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  1. #1
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    Default Trail Comparison

    I plan on hiking segments 1-9 this summer but have no idea how many miles per day that I can do. I know how fast I can hike Barr Trail to Barr Camp. Does anyone out there have any idea how these two trails compare? If I can hike Barr Trail in X amount of time how would that correlate to the CT hiking times? How difficult is Barr Trail compared to the CT segments that I plan on hiking? I know that it will not be a 1 for 1 time, but just trying to get an idea for planning purposes.

  2. #2
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    I've never heard of the Barr trail.

    but if you have any hiking experience you should be able to guesstimate pretty well based on elevation profile

    I. E.... I usually figure I can do 15 to 20 miles a day with no problem if there's three to five thousand ft total vertical. An average 20 mile day in most mtns.

    less vertical I might plan slightly more, more vertical I might plan slightly less.

    Id called the CT pretty average. I did about 20 most days . Some days the rain cut today short and had to make it up the next couple..

    My advice, leave yourself plenty of time. I met people that had to adhere to a 20 to 22 mile a day schedule for various reasons and that took the fun out of it for them.. people are supposed to be out there to enjoy themselves...that means being able to stop in the awesome spot and camp there for the night if you want to enjoy that spot not have to push another five miles to some place that's not nice, because that's what the schedule says.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 02-22-2019 at 17:09.

  3. #3
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    As a flatlander and an older hiker (but in really good shape), it took me 7 days to reach Breckenridge, 104 miles. My main problem was with the elevation, the thin air really slowed me down once I got above 8K. If your young and used to hiking at 10K, 20's are not that difficult. Of course, mileage is highly dependent on where the good camping spots and water are located. You really have to pay attention to where the water is.

    I'm not sure I'd go back and try again. Dodging mountain bikers and hiking in the V troth they create got old pretty quickly. Sections 1-7 have a lot of heavy rider traffic and avoid section 3 at all costs on a weekend. The section through the Lost Creek wilderness was my favorite section, no riders and trail much like I'm used to in New England.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  4. #4
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    I would plan between 12-15 mpd. If you can do more per day then you might be able to shave off a day. If I recall I planned 8 days to get to Breck but did it in 7. If you haven't already, get the databook and the guidebook for info on campsites and water sources. You'll likely have a dry campsite in Segment 2 (burn area).

    Being from Colorado you already know about the weather and elevation problems that the CT has.

    Have Fun!

    See you on the trail,
    mt squid

  5. #5
    Registered User Redbird2's Avatar
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    I've hiked Barr Trail many times and hiked the CT last year. It's really apples and oranges. Depends on your recovery time after many days of walking. There are many places in Segments 1-9 that are as steep or steeper than anything on Barr Trail (obviously not as high an elevation as the top of Pikes Peak). There are also many places that are relatively flat. I averaged 13 miles per day in those segments. I was averaging about 2mph. Slower on the really steep parts. Faster on the downhills and flats. Hope this helps.

  6. #6
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    If you are in Colorado Springs, why donít you go west to the nearest CDT/CT trailhead and hike northbound or southbound for your allotted time?
    Wayne

  7. #7
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    I've not done the Barr Tr but know some things about it. I've hiked CT segments 1-9 on the official CT and in doing Lost Creek wilderness CT alternates. Those segments(not the LCW alternates) are generally easier meaning more gradually graded over longer distances and less crowded overall other than perhaps MBers you'll contend between Kenosha Pass and Breck and overall number of trail users. Mbers are not allowed in Wilderness areas but some CT segments 1-9 are open to MBers, where I don't think but am not 100% positive, Barr Tr is not open to MBers so if I'm correct that should say something how the trail is built. Review the elev profiles and trail conditions. This info is easily available with a modicum of Googling. The beginning segments of the CT starting in Denver shouldn't be an issue transitioning quickly for one from CS CO. I know the Barr Tr can be a darn madhouse which is why I've declined when offered to hike it with others which has always been during high use periods. Even when I've not been in hardcore backpacking shape starting in Denver for an official CT SOBO hasn't been strenuous even coming from 3000 ft-4k elev in HI or 1000 ft in GA or 1k in NJ to thru the CT. Between Segments 1-9 are not hard in my mind at all even for a flatlander spending a day or two transitioning in Denver and then the CT starting in Denver. YMMV. Starting in Denver is a good way for those outside of CO living at low elev to transition to the 500 mile CT.

