Monday, April 22, 2013

Undiscovered Hikes: Ring the Peak Trail

A couple years ago Backpacker Magazine ran an article that highlighted several "Undiscovered Hikes" around the country. One of those hikes was the Ring the Peak Trail in Colorado. The article stated that the trail, which circumnavigates Pikes Peak, will "give Colorado an answer to Rainier's Wonderland Trail".

According to the Friends of the Peak website,
"the Ring the Peak trail is a collection of trails, four wheel drive roads, and a few paved roads that circumnavigates Pikes Peak. The trails cross federal, state, county, city, and sometimes private lands. The total length of the trail system is approximately 63 miles with approximately 80% of the route completed. Evaluation and planning is ongoing for the remaining 20%. The altitude ranges between 6,400 feet in Manitou Springs to 11,300 feet east of Portal 8 on Trail Segment 8-9; consequently, many trails are obscured by snow during the winter months. Currently, 9 portals provide access to the Ring trails, although there are numerous other ways to find your way to the Ring."
Here's a map of the trail as it stands today:

In addition to being a great way of enjoying the Pikes Peak area via day hikes or extended backpacking excursions, there are a couple sections along the way that provide access points that lead to the summit of the 14,110-foot peak.

You can also enjoy the Ring the Peak on a mountain bike. An unofficial, roughly 100K mountain bike challenge, is scheduled for Saturday, September 7th.


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