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Pikes Peak Highway

Top Activity on "Things To Do In Colorado Springs" - Scenic Drive To The Pikes Peak Summit

The Pikes Peak Highway - America's Road
Pikes Peak Highway

If you're the average visitor to Colorado Springs and you're from a state without mountains, driving to the top of Pikes Peak is an activity that I highly recommend. If your time is limited, put this at the top of your list as something to do among the many attractions in the region.

Yes, there is a pricey entrance fee. Pay it anyway. Go. It's true that it's more enjoyable to reach the summit of Colorado's 14ers by foot, but driving up is still a glorious thing. Although I have nothing negative to say about the Cog Railway, I do like the Pikes Peak Highway more for the following reasons: 1) You can take your time and stop anywhere along the road, for there is a lot to see, 2) You can spend as much as time as you want at the summit. Below are my photos from a number of visits over the years.

Directions: From Colorado Springs and/or Manitou Springs, travel west on U.S. Highway 24 into the mountains. Beyond Manitou Springs, you'll reach the town of Cascade, where there is a large sign to make a left for Pikes Peak. Travel on a local road in Cascade and make another left at a sign that leads to the Pikes Peak Highway gate.

Photos and commentary by Steve Garufi. Facebook - Twitter - Pinterest - YouTube

2012 Visits

On visits to Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak, I made the following pages:

Little Pikes Peak - An unranked 13ers along the Pikes Peak Highway. Nice spot!

Pikes Peak Highway Teller County High Point - A 13,070' point in the Devils Playground is the high point in Teller County.
El Paso County High Point - Pikes Peak is the highest point in El Paso County, Colorado.

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Pikes Peak Highway
November 2007 - Photos

Visiting Colorado Springs, I made the scenic drive up Pikes Peak on the Pikes Peak Highway. I lived in Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs from 1997-2005, and one thing I regret is it not spending much time in this high elevation mountain region. The various hikes above timberline, the photography opportunities and its availability to get the heck away were all things I wish I had done more.

Adjacent is my first photo near the beginning of the road.

Pikes Peak The Crystal Creek Reservoir with Pikes Peak behind This spot is at Mile 6 with the summit sitting at Mile 19.
Pikes Peak Highway Heading upward, slowly but surely.
Pikes Peak Highway
Pikes Peak Highway
Things became more snowy as we reached Glen Cove (second photo).
Pikes Peak Highway
Pikes Peak Highway
Remember, there are 54 Colorado 14ers in this state. Among those, two have roads to the top: Pikes Peak and Mount Evans.

Other 14ers I've climbed:

  • Mt. Sneffels
  • Quandary Peak
  • Mt. Sherman
  • Mt. Princeton
  • Mt. Massive

    Also, here's my hike of Pikes Peak in 2002: Pikes Peak Via Barr Trail

  • Pikes Peak Highway Lots of switchbacks like this one.
    Above Timberline Past the Devil's Playground area, there are grand views of the mountains to the west. I could easily see Mt. Princeton and the Sawatch Range (where I live) way out there; those farthest peaks out there are them!
    Pikes Peak Highway Continuing up. Pikes Peak's head can be seen behind this "false peak" to the left.
    Pikes Peak At the summit. I banged my head against the sign and it hurt! Craziness! :)
    Pikes Peak Region
    Pikes Peak Region
    Pikes Peak
    Rampart Range
    Four photos atop Pikes Peak.

    TOP: The easterly view of Colorado Springs.

    SECOND: The southeasterly view of some neighboring mountains including Almagre Mountain, Sheep Mountain and Cheyenne Mountain.

    THIRD: The northeasterly view.

    BOTTOM: The view to the north. The Catamount Reservoirs and Crystal Creek Reservoirs are closest, with the Rampart Reservoir a little farther out to the east. Woodland Park and the canyon known as "Ute Pass" can also be seen.

    Some of my better Colorado Springs pages:

  • Gold Camp Road
  • Williams & Waldo Canyon
  • Palmer Park
  • Manitou Incline
  • Rainbow Falls (Manitou Springs)
  • Rampart Range Road
  • Pulpit Rock
  • Adopt A Highway
  • Pikes Peak Gift Shop Inside the gift shop, I really liked the selection of Pikes Peak hats with the large "P" on the front.

    I tried to look cool like Alana (who visited the Maroon Bells with me) by raising my index finger and pinky like she would frequently do, but instead it looks odd and almost like I'm giving a different finger gesture. :o)

    Pikes Peak Cog Railway Tracks
    The very end of the line of the Cog Railway.

    My buddy Scott, who came along for the drive, actually placed his tongue on that metal pole. Yikes!

    Pikes Peak Highway
    Pikes Peak Highway
    Two more photos while coming down. You can't beat the Colorado mountain scenery folks ... go!

    Photos - September 2004
    Click any thumbnail to view it at a larger size.

    A visit with Bernie, Nick and Kansas Kelly.
    Extreme Ironing
    Nick participated in extreme ironing on top of the mountain.
    Road to Pikes Peak
    Traveling up the road.
    Pikes Peak Highway, CO
    Nice view of the many switchbacks.
    Pikes Peak Highway Colorado

    Visits On August 2000 and September 2001
    Pikes Peak Highway Hot Breaks Fail
    LEFT: Nice view of the road and scenery beyond.
    RIGHT: Hot breaks indeed fail. Don't ride your breaks while riding down. Put your car in a lower gear. ;)
    Cog Railway Pikes Peak Barr Trail Sign
    LEFT: The Cog Railway Train working its way up.
    RIGHT: The sign at Barr Trail. A 13 mile hike back to Manitou Springs.
    Pikes Peak Donuts Pikes Peak Donuts
    LEFT: My younger brother and I during our visit in August 2000.
    CENTER and RIGHT: Enjoy one of their "world famous" donuts at the top. :)

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