A great downhill run near Pikes Peak Colorado (i.e. a few hours from Denver)(5,160 foot altitude loss)requiring two vehicles (one parked at the Ruxton Trail head and the other at the Elk Park Knoll) featuring a ride past a small ghost town "Ghost Town Hollow" on the site of the old Cincinnati Mine, Oil Creek Tunnel and Barr Camp. Take the trail from the Elk Park Knoll (Forest Service #652)off the Pikes Peak Highway, following a narrow exposed trail down from timberline through the forest to North French Creek (1.2 miles). Here you will see a sign pointing left to Barr Camp (4 miles)or straight to the Oil Creek Tunnel (1/4 mile).
After exploring the Ghost Town head down the trail to Barr Camp, crossing North French Creek (log bridge) following the trail up (200' gain) to a ridge over looking the Manitou Reservoir! Cross a high plateau meadow and then down into the South French Creek watershed through the "Pikes Peak North Shore" (timbered, dark & mossy)and down to Barr Camp where you can obtain shelter, water and maybe some food! The next three miles is fairly easy with an altitude loss of only 1,200 feet. Below this point, Barr trail is very steep dropping through stands of Fir, Spruce and Pine with the occasional view of the city below and the great plains off in the distance.
Note: Horses and Hikers have the right of way on this trail, so its best avoided on the weekends. Additionally, when above treeline be very watchful of the weather. As a rule of thumb, be below timberline by early afternoon, 2:00 pm at the very latest to minimize the likely hood of being struck by lightning!
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Posted By: Cityofmanitou
- Tue Apr 25 02:08:51 UTC 2006
UpsideIf you stay on Barr trail you are ok if you follow the Experimental Forest Trail you may get into trouble DownsidePrivate Prorerty CommentThe Experimental Forest Trail is ok untill you get to the split in the road at the split this becomes private, it is City Water shed, father down the road it becomes property of a private citizen, if you are found on this property you will be turned over to the police.
Posted By: riverrun
- Fri Apr 04 02:10:33 UTC 2003
UpsidePretty. DownsideTraffic CommentI am assuming the above trail description is for that route terminating in Manitou Spgs. including the incline switchbacks, a trail section with nonstop short switchbacks obviousl never intended for MTB. As an alternative, I suggest the Experimental Forest cutoff. About two or three miles down from Barr Camp, make a left hand turn following the direction to the experimental forest. This is a dirt road, not a trail. There has been construction up there lately, so it may even be a somewhat used dirt road. Follow this up for a while and it will crest among some concrete foundations. Continue straight where the road curves and at the top of a short steep hill will be another dirt road, turn right and you're set. This is a about three miles of speed with water-bars every forty feet for clean fast air. At the bottom, past the gate, make a right on another road, then another immediate right on a trail. This will take you into Manitou Spgs