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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hiking Down Barr Trail



After our wonderful train ride to the top of Pike's Peak, we needed to get down. The views from over 14,000 feet were stunning. I am totally in love with the mountains and would move there in a heartbeat.




We were 2 young gals, both fairly reasonably in shape & all, running marathons. We thought a 13 mile hike downhill wouldn't be too big of a deal. We grabbed a greasy burger, stocked up on water & trail snacks and started our descent down the Barr Trail.




The first few miles consisted of lots of rocks and many switchbacks to get down the steep slope. Every time we turned around though, we had another amazing view.




Oh- and it was about 35 degrees and pretty windy on the top of hate mountain. When the sun would come out, I'd start sweating. When clouds cam rolling by, my hands would get cold.




I loved looking at the trail below us- seeing where we would be hiking shortly.



This is a picture of the actual slope near the top- it was pretty steep!


This area is known as the Bottomless Pit and the sheer drop-off is impressive.

All the rock formations were just so interesting to look at. So many rocks, yet so many arrangements and formations.

We met a kind hiker that took our photo in front of the pit.

We were slowly getting closer to the treeline, which is at around 11,500' in most places.
It took us about over an hour and fifteen minutes to hike down just the first 2 miles.

Some rainy looking clouds started rolling in, and I was getting worried if it took us that long to hike the rest of the trail (or even get down into some shelter in the trees).

The rest of the hike was pretty easy & smooth once we hit the treeline. Looking back at the top of the peak, we were amazed that we had hiked that far.

The trees near the top of the treeline were very unique & interesting. They must be very hearty to deal with the wind, snow and lack of soil at these altitudes.

Near the bottom, when were just tired & exhausted and seriously questioning our sanity, we were treated to a beautiful rainbow.
2 awesome hours + 4 grueling hours later we made it back to the trail head!

We started around 12:45 and finished almost 6 hours later. The full hike was 12.6 miles long and about 7,300' down in elevation. I can't even imagine trying to climb up the mountain, although there were many people who went up & down in a day.
GOOD NEWS OF THE DAY: I can say I've hiked Pike's Peak now!

1 comment:

Dennis the Vizsla said...

Gorgeous scenery out there! This reminds me of our epic eight-hour hike up and down Old Raggedy in Shenandoah National Park. It's obviously not as tall as Pike's Peak, but the trail is very long and, in spots, vertical. We had no idea what we were getting into, but it was still a great time.