It was nice Sunday in February when our group of 9 Colorado Mountain Club Bobcats met early at 6am along 1-25 in Denver for our carpool down to Manitou Springs for an out/back hike to Barr Camp.
There are some options for parking. Note the lots nearest to the Barr Trail TH can become full and there is a fee to park near the trail head.
We parked at 10 Old Man’s Trail. There were portable toilets and the bus stop for the shuttle was right across the street at Memorial Park. The Manitou Shuttle dropped us off at the Iron Springs Melodrama lot. The shuttle runs continuously throughout the day until 8 pm.
Our group gathered in front of the trailhead, and after a brief discussion about favorite superheroes, we set off. The initial first mile ascends steeply with short switchbacks. Miles two to three ascend slightly less steeply with longer legs to the switchbacks. On this day the trail was snow packed. Our group had a happy and light mood as we made our way up the trail. Note the trail is well marked with signage as well as distance markers every half mile. We paused at our first view of Pikes Peak.
After a few more switchbacks, the trail continues less steeply. The conditions were still hard snowpack over and through the pine forest. We spotted a nice comfortable looking log in a sunny spot and stopped for a quick break. By now it was a full out Blue Bird Day. We stripped down some more and re-applied sun screen.
We came upon the sign indicating we were just .5 miles from Barr Camp. We hiked up the last little push along the remaining switchbacks. Soon we saw the lovely sight of the rustic Barr Camp.
There really is nothing better than a lunch break sitting on a comfy couch among friends. We all enjoyed our break inside Barr Camp, talking with the hosts and sipping hot drinks.
Rejuvenated, we set out for the return trip back. It was an enjoyable downhill trek. We walked back to the shuttle stop at Iron Springs Melodrama and took the shuttle bus back to 10 Old Man’s Trail.
Now it is beer time … our post hike social spot was the historic Manitou Brewing Company. The service was friendly, the beer and food were great. A nice end to our adventure.
Thank you to all who participated in this fun Sunday adventure and especially to michael our leader.