Elk Park offers another option to tackle Pikes Peak than the boulder strewn, water bar choked, hiker infested Barr Trail
. The trail starts just below 12,000ft off of the Pikes Peak Highway (toll required) and descends quickly to meet the Barr Trail
just above Barr Camp.
It has everything you want in a high-alpine ride: loose gravel, smooth dirt, technical rock challenges, creek crossings and amazing views.
It can be ridden from the bottom up, but most folks will shuttle up via the Pikes Peak Highway. After Barr Camp you can descend via the lower Barr Trail
, but watch out for hikers. Use a bell and yield the trail. A more enjoyable finish to this ride includes finding a creative way (via various connector trails and dirt roads) to link it with Jones Park,finishing in the Gold Camp area on Captain Jack's
or Bear Creek Trail
#666. You'll want a good topo map for this option.