One way to get to the top of Pikes Peak is to drive. Another way is to take the Cog Railway Train. Both of these options will drop you off within about 6 vertical feet from the true summit. Yet a third way to reach the top of Pikes Peak is to hike the Barr Trail. The Barr Trail ascends from the town of Manitou Springs to the summit in 12.5 miles while gaining 7500 vertical feet. The famous Pikes Peak Marathon is run on this trail.
Kieth and I left Boulder shortly before 2:00 am. We began hiking 2 hours later (4:00 am), and arrived at the summit 5 hours after that (9:00 am). I decided that the summit of Pikes Peak wins the award, hands down, for the most desecrated 14er summit in Colorado. Below is a photo of Keith, sitting within a few meters of the summit.
Summit Photo of Keith
Overall, the hike was much prettier than either of us expected. The trail was well maintained and never very steep. When we returned to the car, I decided that the 25 mile round-trip hike (we ran the first 6.5 miles down from the summit) was worthy of replacing the 20 mile run that I was supposed to do as part of my marathon training program.