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Pikes Peak

The second-most visited mountain in the world is an easy day trip from Colorado’s capital. 

Pikes Peak – America’s 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’s highest cog railroad. The train travels beside Ruxton Creek in the Englemann Canyon, past Minnehaha Falls and on through “Hell's Gate,” 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. 

If you have an adventurous spirit, climb to the summit on foot via the spectacular Barr Trail, but be warned: it’s 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’t want to wait in line. It’s also wise to book tickets for the cog railway online in advance. 

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


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Pikes Peak

See all 666 Properties near Pikes Peak
Cottage next to the creek in Historic Cascade Canyon At The Foot Of Pikes Peak
Cottage next to the creek in Historic Cascade Canyon At The Foot Of Pikes Peak

Cottage next to the creek in Historic Cascade Canyon At The Foot Of Pikes Peak

Cascade, CO
     
    0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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

    Cascade Ranger Station
    Cascade Ranger Station

    Cascade Ranger Station

    Cascade, CO
       
      0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      This family-friendly vacation home is in the center of Cascade, within 6 mi (10 km) of Arcade Amusements, Cave of the Winds, and Manitou Incline. Miramont Castle and Manitou Cliff Dwellings are also within 6 mi (10 km).

      Historic Olde Poste in Cascade
      Historic Olde Poste in Cascade

      Historic Olde Poste in Cascade

      Cascade, CO
         
        0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Set in Cascade, this family-friendly vacation home is within 6 mi (10 km) of Arcade Amusements, Cave of the Winds, and Manitou Incline. Miramont Castle and Manitou Cliff Dwellings are also within 6 mi (10 km).

        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, CO
           
          0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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

          Cozy Mountain Duplex Close to Manitou Springs, Woodland Park and Across the Street From the Santa`s
          Cozy Mountain Duplex Close to Manitou Springs, Woodland Park and Across the Street From the Santa`s

          Cozy Mountain Duplex Close to Manitou Springs, Woodland Park and Across the Street From the Santa`s

          Cascade, CO
             
            0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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

            Hwy 24 Unit 2A
            Hwy 24 Unit 2A

            Hwy 24 Unit 2A

            8040 U.S. 24, 2A, Cascade, CO
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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

              Hwy 24 Unit 1A
              Hwy 24 Unit 1A

              Hwy 24 Unit 1A

              8040 U.S. 24, 1A, Cascade, CO
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

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

                Newly Remodeled Mountain Get Away With Private Attached Suite
                Newly Remodeled Mountain Get Away With Private Attached Suite

                Newly Remodeled Mountain Get Away With Private Attached Suite

                Cascade, CO
                   
                  0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

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