  8. #8
    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    Did you hike Barr trail to Barr camp as a day hike or as an overnight trip? That would be the only difference in my mind as to trying to establish potential MPD based upon a comparison. When I planned my CT hike I just figured a 17 mile average and went from there. Unless you have a hard finish date you are only using that mileage estimate for food/resupply purposes. Once you hit your first resupply point you can, and will, reassess the mileage and go from there anyway. You live at elevation and if you are in any kind of shape just figure 7-8 days to Breckinridge and then 4-5 days into Leadville. From a personal account, I am probably a bit above average hiker, I caught the bus into Breckenridge mid-morning on day 7 and was hitching into Leadville mid-morning on day 11.
    Lonehiker

  9. #9
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    I started my CT hike from the Chatfield SP, which added 7-8 miles to the first day just to get to the Waterton trial head. I arrived at the park after 48 hours on bus and trains, with little sleep. Then again got little sleep at the campground at the park. Even so, I made Breck in 7 days. Starting fresh from the trail head, I bet you could shave a good day off of my time. Maybe 2 days if your a strong hiker and acclimated to the elevation.

    If I do go back (and I'm thinking about it), I'll go directly to Leadville and spend a week there getting acclimated before hitting the trail.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  10. #10
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    So, it appears the barr trail is trail up pikes peak.
    12 mi, 7500 ft, ending at 14k+

    If you do this in a day, up and back.....you will have no problem with CT

    If you do it in 2 days...15+ mi days on CT would be fine to plan for

    If it takes you 3 day.....plan exact same mpd a you did on barr trail

    Imo

    Take for what you paid for it.
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

  11. #11
    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    OP only went up to Barr Camp which is less than half the distance. It is still ~12 miles round trip with 3,500 feel of elevation gain/loss though.
    Lonehiker

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonehiker View Post
    OP only went up to Barr Camp which is less than half the distance. It is still ~12 miles round trip with 3,500 feel of elevation gain/loss though.
    Ok. 485/12=40.
    It will take you 40 x hiking time as long to hike CT. Plus town days and resupply.
    "Inevitably, a long distance hiker must choose between travelling light, and not travelling at all." - Earl V. Shaffer

  13. #13

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    The Barr Trail is similar to the terrain and type of trail you will experience on the Colorado Trail. (Including the Barr Camp to the Summit portion.) The miles per day you could do would start a bit less as you will be carrying a full pack and hiking day after day. After a few days though it will likely start to be more miles per day as your legs get used to the hiking (as long as you don't push yourself too hard each day and wear yourself out).

  14. #14

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    Yes, don't forget the Barr Cabin to the summit part, that's the hard (best) part, and it's where elevation will hit you.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by pacrfan View Post
    I plan on hiking segments 1-9 this summer but have no idea how many miles per day that I can do. I know how fast I can hike Barr Trail to Barr Camp. Does anyone out there have any idea how these two trails compare? If I can hike Barr Trail in X amount of time how would that correlate to the CT hiking times? How difficult is Barr Trail compared to the CT segments that I plan on hiking? I know that it will not be a 1 for 1 time, but just trying to get an idea for planning purposes.
    I have hiked both. The difference wasn't in the trail. It was in the pack. When I hiked to Barr Camp, I only carried the essential 10. When I hiked the CT I carried a heavy pack. My recollection was that the CT took more time per mile because of the heavier pack.
    Shutterbug

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