To many a visit to the great outdoors means a leisurely stroll through the well-worn trails of a nearby state park, perhaps entailing the odd clamber over a felled tree or rogue boulder before taking a well-deserved granola bar break. And then there are these: Extreme adventures that offer intense and thrilling challenges to even the most seasoned outdoorsman, from terrain, or temperature, fauna or any combination of the three.
Barr Trail, Pikes Peak, CO
Legendary mountaineer Bred Barr forged this legendary trail through Pike's Peak virtually on his own, and the result is glorious: an 11.8 mile journey ending in a summit that offers incredible views from 14,0000 feet. Besides the physical hazards of scrambling up 7,900 vertical feet, and the likelihood of altitude sickness, unpredictable weather is a serious hindrance, especially in summer when lightning storms are extremely regular and dangerous – about half of the nearly 50 reported lightning strikes in Colorado since 2000 have involved hikers and campers – and heavy hail or extreme temperature drops can be perilous. [barrtrail.net]
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