Pikes Peak is the Colorado mountain that can’t be missed! That’s because of the views from its summit that inspired the song “America The Beautiful” and because it’s so big, you literally can’t miss it.
Pikes Peak is one of the most famous mountains in the USA. And there are plenty of reasons why people know it: Katharine Lee Bates wrote the song “America The Beautiful” after visiting the highest mountain in the southern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. There is the hair-raising car and motorcycle race (The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb aka The Race to the Clouds) that goes up Pikes Peak Highway, which has plenty of hairpin turns and lacks railings in many sections. Let’s mention again the magnificent views from atop this Rocky Mountains fourteener, that include other mountain peaks, lakes, towns, and on clear days views of the surrounding states and the bend of the Earth!
And then there is the accessibility. Pikes Peak is just 12 miles from downtown Colorado Springs, and the summit (at 14,115 feet / 4,302.31 m) is usually easily accessible via car, bus, or cog rail – and not just by hiking or biking.
Construction and Covid-19 Updates: As of this writing in July 2020, the tram up the mountain is not running due to construction. The Pikes Peak Cog Railway is supposed to reopen around the same time as the new Pikes Peak Summit House, in May 2021. Currently, you’ll have switch from car to shuttles at mile 13 or 16 (of the total 19-mile drive). Masks are required on the shuttles and in the gift shops. Please check for latest updates on an official website, e.g. ColoradoSprings.gov. Rumor also has it that some of the views are currently obstructed due to the construction.
For now you can enjoy some of the views via our photos. And you can get an idea of what the drive up and down is like by watching these Pikes Peak Highway time-lapse videos Luci made during our 2015 autumn visit to Pikes Peak:
VIDEO: Driving Down Pikes Peak Highway Time-Lapse, Colorado – (Extended Version)
16-mile Pikes Peak Highway – from the Pikes Peak summit at 14,115 feet (4,302.31 m) to the road entrance at about 8,000 feet.
Let’s Inspire Each Other!
Have you been to Pikes Peak? Then please tell us about our experience and share your tips. How about other places in the Rocky Mountains or Colorado? Which is the highest mountain you’ve ever been on?
Please leave a comment below – inspired by these questions or whatever you’d like to share…
All photos in this post were taken by Luci Westphal.