- The Pikes Peak Ranger District of the Pike National Forest provides many opportunities for the outdoor recreationist. The main focus of the area is on Pikes Peak itself. The 14,110 foot peak is a symbol of the Pike National Forest and can be accessed three ways: the auto highway, the Cog Railway or the Barr Trail. The Barr National Recreational Trail leads hikers from Manitou Springs to the summit of Pikes Peak. The tread travels through foothills, montane, subalpine and alpine ecosystems.
Copyright: Amy Pyle-Interactive Outdoors, Inc.
Pikes Peak is the namesake for the Pike National Forest and the Pikes Peak Ranger District
Manitou Park is another highlight of the Pikes Peak Ranger District. It's a highly developed recreation area with campgrounds, picnic sites, hiking trails and biking trails surrounding Manitou Lake. Rampart Reservoir Recreation Area is a very popular and picturesque site. The reservoir creates a recreation area for boating, fishing, biking, hiking and horseback riding.
Recreation - A plethora of outdoor activities can be enjoyed by visitors to the Pikes Peak Ranger District. The list includes but is not limited to the following: boating, camping, backpacking, fishing, hiking, biking, motorcycle riding and horseback riding. The varied terrain of the region provides excellent opportunities for recreationists of all skill levels to participate in their favorite or a new sport.
Climate - Controlled mainly by the Rocky Mountains, weather in the Pikes Peak Ranger District varies extremely on a yearly, daily and hourly basis. Colorado's high elevation makes the air thinner and harder to breathe. The elevation also makes it easier to get a sunburn, because there is less air between you and the sun to filter ultraviolet light. Temperatures are affected by elevation, cooling four degrees for every 1,000 feet gained.
When hiking, particularly on high mountain peaks, during the summer, morning and early afternoon hikes are best to avoid lightning and thunderstorms. The average yearly precipitation is 16 inches, the majority of which comes in spring and summer. Summer temperatures average 72 degrees during the day. Nighttime freezing temperatures are not uncommon during the summer. The mean winter temperature is 26 degrees. The low humidity on the eastern slopes makes both warm and cold temperatures seem more comfortable.
The Pikes Peak Ranger District is located in the region surrounding the city of Colorado Springs. It comprises the southeastern section of the Pike National Forest. It is bordered to the north by the South Platte Ranger District and to the west by the South Park Ranger District both within the same forest.