Hiking Pikes with Plenty of Chocolate!

I don’t like bars. I know many celiacs swear by them, and hikers too. Somehow, I’m a celiac who loves to hike, but I am yet to become a fan of bars. Fortunately, there is plenty of other food to pack for the trail.

Last weekend, my friend and I hiked Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs. Standing at 14,114 ft high, it’s known as one of the 14-ers in Colorado. You might not think you know this mountain, but it’s actually the inspiration for Katherine Lee Bates’ infamous song, America the Beautiful! 

Now, the Barr Trail up Pikes is 12.6 miles long (one-way). However, the sign at the bottom says 13 miles, AND since we got lost, we made the trip a full 26 miles (or a marathon in our minds). The catch to hiking Pikes is avoiding the afternoon thunderstorms, which is why we left at 1 AM. (It was also an excuse to see the sunrise!)

Pikes Peak

Pikes is one of the easiest 14-ers, but you still gain 7,500 feet of elevation. And, three thousand of those come in the last three miles. Fortunately, while your lungs are struggling, the view is absolutely beautiful above the tree line.

Pikes PeakAnother benefit to leaving early is that there are plenty of active animals early in the morning! So, before we dive into the “recipe” of the day, here are a few of my favorite moments from the hike!

Pikes Peak
Proud Billy Goat Gruff
Pikes Peak
“Hi There!”

Pikes Peak

Now, are you ready for today’s quick recipe? We already established that don’t like bars, and I BARELY like granola. Therefore, I packed plenty of fruit, water, and Mango Mania Clif ropes. The ropes rip apart making them perfect to share with your hiking buddies.

However,  I still need a compact hiking snack. Therefore, my favorite thing to pack for the trail is my “chocolate-fied” granola. Because everything is better with chocolate!

Not-Quite-a-Recipe for Granola

Celiac Friendly and free of the Top 8. Make sure you buy ingredients that meet your allergy needs. 

  1. Buy your favorite bag of granola and mini chocolate chips. Chocolate Granola!
  2. Mix half of the granola and chocolate chips together in a Ziplock. Chocolate Granola!
  3. Add remaining chocolate chips to the granola bag! Chocolate Granola!
  4. Pack in your bag! Chocolate Granola!

I’m not the biggest fan of chocolate flavored items, so adding your own chips gives your granola it’s own rich taste. Plus, you can determine just how much chocolate you want. In my case, a whole bag full!

While I love my chocolate granola, my favorite treat that I brought to the top of Pikes was an Enjoy Life Chocolate Bar. Clearly, I’m a chocoholic. 🙂Pikes Peak

So, where’s your favorite place to hike?! Favorite snack for the trail?! Or do you have a bar that you’re CONVINCED I would like?  

And to my Fiesta Friday friends, I have NO IDEA what I’m up to this weekend, so I’ll let y’all next week! Hopefully this flashback is exciting for y’all though. 🙂

36 thoughts on “Hiking Pikes with Plenty of Chocolate!

    1. Thanks! We saw a group of at least 15! There were tons of other animals too once you get above the tree line. It’s one of my favorite parts about hiking early in the morning. 😀

  1. Happy Happy Fiesta Friday Kaila!! What a great post…. so beautiful. I love the photo of the goat! You must feel a rush of adrenaline when you come across the animals!! I’m so impressed with this…I truly am. And for the granola and chocolate? Brilliant!! I’m a big fan of making things your own!!

    So I have to ask… you mentioned that you left at 1am to avoid afternoon thunderstorms. Why is that? I mean, yes, I understand why you’d want to avoid a thunderstorm… but what is it about afternoon thunderstorms that is so bad? Are there no thunderstorms at 1am? Am I missing something? Did I read wrong? ❤

    Thank you so much for bringing your granola to the table. It's the perfect snack for Fiesta Friday!! ❤

    1. Yeah! That’s how the weather in C Springs works, we just get afternoon thunderstorms! Pikes actually receives the most lightning strikes out of all the 14-ers, so we all know to watch out for that at least. 🙂

      The day we hiked, the weather forecast was a 10% chance of rain from midnight to 11, and then it jumped to 30%. But, pretty much anyone from Colorado Springs will tell you, if the weather is typical there is a thunderstorm in the afternoon, and then clear skies! (So there are usually no thunderstorms at 1 am).

