Beginning of main content

Pikes Peak

The second-most visited mountain in the world is an easy day trip from Colorado\u2019s capital.\u00A0

Pikes Peak \u2013 America\u2019s Mountain is a 14,000-foot (4,300-meter) high mountain famed for its incredible vistas, high-altitude railroad and opportunities for adventure. It was named after explorer Zebulon Pike, who led an expedition to the area in 1806. Visit the summit of Pikes Peak at any time of the year to gaze across the spectacular Rocky Mountains. The view from here was the inspiration for Katherine Lee Bates' famed poem, America the Beautiful.

Jump on board the famous Pikes Peak Cog Railway for a 190-minute round-trip ride on the world\u2019s highest cog railroad. The train travels beside Ruxton Creek in the Englemann Canyon, past Minnehaha Falls and on through \u201CHell's Gate,\u201D a natural opening through the mountains. The final half of the trip is a steep climb up Pikes Peak and a traverse above the timberline, with views across valleys, lakes and mountain ranges. You are invited to temporarily disembark at this point but stop-offs are capped at 40 minutes to limit the effects of altitude sickness. Any headaches or feelings of nausea tend to subside on the journey back down the mountain.\u00A0

If you have an adventurous spirit, climb to the summit on foot via the spectacular Barr Trail, but be warned: it\u2019s not an easy hike. The 12-plus miles (19 kilometers) of gravel trail ascends more than 7,800 feet (2,400 meters). You will wind your way through forests, across meadows, over creeks and up rocky ascents. It can take anywhere between six and 10 hours. Hikers are advised to never attempt the climb alone or during bad weather.

While Pikes Peak is open all year round, it is best to visit in spring and summer. In winter, sections of the railroad can be blocked by snow and the weather drops below 10 F (-12 C) at the summit. There is a small restaurant at the top, but it can get busy so pack a lunch if you don\u2019t want to wait in line. It\u2019s also wise to book tickets for the cog railway online in advance.\u00A0

Pikes Peak is about 70 miles (113 kilometers) south of Denver. The area around the mountain is popular with outdoor adventurers, particularly for hiking and white-water rafting. If you have a car, you can drive to the Pikes Peak summit via the toll road. The 38-mile (61-kilometer) round-trip ride takes about two hours. Parking at the top is limited.


Guide to Exploring around Pikes Peak


Trip Type
Flight 1
Flight 2
Flight 3
Flight 4
Flight 5
Map

Lodging Near Pikes Peak

See all 208 Hotels near Pikes Peak
The Cascade Room is a Cozy Creekside Accommodation at the Base of Pikes Peak
The Cascade Room is a Cozy Creekside Accommodation at the Base of Pikes Peak

The Cascade Room is a Cozy Creekside Accommodation at the Base of Pikes Peak

, Cascade-Chipita Park
     
    4.7
    of 5, from 14 reviews
    0.0 out of 5.0

    Situated in Cascade, this bed & breakfast is in the same area as Cave of the Winds, Manitou Springs Cave Dwellings, and Pikes Peak. Area attractions also include Garden of the Gods and Manitou Incline.

    Caboose Suite Sleeps 2-3
    Caboose Suite Sleeps 2-3

    Caboose Suite Sleeps 2-3

    , Cascade-Chipita Park
       
      4.8
      of 5, from 10 reviews
      0.0 out of 5.0

      Situated in the mountains, this bed & breakfast is in the same area as Cave of the Winds, Manitou Springs Cave Dwellings, and Pikes Peak. Area attractions also include Garden of the Gods and Manitou Incline.

      Deal! Luxury Guesthouse for 2 Near Pikes Peak/mountain Views and 5 Star Reviews
      Deal! Luxury Guesthouse for 2 Near Pikes Peak/mountain Views and 5 Star Reviews

      Deal! Luxury Guesthouse for 2 Near Pikes Peak/mountain Views and 5 Star Reviews

      , Cascade-Chipita Park
         
        0.0 out of 5.0

        Situated in the mountains, this property is in the same area as Cave of the Winds, Manitou Springs Cave Dwellings, and Garden of the Gods. Area attractions also include Pikes Peak and Manitou Incline.

        Adobe Inn at Cascade $149
        Adobe Inn at Cascade

        Adobe Inn at Cascade

        4675 Hagerman Avenue, Cascade
           
          4.8
          of 5, from 44 reviews
          3.0 out of 5.0

          Situated in the mountains, this hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of Arcade Amusements, Manitou Springs Cave Dwellings, and Cave of the Winds. Ruxton's Trading Post and Miramont Castle are also within 6 mi (10 km).

          Rocky Mountain Lodge & Cabins
          Rocky Mountain Lodge & Cabins

          Rocky Mountain Lodge & Cabins

          4680 Hagerman Avenue, Cascade
             
            4.6
            of 5, from 10 reviews
            3.5 out of 5.0

            Situated in Cascade, this bed & breakfast is within 6 mi (10 km) of Arcade Amusements, Manitou Springs Cave Dwellings, and Cave of the Winds. Ruxton's Trading Post and Miramont Castle are also within 6 mi (10 km).

            Borders Barr Trail, PP Cog Railway, Incline, Creek. End of Road Privacy. Views!
            Borders Barr Trail, PP Cog Railway, Incline, Creek. End of Road Privacy. Views!

            Borders Barr Trail, PP Cog Railway, Incline, Creek. End of Road Privacy. Views!

            , Manitou Springs
               
              4.6
              of 5, from 42 reviews
              0.0 out of 5.0

              Situated in the city center, this cottage is close to Pikes Peak Cog Railway, Manitou Springs Cave Dwellings, and Cave of the Winds. Also nearby are Manitou Incline and Iron Springs Chateau.

              'horseshoe Lodge' Divide Cabin W/seasonal Hot Tub!
              'horseshoe Lodge' Divide Cabin W/seasonal Hot Tub!

              'horseshoe Lodge' Divide Cabin W/seasonal Hot Tub!

              , Divide
                 
                5.0
                of 5, from 1 reviews
                0.0 out of 5.0

                Situated in a rural location, this property is close to Mueller State Park. Area attractions also include Pikes Peak and Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine.

                Cascade Mountain Stream $189
                Cascade Mountain Stream

                Cascade Mountain Stream

                9305 Chipita Park Road, Cascade
                   
                  4.2
                  of 5, from 9 reviews
                  2.5 out of 5.0

                  Situated in Cascade, this vacation home is in the same area as North Slope Recreation Area, Cave of the Winds, and Manitou Springs Cave Dwellings. Area attractions also include Pikes Peak and Manitou Incline.