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Barr Trail - America's second-most dangerous hike?
When we think of the dangerous hikes in Colorado, a few usual contenders come to mind. Long's Peak, which has claimed dozens of lives in six decades of mountaineering. Little Bear Peak, the jagged widow-maker in the Sangre de Cristos.
But Barr Trail, the trail up Pikes Peak that involves little more than putting one foot in front of the other (albeit for a long 13.2 miles....)?
Backpacker Magazine ranks the trail No., 2 in the 10 most dangeorus hikes in America, largely because of summer thunderstorms.
Here's what the magazine had to say:
"As the state with America's highest average elevation (6,800 feet), Colorado and its mountains see a shocking amount of electrical activity, and 20 of the 48 lightning incidents reported in Colorado since 2000 have involved hikers and campers.
"The sparkiest spot surrounds 14,115-foot Pikes Peak. According to Stephen Hodanish, Senior Meteorologist with NOAA's Lightning Safety Team, Pikes Peak collects the relatively moist air currents of southern Colorado, swirls them around with turbulent winds off the plains, and creates a potent combination of moisture, lift, and instability that invites bolts.
"A road reaches the summit, but hikers enjoy no such easy route up: The Barr Trail, the most popular footpath, gains 7,400 vertical feet over 13 miles (one way), much of that through exposed meadows and boulderfields above treeline. Motorists can dodge lightning by ducking into their cars, but hikers often find themselves trapped with no fast escape from instant incineration.
What do you think? Does our beloved Barr Trail deserve a place on this list?