      It’s wacky out here! Thanks for visiting! 😀

  2. What beautiful pictures! I like clif and lara bars but often I just pack cashews and dried fruit in a ziplock baggie. It’s the same idea just not all mashed together. For hiking I would recommend the berner oberland region in switzerland or yellowstone national park. I haven’t been to glacier yet but it’s on the list!

    1. We’re trying to go to the glacier next summer, and I loved yellowstone. So now, I just need to plan a trip to Switzerland! Thanks for the suggestions. 😀

  3. Hi, again Kaila! Wow! What a great hike and awesome pix! I love the idea mixing granola with chocolate chips. I grab whatever dried fruit, nuts, granola I have in the fridge and throw them all together and head for the mountains. Happy Friday!!

    1. Thanks! He’s my favorite. I posted some other animal pictures on my Facebook page, and Mr. Billy Goat didn’t get as much love as the rest of them, so I put him in my post here too! 🙂

  4. You sound a lot like me. I’m not a “bar” fan either and when it come to granola, I’m pretty plain jane. However, I just found a few bars I fell in love with. Enjoy Life’s Mountain Mambo Fruits and Seeds mix would be a good hiking snack too. PS. Love your pictures they are beautiful!

    1. I looked up Enjoy Life’s Mountain Mambo Fruits and Seeds mix, and I’m not allergic to anything in it! I’ll have to keep an eye out for it in the store. Thanks for the suggestion!! 🙂

  5. What a great looking hike! I admit, I am a huge fan of bars but I’ve become a little disillusioned lately with the honey / agave / rice syrup needed to make the bars. This is a pretty cool alternative!

  6. I’m sharing this with a friend who is mad keen about hiking. Beautiful photos! My favourite hiking places are all around Australia, especially a long stretch of coast in western Australia that makes a great 3-5 day outing…

  7. Fun to read this Kaila! We just went hiking today! 🙂 I have a pic of it on Instagram. Are you on Instagram? Pikes Peak…we have been there….so fun that you hiked there! Gorgeous pictures!

    1. Thanks! How was your hike?! I am, but I’m not. I follow people, but I’ve never posted anything. What’s your username though, I’d love to follow you. 😀

    1. It just means that it’s elevation is in the 14,000s. There’s a bunch of them in Colorado. 🙂 But, they’re not too bad because you start at a higher elevation. For instance, Pikes starts at 7,000 something!

  8. Hi Kaila,

    With many friends with Celiac disease and gluten sensitivities, I am especially fond of your website.
    I have a recipe that was shared with me, and I would like to share (apologies if you already know it): gluten and dairy free homemade ice cream. The secret: bananas! Freeze them until solid, then cut into pieces and food-process until smooth (just before it gets totally creamy, use your add-ins; vegan chocolate chips, cinnamon, butterscotch chips, etc. – whatever you want: be creative!) then freeze until solid. It will make a wonderful, custard-like ice cream (very rich and yummy). Enjoy, and be healthy.

  9. I AM A CHOCOHOLIC AS WELL, go figure my love didn’t start till AFTER my diagnosis of Celiac and Lactose Intolerance, thank goodness for dark chocolate and enjoy life! I love your “granola” idea. BUT GIRL YOU NEED TO TRY WINK ICECREAM it’s free of the top 8 allergens 🙂 and they have a mint choc flavor AND cocoa dough! No cinnamon for you, but also a coffee and cake batter flavor!

    1. I’ll look into it! I’m getting my wisdom teeth out this week! We just bought Coconut Bliss ice cream for it, which I read about on your blog and loved it! Even my little sister, and she’s super picky about her allergy-friendly foods! 🙂

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