A Colorado Based Fitness, Food, Travel, and Lifestyle Blog

Pikes Peak Challenge

Hi everybody! Hope you are having good weeks. I’m glad that it’s been a little cooler this week in Denver. I’m excited to not be sweating all the time. I know this is dramatic b/c I live in Denver and not Houston, but… this Minnesota girl prefers 70 degree days and cool mornings. It’s starting to feel a bit like Denver fall. When I was in Telluride the leaves were starting to change, and I loved it. If you didn’t see my posts, make sure to follow on instagram! In other news, a couple weeks ago I checked something off my Colorado Bucket List. I hiked Pikes Peak!!! This has been on my list of things to do for years, and I finally was able to do it!

Pikes Peak- the mountain

Pikes Peak is one of the most famous mountains in Colorado. It’s located in Colorado Springs, and there is a highway (think really winding and steep road) that you can take to the top. You can also take the COG Railway train to the top. There is a gift shop with donuts at the top, and if you are just visiting CO for the first time, it’s a cool place to check out. My family would come to Colorado a lot when I was growing up and once or twice we drove to the top.  Another area to hike at Pikes Peak is the Manitou Incline which is an old railway that is turned into 1 mile of stairs for hiking. It’s one of the hardest hikes ever, but it’s a rite of passage for Colorado hikers.




Pikes Peak Challenge- the hike

Pikes Peak is a 12.5 mile hike (depending on which route you take) climbing up the Barr Trail to Barr Camp. The hike finishes with the 16 Golden Stairs. It’s a mentally challenging hike because of the distance and it takes the majority of a day. I finished in about 7 hours. Most people who hike Pikes Peak in one day, hike up the mountain and then take a shuttle or train down. Due to Colorado storms, your group will want to start the hike very early and be done hiking around lunch. My group started hiking at 5:45 and we were done around 12:30-1pm.


Pikes Peak Challenge was the organized hike that I attended. Pikes Peak Challenge is an event hosted by the Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado and supports survivors of Traumatic Brain Injuries.  I really appreciate that this is an organized hike full of people who support the same cause.

The hike is very well organized and managed. There are shuttles to take you to the start, back down the mountain, and back to your cars. The course has checkpoints for hikers to ensure that all hikers are safe. There were volunteers on the course who filtered fresh mountain water for us, and there were SNACKS! Even with my side pain and stomach issues, I felt good about hiking this event.


My Hike

I started the hike not knowing if I would finish because of my health issues. My thought was I would go to Barr Camp (about 6 miles in) and see how I felt. If I felt bad before or at Barr Camp, I would hike back down to the finish where I had my car and a couple books. Luckily the morning portion (in the dark) of the hike went quickly and the sun came out. Hiking felt good on my body except that I could tell I hadn’t exercised much since my injury.  The hike went well, our group stayed together for the first 6 miles and then we split into two groups. There were a few times in Mile 10-12 where I just wanted to stop, but there were only two options, a) walk all the way down or b) walk the rest of the way up.


We stayed in Cascade the night before the race at this Airbnb- Gorgeous Mountain Home. If you are a first timer to Airbnb, I highly recommend it. I have added an affiliate link to the Airbnb website to get started, We packed our own breakfast and snacks for the hike, and we ate at Colorado Mountain Brewery the night before. Their food is great!

Linking up with Amanda today!


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Colorado, Fitness