep (though all downhill) and in the sun. It can be very hot.

The parking lot at the trailhead was full, even though the parking fees were in effect.

The trail was crowded probably because of the the weekend.

Barr Trail is one of the best trails I have ever walked. Twice, I have walked the trail going from the trailhead to the summit and back (car to car) in long 26 mile days. It was a much easier hike spreading the journey out over three days, but then you spend three days hiking it!

If you have never stayed at Barr Camp it is worth the visit.

It's funny, you can't see the mountain's summit on the trail until after you have walked a couple of hours and still the peak seems so far away. It is a long hike.

The trail is in remarkably good condition despite all of the use. It is very popular and well maintained.

Happy lower Barr trails


Barr Trail - part 1

Barr Trail - part 2


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