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Trail Day Adventure

Created by Paul Signorelli, W0RW on 2023-03-30


Trail Day Adventure



This Trail Day adventure started by boarding the Manitou & Pike's Peak Cog Railway at Manitou Springs, Colorado. The 'Cog' is a train that can go up a very steep incline because it drives itself up on a third rail which has big cog teeth on it.


You can see the Cog train route pictures at

There are exciting times on the rails too, one uphill train engineer threw an old oil rag out on the tracks to warn the downhill train engineer of a broken rail. Not too bad going up but you better take it slow going downhill, He said. Of course, they have 2 big springs at the bottom of the tracks to stop runaway cars, Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs.


Hiking down Pikes Peak from the top or from Barr Camp sounds easy but it can find the weakest part of your body and blow it out. Knees, ankles and Hiking shoes can become instruments of torture and blistering is guaranteed. More hiking information is at:



To start this downhill hike (Which I called Trail Day because it coincided with Field Day) I rode the COG train up to the 'Mountain View' siding. It was only $10 for a one-way ticket (expect to pay more now). When you jump off the train in the middle of an extremely remote place like this, with your backpack on, you will see a lot of envious tourists on the train who wish they could be going along with you. I hiked across the face of Pike's Peak over to Barr Camp, I made several contacts on the trail before Field Day started.

Barr Camp is a wilderness cabin midway on the Barr Trail which goes from Manitou Springs to the top of Pike's Peak. Barr Camp cooks up Breakfast and Dinners, sells candy and supplies, and has a bunk house for hikers.

It is like a mountain oasis, there are picnic tables and a bench swing that is set by the stream to comfort the tired hikers.


You can see Barr Camp on-line by going to

When I arrived at Barr Camp everyone came out to inspect my Pedestrian Radio operation. I let them talk on the radio to several other hams.


The weather held and I was able to hike down the mountain without my rain gear. The 7-mile descent was pretty hard on my feet. My 40 pounds backpack got really heavy carrying an extra battery. The PRC319 radio alone was 25 pounds.

The 12-hour hike was all done using one 6AH LiIon battery. I worked a dozen Field Day stations. It was a great field trip. Lots of nice wildflowers, Fields of Columbines, but no animals. When I got back home there was a doe and her 2 fawn in my back yard.

Paul w0rw/pm
Colorado Springs


Re: Trail Day Adventure
When you are going to operate at 'Altitude' you need to be aware of the symptoms of altitude sickness.
When you start to get dizzy and feel a slight head ache or light headed, you probably have it.
If you can't remember how to use the menus on your phone or radio, that is a sign.
If you have locked your keys in your car, that is a sign.
If your legs feel like cement, that is a sign.
If you can not walk a straight line, like they make you walk when testing for DUI, You are sick.
You must get oxygen right away or go to a lower altitude right away.
You don't want to be driving down the hill when you are seeing double.
There are no guard rails.
Here is one of many detailed web sites with more information:
ps: The top photo was taken by Ki0PF.
Paul w0rw
Reply to a comment by : KC6RWI on 2023-04-02

That looks like fun, hiking and having some radio fun, but I wonder at that altitude I might get a headache from the thinner air, How do you adapt to the higher altitude?
Trail Day Adventure
That looks like fun, hiking and having some radio fun, but I wonder at that altitude I might get a headache from the thinner air,
How do you adapt to the higher altitude?